Putting the Marketing Basics in Place Part 1
The other day, I was working with a client and talking about their marketing. All the questions that I asked, they were able to answer and I realised that they had all the marketing basics in place and they were ready to move onto the next level. That gave me an interesting thought – THEY might have the basics in place, but do I – do you?
So, I thought I’d write this two page article about the basics of marketing to see if you’ve them in place in your business – and it also makes me think about whether I’ve got them in place too.
And by the way, I’m sure everything I’ve listed below you’re already aware of. But do you really apply it to your business? I think there’s a real difference between knowing things and actually doing them – and even if you checked something when you first started your business, things might be completely different now!
So, let’s look at what the basics of marketing are:
1) Who are your customers?
When I ask you this question can you tell me exactly who your customer is; their likes and dislikes and everything about them or is your answer “anyone” or “everyone”? The first basic of marketing is for you to be able to say in detail who your ideal customer is. You see, you can’t possibly appeal to “everyone” – they’ll always be someone who won’t be interested in what you do. So, why waste your time trying to find people who don’t want your product or service? Wouldn’t you rather find people who want your product or service and want to buy it now? If the answer is yes, who are these people? What can you tell me about them? Nothing? Well, you need to go and find out!
2) Why people buy
Once you’ve defined who your customers are, the next step is to work out why your customers buy. And the reason THEY buy might not be the reason that YOU think they buy. Let me give you an example. Let’s say your company sells printers. Why might customers buy printers?
Now as a customer, I probably won’t buy a printer unless there’s something wrong with my current one. I might:
- Not currently have a printer and decide that I need one
- Find my current printer doesn’t work with my new computer
- My current printer may have broken down and I’ve decided to replace it
- My current printer may have broken down and I’ve tried to repair it, but can’t
In other words, there’s a reason for me to go and buy a new printer now, as opposed to last year, last month, last week. It’s not that I WANTED a printer; it’s that I felt I NEEDED one and this is what prompted me to act.
So what makes your customers buy your product or service? What makes them act now (as opposed to last year, last week or last month)? Understanding this is vital so that you can push the right buttons and find these customers and is the second basic of marketing.
3) What do you do?
I’ve lost count of the number of businesses that I’ve met who tell me they do x, and they also do y and sometimes that they also do z too. Usually these products or services are all different from one another too. Now as a potential customer, how do I know what you really do and how you can help me and also why should I have the confidence that you can do a job really well for me, if you’re not confident enough to tell me that you specialise in just one thing? If you’re currently running two or more different businesses, you need to look at this and come up with ONE thing that you specialise in.
The main problem that people find with this is that you’ll need to let go of some of the areas that you’ve built up and there’s a real fear that one business won’t give you the income you want or that you won’t have enough clients.
Actually, the opposite is true – if you focus on just one business, you’ll find that you get more customers and more income because you’ll be spending all of your time concentrating in one area and customers will see and respect that. Plus, they’ll be able to refer customers to you because they know what you do!
Next week, I’m going to talk about the other three things you need to have in place in order to know your marketing basics. See you then.