It all begins with understanding who your best potential customers are.
Spend some very focused time in determining not only who they are (moms; small business owners; homeowners; etc.) but want needs and desires they have. How will these align with your products or services?
Also—talk to these people! Don't assume you know who they are and what they are thinking. Otherwise, you could build "a better mousetrap" or launch the greatest business ever (in your mind)...only to find it doesn't resonate with anyone.
Narrow your focus as much as possible. It's very tempting early on to try to appeal to everyone ("every woman will love this!), but that is a recipe for disasters. As the saying goes, "The riches are in the niches." Aim for a tightly defined audience and ensure they will be treated like royalty.
Remember, it's not about how great you are—or how many features you have or how much better you are than alternatives that may exist.
It's about the value you can bring to those potential customers.
If you are introducing something brand new into the market, why should they care about it?
If you are bringing a new twist on an existing product or service—opening a new shop, starting a consulting business, becoming a Realtor or whatever—why should they consider switching to work with you?
Once you understand your ideal customers' persona, the strategy part will be easy. Go where they go—online and offline. Pick a few key channels at first and pour your marketing time and dollars into them.
As you grow and have more profits to invest in marketing, you can increase what's working, cut what's not—and experiment with new channels.
Finally, think more in terms of objectives, which I like to remember with the acronym PLOT:
People—whom you are trying to reach
L-a measurable level you are hoping to accomplish
O-what outcome you wish to achieve
An example could be:
• Invite at least 75 small business owners to attend a free webinar (download an ebook; attend a free tasting; etc.) in exchange for signing up for our mailing list by July 1st
Not sure what you're taking to market, but congrats on getting to this point.
Some foundational elements to your marketing plan should be built around the following thinking:
1. Identify your optimal customer and the problem you're resolving for that customer.
2. Research the pathways your product has to get into that optimal customer's hands.
3. Develop a promotional plan for each of those targeted audiences based on where you can best reach them when they're in the mindset of needing your services. A B2B-focused outlet differs from a retail-oriented medium.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.
Reframe your entire business from the point of view of your clients.
Instead of what you sell consider what they buy: what problem does it solve for them? How will their lives improve? How do they use your product/service?
How do they buy from you? What experience do they get? What language do they use when discussing their own situation and problem? What outcome do they want?
Create a message and position within their context and language, and then move on to the launch strategy and tactics.
Hi, thanks for your question and as Kerby said, the strategy is likely to be different depending on the type of business you're in and the customers you're trying to reach. Whichever it is, you need to spell out what your ideal customers' issues / problems are and how you can solve them. That would be a good starting point. Don't wait until you have everything perfect to launch, the main thing is get yourself out there and make yourself known. Networking groups are usually a good way to approach potential customers, you get a chance to speak face-to-face and find out what issues your customers face. Your own website, and somewhere on your website, the opportunity for potential clients to sign up to your mailing list. Social media OK but better used to direct clients to your own website. Best of luck with your new venture!
There are some good answers and they included core ideas: define your ideal/typical customer, articulate a value proposition versus the competition, and so on.
What I did not see is a budget and decision process for understanding which options are feasible. Developing a set of KPIs to measure effectiveness. Understanding a timeline for initiatives and results. The first month of new ads, a new sale representative could yield very little. What is step two if it does not work. Poor plans will talk about Facebook and Google ads, but they won't have the average spending per category, will not put it in the context of the gross profit per sale. The budget and KPIs are just as important as the messages.
Start with your personal objectives, what you want to achieve and accomplish through your business?
All in all starategy starts with VMOSA: Vision Mission Objectives Strategy Action plan
1. What you want to achieve?
Strategy - is the art of war. After understanding your objectives, find out what you want to defeat, is it a size of the market? Is it a certain competitor? What have they done to get to that point? How much time you are willing to spend to achieve this goal? Is it money vs time in your case? What are you able to neglect to get to that point?
Will be glad to have a short call with you during the week while I am testing out this service for free:)
Good luck on your path!
I am an 8 time VP, WW Sales for startups and 2 time CMO. In my experience, I agree with some of the other contributors. Your Marketing approach starts with your Core Customer that I like to define simply as:
1. The person/organization that you REALLY like working with,
2. Who REALLY likes working with you and,
3. Are your most profitable.
Here is a link to my most popular blog post on the subject to help you get started.
I provide 11 ways to use this info but once you have this it, you can also find many ways to market in terms of messaging, source, etc.
1. Develop a good basic product/service. It doesn't need all the functionality, but whatever functionality it has (say the top 80% of functionality users use) has to be robust and easy to use.
2. Identify an initial group of customers that you can objectively identify and that you can reach. For example, students at Harvard (Facebook's initial users).
3. Work hard to get them to adopt your product. With so much noise, just making it free may not cut it. I know of an app in the truck driving space that physically went to truck stops and "bribed" truckers to download and try their app by giving away free food and T-shirts.
4. Once they are using your platform, you are getting the bugs out, and you are not losing users (i.e. they find it valuable), then you can think about trying to scale it.
I would encourage you not to over-complicate at this stage of the process. Your marketing plan, as well as your business plan, will adapt and change over time as you learn more. But from the outset, there are a couple crucial things you need to consider. Here are 5 areas that you should start with:
1. Audience: As others have mentioned, is to identify who your target market is. Age, Gender, Geography, Interests, Income, Company Size, Job Title, etc. The more you know, the better.
2. Message: Once you understand who you are attempting to reach and influence, you need to define what your message is to that market. This message should be new, novel, and differentiated from other options they have relative to the solution you provide. It should also address how you solve a problem for this audience. This means you need to deeply understand this audience and what they need.
3. Channel: Once you know the audience and the message you need to pick the type of media that you will use to reach them and where you will reach them. Are you using videos, blogs, podcasts, emails, billboards, postcards? Pick the place where they already are.
4. Leads: Next, you need to identify what qualifies someone as a lead and how you will get them into your system. Will there be a form on your website? Do they have to call you? How many steps is the process? These are all questions you should answer.
5. Sales: Finally, all of your marketing efforts should result in a sale. The question then becomes how can people buy from you? Are they ordering something off of your website? Do you need to send them an agreement to begin a retainer arrangement? What does the sale look like to you?
These are just the basics. But it is a great starting point for you to begin thinking about your business from the first touch point of a prospective customer until money has been made by your business.
Let me know if you'd like to discuss this further on Clarity.
Traditionally, 4Ps (product, place, price, promotion) is a good marketing marketing mix to start with. Later 4Cs (consumer, convenience, cost, and communication) joins the family. You can start to add more ... but ultimately you have only 3 goals:
1. can I sell my product/ service to the ideal customer?
2. Is this what I intended to do to contribute to the world?
3. is the financially viable?
Before coming up a marketing strategy, you need to have a market and a product. The very first step already a challenge people overlooked and some even totally ignore. If you can't match your product and market in the first place, how can you do marketing strategy?
I hope the above do some help to you. Feel free to drop me a message if you like to know how to find a good market and how to obtain the capability to produce a product even if you don't have the skill and money.