hi susan! wonderful strategies - I'm working with a client right now who is starting up a first business and is struggling with a consistent message out of the gate. Any recommendations?
Hilary - www.aninspiredmind.com
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Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a 3-part article. You can find part 1 here.
Mistake #4: Not Developing a Clear and Consistent Marketing Message
Messaging is the careful development of the precise and concise language that quickly conveys the key message(s) you want known about your product or organization. In today’s competitive landscape if you can’t convey these messages quickly and have them resonate, you’ll lose your potential customer to someone else. Make sure your message and images are consistent, concise, and cohesive. Stop trying to be creative and start focusing on the basics; who you are, what you have to offer, and what the benefits are of doing business with you. Remember, it takes six touches of the same message for the audience to finally recognize your product, so be consistent. The last thing you want is to confuse a potential customer by losing focus on what is really important.
Mistake #5: Believing Your Product or Service will Sell Itself
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that their product or service is so great and so different that they don’t need to market it at all. This may make sense to you, but think of all the products and services you use today. Did any of them just find their way to your door simply because they were perfect for you? The reality is people need to be told why they should buy your product or service. They need to be convinced that they can’t live without it. And once they have it, you need to provide them with customer service and personalized attention to ensure they will continue to use it. All of these things require marketing. If you have limited funds, start with business cards, a Web site, informational collateral (print or multimedia), an introduction/sales letter, and a customer service/thank you letter. Once things are moving along you can add direct mail postcards, electronic newsletters, video emails or product/service CD brochures to your marketing toolkit. No matter how great your product, don’t forget you still need to market it to get it sold.
Mistake #6: Not Clearly Defining Your Product or Services’ Benefits
Today’s highly competitive marketplace is constantly changing and often consumers are confused about the products and services they purchase. Educating your customer is critical. Defining your product or service benefits is imperative. If you can’t put into writing what makes you different from the competition (i.e. local vs. out of state) or, what makes your product or service different from the competition (i.e. organic vs. processed) how a potential customer can make an informed decision to buy. By defining the unique selling proposition for your product/or service you will help your target audience differentiate you from the competition. Isn’t that what you need to do to increase your sales?
Learn more about the author, Susan Burnash.
Hi Hilary My recommendation is that every business starting up must go through the process of writing their marketing plan. The exercises help you to flesh out important elements including a consistent message based on each target market. This is why we offer an interactive workshop called "Writing Your Marketing Plan in ONLY One Day." If you don't have a foundation for your business, or a destination in mind, you will never make it to the finish line. You can take a look at our website www.purpleduckmarketing.com and look under Purple Duck University Classes. We've found that businesses are often intimidated to write a marketing plan but actually enjoy the process so much that it gets them even more charged up about their businesses. We also put a workshop on for nonprofits too. The marketing plan is a little different for them but still crucial for success! I hope this helps! Susan Purple Duck Marketing www.purpleduckmarketing.com