The First Step of Small-Business Marketing: Choice Responses
I received a lot of feedback on last week's blog, which asked "When planning a marketing campaign, what is the first question you ask?" All the responses I got were thoughtful and great, but there were a handful posted that I thought were particularly smart. I've reproduced them below, hopefully they will advance and challenge your ideas about marketing as they did mine.
I should add for clarity here that my answer to the question was, "Who you want to target, and why it's a good idea to do so." I thought was a pretty good (albeit conventional) answer. The ideas I've shared below I think all modify or improve upon my response.
"Before marketing anything, you have to ask; what makes me (my product, service) different from everyone else. If you can't differentiate yourself from the rest, all you can compete on is the price. So unless you want to assume the role of the king of low cost, you have to develop a selling proposition that matters."
WHY IT'S INTERESTING: I would have placed differentiation second on the question list, but now I feel like asking it first is better because it may inform who you actually want to target with your advertising. Say if one of a business's best differentiators is its staff has AMAZING phone skills (customer-service, sales, whatever), they may want to focus on a demographic that appreciates good phone work (baby boomers) and not a group that could care less (millennials), even though the latter might seem like a better market at first.
"I think if you are investing in a marketing campaign, especially if you are a small size company or independent sales agent, you need to see an immediate return for your dollars spent, so your marketing piece must be a call to action initiative. I think I would want to ask who my direct target market is, and what attracts this demographic to a marketing campaign enough so that they show interest in my product or services."