How to Achieve the Maximum Benefit from your Marketing (and Tame the Beast Under Your Bed)

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Are you a bit intimidated with the prospect of marketing your small business? Does thinking about it give you the shivers and leave a knot in the pit of your stomach? We all know the importance of marketing…and we know that without marketing it’s pretty hard to expect any growth. But for many non-marketing-savvy small business owners or solopreneurs, marketing can be the beast under the bed. We know what marketing is but we don’t have the know-how, confidence, or resources to bring it all together, so we fumble around in the dark…taking a running jump into it, praying to land safely on the mattress, avoiding the 2 feet of no-mans-land beside the bed, hoping that we avoid the clammy clutches of a failed marketing campaign.

Let’s shed a little light into the darkness:

There are several steps that you can take to master your marketing monsters. Chances are you may already have taken some of them and it’s just a matter of pulling it all together into a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Now before you ask, a marketing strategy is NOT the same as a marketing plan.

A Marketing Plan is used to outline the activities you are going to undertake to promote your product or service. For instance, you may use a calendar to outline your monthly marketing focus, list your email roll-out dates and corresponding article launches or related promotions.

A Marketing Strategy is used to set the baselines for your marketing efforts, and provides insight, comparisons, goals, and measurements for all of your marketing activities. It is a tool that you use to define your market, position your brand, and increase your sales.

Your marketing strategy helps you answer important questions in order to be successful with your efforts. For instance, maybe you have written a marketing plan and are now implementing it. Awesome! But is simply marketing your business going to bring you the results you are looking for? Do you know who you are marketing to? Do you know how your competitors are marketing? Do you have a way to measure the success of your marketing? If your marketing isn’t successful, do you know how to find out where it went wrong?

These questions are some of the important reasons why you need a properly set-up marketing strategy in place. Here are some of the things a well thought-out marketing strategy will tell you. Knowing this information can help you develop focused, intuitive, effective marketing campaigns.

* Describe your business and your objectives. Write down what your business does and what product or service it provides. Consider what the goal of your business is. Be very clear about who your business is and exactly what results you intend to achieve which your marketing efforts. When you have established your goals, you will be able to choose marketing activities to help you reach those objectives.

* Describe your products or services. Describes what you do and how you provide your product or service. Understand exactly what service your business provides so you can tell others about it effectively. This may seem obvious, but many business owners can’t describe exactly what it is they do. Including this in your marketing strategy plan will ensure that you understand what you do and why it’s important, and can relay that information to others.

* Profile your target market. Who are you providing your product or service for? This will tell you who you should be marketing to. Research your market to find out what appeals to them about your product. This will help you market it to them effectively. Learn everything you can about your market so you can speak their language and make sure your marketing is appropriate.

* Know your competition. This will help you understand your unique position in the marketplace. Find out how you’re different than your competitors, strengths and weaknesses. Use this in your marketing to make your business stand out from the competition.

Your marketing strategy will provide the goals for all your marketing activities and help you reach them. It will also simplify your marketing because you have done your research ahead of time. For these reasons, a solid marketing strategy plan helps ensure that you gain maximum benefit from your marketing efforts for your small business, and that your marketing gremlins are vanquished from under the bed.

Share your tips for conquering the marketing monsters! Or, pass this on to a friend who’s afraid too…

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  1. You have shed a ray of suinshne into the forum. Thanks!

  2. A good marketing strategy should be put in place to ensure success.

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