Researching opportunities, identifying your target market, developing a unique proposition, and choosing your channels are all important steps in #marketing your business. Discover the eight essential steps you need to follow to market your business.
Conduct market research
Market research is a key part of developing your marketing strategy. It is about collecting information that provides an insight into your customers thinking, buying patterns, and location. In addition, market research can also assist you to undertake an initial sales forecast, monitor market trends and keep an eye on what your competition is doing.
Profile your target markets
Trying to promote your product or service to everyone can be costly and ineffective. Grouping or segmenting your potential #customers based on certain characteristics will help to focus your marketing efforts.
Generally, segmentation is based on factors such as:
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- Level of education
- What is the primary reason they would use your #product or service?
- What appeals to them about your particular brand?
- What are their usage rates of your product or #service?
- Where do they typically source information about your type of product or #service?
Lifestyle and values
- What is their family situation?
- What do they value in their lives?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- Do they have children?
- Do they have pets?
Your #target_market should have a need for your product or service and be willing to pay for your offer.
Identify your unique selling proposition (USP)
A USP is the unique reason your customers buy from you and not your competitors – it’s what makes your business stand out from the crowd. It is important to define what you do differently and be able to convey that to potential customers. Commonly, this reflects your special knowledge or skills.
Your USP may be having a new or unique offering or providing exceptional service. Start developing your USP by answering the following questions:
- What do you love most about your products and #services?
- What special skills or knowledge do you have?
- What makes your #customers come to you instead of your competitors?
- How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services?
- Which aspects do you generally highlight when you describe your business to strangers?
Develop your business brand
Every business, regardless of size, is likely to need a brand. A brand is more than a logo, color or tagline. A well-articulated brand emotionally connects with your target customers and conveys who you are, what you stand for and what you can deliver.
Choose your marketing avenues
While there are many available, consider your target audience when you are determining which to use.
- a business #website
- brochures and flyers
- networking events
- print advertising
- word of mouth
- cold calling
- letter drops
Set your goals and budget
Marketing goals will help you to define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
You will also need to allocate a budget to your #marketing activities. Your marketing budget will need to include elements such as:
- website development and maintenance
- #search_engine_optimization strategy (SEO)
- design of branding (logo)
- printing of promotional material (business cards, brochures, signage, etc.)
- donations and sponsorships
- employing staff to undertake marketing activities.