If you don’t have a clear message people will not understand you. When asking entrepreneurs about one of the biggest business challenges a large majority with answer Marketing. According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. That is a complex statement. I would simply define as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy.
Do you know your target market? It is important to define the parameters of your ideal prospects because it will help you to focus on those areas and people with whom you have the highest probability of success! This may be counter intuitive but in defining your market less is more. The best way to do this is to identify your competitive advantage and determine who is most likely going to benefit from doing business with you. The tighter you focus that market on your competitive advantages, the more likely you’ll convert those market members to prospects. For example, a financial planner I know differentiates himself by providing specialized services for families with special needs children. He is the go to consultant for this market.
Can you articulate your value statement? If you can’t explain what you do then no one will understand your offering and they will not buy from you. Your value statement must be simple and short. You value statement should explain who you help and how you help. Value is defined by your customer so remember not to use technical terms and technical titles. For example, if you are a civil engineering enterprise you might say something like this; “We help city planning boards solve their transportation problems by removing the flaws that cause accidents and traffic jams.”
Create a strategic marketing plan. Your plan should include a mix of activities that will keep you top of mind in your target market. Depending on your market this could include a mix of advertising, cold calling, networking, Internet web based marketing, and social media. You will need to engage your market in the medium that they use. You may need to learn more about the new media. If you are unfamiliar with the new media engage the services of a web designer and social media expert.
Your clear message should be aligned to your vision, your values, and your mission and all are foundation for your strategic business plan.
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