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. Marketing is simply defined as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy.
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. When defining your market less is more. Start by identifying your competitive advantage and determining 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 has positioned himself as the key consultant for this market.
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. Your 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.” That’s what the customer values.
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.
Make proper use of social media. For example;
- LinkedIn is most used for connecting with other business professionals and is the greatest online business-to-business networking tool. You can use it to publish your skills for people to see. You can also get recommendations from clients and business connections that will really boost your credibility!
- Facebook is all about connecting, socializing, posting, and reading others’ posts. When you get a new Facebook friend, make contact with them and find out more about what they do. You need to show interest in them in order for them to be interested in you. Join Facebook groups and connect with people who are looking for what you have to offer.
- Twitter has a search box on the right hand side of your page when you log in. You can enter a word and click the magnifying glass to see recent posts that include the word. Use this to your advantage! You can use the search box to find people who are looking for the services you provide. Make sure your tweets include key words that are commonly searched.
- YouTube can be a great and creative way to interact with your customer base. This will also make your company appear more personal, as there is somebody visually answering a question or giving information.
Make your message clear by taking full advantage of the tools available to you.