Understand Your Product

No matter how conversant you are with your products and/or services, you probably are not “selling” what you think you are. For example, if you are selling replacement windows, you are not selling a simple window – you may be selling a way for homeowners to save money on energy bills, or allowing a better view out the window, or a way to keep a draft out of a child’s room. In other words, you are selling the benefits of your products.

Understand Your Customer

Once you have articulated the benefits of your products, it is time to target the people, who will be interested in those features. For example, if you are selling windows, it might be smart to target people with older homes, or at least have an argument ready for new homeowners, who are allocating most of their funds to furnishing and decorating a new home.

We also work with a sports fitness center that specializes in preparing young (grade school and high school) athletes for competition. What the owners know is that, in many cases, the real “customers” of this fitness center are the parents. Their marketing must focus on appropriate training in order to get the most out of them – without injuring or harming their young bodies.

Understand Your competition

A few years ago, we worked with a business owner, who was selling vitamins supplements. When we asked her about her target market, she told us that it was “anyone who wants to be healthy. “ Since most of us want to be healthy, she felt that everyone was a potential customer. However, not everyone believes that vitamins are the answer to good health, preferring a healthy diet instead. Those who take supplements may need to be convinced that her pricey vitamins are superior to the lower cost vitamins available at the local drug or discount store

Understand how to Speak to Your Customers

Once you understand your product, your customer and your competition, it is time to decide how to reach your target audience … and what to say to them.

As technology advances and our marketing options increase, finding the right message and posting to the right platform becomes more difficult and more important. Since 85% of the population starts their searches for products and services online, having a helpful website, an active Blog and a powerful Facebook presence are central to a good marketing plan. However, depending on your products and your audience, you must also consider whether your audience expects to find you on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest , Instagram and other emerging sites. As more people, of all ages, turn to mobile apps, you will need a robust mobile strategy.

Once you have made decision on the platforms to use, you must post things that are appropriate to each of the sites, AND meaningful to your target audience.

Finally, and most importantly, you must understand that in order to run a successful marketing program, you will need professional help.