The Marketing Challenge
What do we really mean by "marketing?" To many
time-starved business owners, marketing means two things:
advertising and selling. However, we think that ultimately
you'll be more successful if, every so often, you try to look at
the "big picture" by taking the time to thoughtfully
analyze your products or services and your business as a whole
in relation to your competition, your customers, and to societal
and regional trends and conditions.
We might say that the key to successful marketing is
answering the following question for your business: How will
you communicate a meaningful difference about your business idea
(product or service) to the people who might be most interested
in buying it?
There are five questions that should be answered for every
- What's unique about your business
is your target buyer? Who buys your product or service
now, and who do you really want to sell to?
are your competitors? As a small business, can you
effectively compete in your chosen market?
positioning message do you want to communicate to your
target buyers? How can you position your business or product
to let people know they are special, in ways that are
important to these buyers?
your distribution strategy? How will you get your
product or service in the hands of your customers? Often
your distribution method will provide an additional
marketing channel, or give you the opportunity to promote
more products as you provide the first one.
Remember the Basics:
Quality — do it better.
Promotion — buyers must be aware of
and motivated to purchase your product.
Price — do it cheaper or provide
Distribution — make it easy to get,
to get fixed, or to get more of.