1. Shift Your Focus to Marketing First
One of the most vital things any business owner needs to know when first starting out is the importance of marketing. It doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, if you are not marketing properly then you are not reaching potential customers.
If you invest your time and money wisely, with a focus on advertising, then you are set to reap substantial rewards. The vast majority of businesses fail, with 80% of them failing within the first five years. You can bet that the ones which succeed have effective marketing strategies in place.
2. Uncover Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) sets you apart from your competitors. It is a product or service you provide that is different from anything else that is out there. It is extremely important to spend some time and effort to consider what your USP is and how you can best showcase it to potential customers. The best thing to do is to put yourself in the position of the customer and ask yourself a few questions.
• How are you unique? Are you unique because of the market you serve or the product/service you sell? Perhaps you offer a different angle compared to your competitors. A unique experience, a different payment plan, an exceptional track record or some fantastic testimonials from past customers. Another thing which can set you apart from others could be the finished quality of your product.
• What can your product do that no one else can do? What problems can you solve? What job can you perform? What experience does your company deliver that is different from the market competition?
• Why should they do business with you instead of anybody else? What makes your business a good choice? Perhaps you have exceptional ethics and support things such as Fair Trade, Cruelty Free or you are affiliated with a charity. These things are popular with consumers and also very worthwhile things to support as a business owner.
• How do you deal with negative experiences? What security can you offer by ensuring the customer if something goes wrong they will be looked after properly. Can you offer a no quibble money back guarantee if the product is faulty or the customer isn’t satisfied? If there are problems can you re-do the job for free or offer a replacement?
Take some time to think about all these things and make sure your marketing revolves around what product, service or experience you can provide and how your company can do it better than anyone else.
3. Recognize Your Customer Avatar
Before you even begin marketing you need to be aware of who your customers are. Who does your product serve? This is important to consider when thinking about how best to target your marketing.
The first things to think about are the basics of your demographic. This includes things like age, gender, location etc. After considering these basics we can look into the psychology of your target audience by answering these questions.
• What do they want?
• What do they fear?
• What products do they like to buy?
• Do they use social media?
• What books, movies or TV shows do they enjoy?
• How do they engage with the world around them?
Finally, we can take it one step further and really try to “walk in their shoes.” Why would they be looking for a business like yours? What is going through their minds and what questions do they have? How can your business answer those questions? Targeting the correct market is hugely important and to reach your target audience, you need to be clear on all these aspects of their lifestyle.
4. Verify Your New Customer Acquisition Cost
Something that is crucial when working out your marketing budget is how much exactly does it cost you to get a new customer? How much are you spending on advertising and how much of your revenue is coming from new customers? Obviously, the best marketing is that which gets you the most customers for the least amount of spend, so it is really important to always monitor this and see how you can improve.
5. Initiate a Test for Your Market and Your Business Model
In order to best predict new customer acquisition, it is essential to test any new marketing initiatives before you expand on them and invest a large amount of money or time. One of the best ways to do this is to use a PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising such as Google AdWords or similar. With a program like this you can test response to your business model and predict your revenue stream as a result. This will help you plan where to invest heaviest in your advertising and also where you will see the best results.
6. Validate Your Value Ladder
What is the value of your customers? How much does the average customer spend? How about over the course of a month, year or even their lifetime? You need to put into place a “ladder” which takes your customer from taking advantage of a free product, or special offer, to being someone who buys your high paid products and eventually becomes a repeat customer.
7. Establish an Email List Follow-Up Funnel
One of your most important assets as far as marketing goes is your customer email list. This is your greatest weapon in creating loyal customers and building up trust and reputation. A good way to get emails in the first instanced is to offer a promotion for new sign ups, whether that be a free product, service or perhaps a discount in exchange for joining your email list.
Once you have obtained emails, you can then keep customers updated with market news, new products and offers, and everything else which will keep a customer’s interest and establish your company as a market leader. Emails are also a great way to get feedback and listen to what your customers want.
It’s a Jungle Out There
In summary, to S.U.R.V.I.V.E. in today’s competitive business world, you need to:
• Shift your focus
• Uncover your USP
• Recognize your customer
• Verify acquisition cost
• Initiate market testing
• Validate your value ladder
• Establish an email list
This can be a bit overwhelming. But, if you tried to teach me all the ins and outs of your business, I’d probably be overwhelmed too. That’s the very reason Cedar Park Local was created. We spend the time learning the ins and outs of surviving in today’s market, so you can focus on doing what you do best.
If you’re looking for help and advice regarding putting these essential steps into action for your business, please get in touch with our team for a free, no obligation consultation. We’re the “survival experts” when it comes to digital marketing.