How do I decide where to promote my product or service?

With a strategic marketing plan.

You could promote your business anywhere, but I suggest your marketing activity will be much more effective and resourceful if you have a marketing strategy.

We all have limited resources for our marketing in terms of time and money, so a strategy will help you maximise this.

A marketing strategy is a process that will allow you to concentrate your resources on the best opportunities to increase sales and achieve a competitive advantage.

Within a good Marketing strategy, you should make considerations such as:

  • Do you know your market
  • What is your vision of the ideal customer
  • What is your strategy & vision
  • What is your position in that market
  • And how do you plan to target your market, your tactics

Your customer base will contribute towards the success of your business and how your business is represented.

So who do you really want as your customers?

Start with profiling your potential customer. For example, what is their industry sector, what size are they, where are they located, what is the personality of the owners, how much would they spend per annum, on what terms would they trade and how established are they.

You can also segment your potential customers by knowing their demographics, their Classification, their Life cycle stage, or by their psychographic attitudes and values.

You should also look to profile the buyer within your ideal customer business. Are they most likely to be male or female, what age, what do they drive, what do they read etc. This will help you with your effective communication to them.

In terms of contextual marketing you need to understand ‘what’ the customer was doing when they decide to purchase and ‘where’ they were.
This is identified with effective market research. Unfortunately too many businesses do their research with just friends, family, team and close associates, who all often tell them the answers they want to hear. I suggest you go and find the ideal prospective customers you have identified in your profiling and segmentation and ask them.

Ask them; Where are they buying now? Why from them? What do they get for their money? How often do they buy? What are their buying habits? Who influences the purchase decision? Do they buy on a Want or or a Need? How was that product or service brought to their attention?

Some business can sell to anyone, but we suggest this is not the strategy for most businesses because with focus:

  • You can concentrate your marketing efforts in the places where your customers dwell, whether that is in the on or off line universe
  • You can better understand their needs. Where your product or service can help them and why or when they need them
  • You will be able to start identifying product or service gaps
  • You can easily adapt as you know your market environment

To help you build your business strategy & vision it is a useful exercise to take yourself forward and identifying factors such as how many clients will we have, where will we work from, how will we deliver, what is our preferred type of work or main products, what is our niche, what will our employees or resources look like, what is our pricing policy?

Once you know more about your business positioning and your potential customers you will better placed to understand your position in the market place.
For example, if you plan to open a food shop, you may have little chance competing directly with the major food outlets, so you will position yourself for a different customer with a different offer to them otherwise it is likely to then simply about the price and their buying power will win.

When people talk about marketing, they will refer to the 4 P’s or the ‘marketing mix’ which is:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place – the purchase location or distribution channel
  • Promotion – your chosen marketing communications such as advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion.

These factors should also play a key part of your marketing strategy.

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