Many business owners have one thing in common; they think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. I get it. Been there. And you may be. But there are many others just like you who also think they’re the best. So then, what sets you apart? What makes someone choose you over your direct or indirect competition? All in all, why should they choose you.
Here are 6 marketing basics that will help you think through whether or not you’re doing it right, because if you’re not, someone else is (or you’re giving them the chance to get it right. Apple vs. PC. Think about it.) This is why people choose to spend, or not to spend, their money on a product or service.
Why You? What problem do you solve that others around you don’t solve. That’s your competitive advantage. You have to be able to convince someone why they should go with you over the other person. If there are 5 similar businesses in your surrounding area, why should they go with you? What’s your competitive advantage? What makes you unique?
4Ps of Marketing: Price, Place (Distribution), Product, and Promotion. These all make up marketing. Is your price right? Is the location of your organization right? Are you offering the right product or service? Are you telling the right story in the right place to the enough of the right people at the right time? If any of these are out of order, you may detract from your customer base.
Reputation: Marketing is a key element in communicating the character and reputation of your organization. It’s not only how you get people to recognize you, it’s how you tell people what you offer, what you stand for, your pricing, and more. And it doesn’t matter if you have a big budget or no budget at all, the “story” you tell will be how they perceive your business.
How You Tell Your Story: Stories are told both with purpose, but also inadvertently. Words, commercials, and imagery tell stories. The quality of these words, commercials and imagery aid in people’s perception of your organization. Well-crafted documents, websites, etc. convey a positive message related to quality, value, and worth. Poorly crafted marketing pieces (documents, websites, etc.) convey a message of lower quality, value, and worth. This all equates to customer expectations when it comes to decision-making. 1) Do I trust the organization? 2) Do I feel that the organization is worth me paying what they’re asking.
Reach and Frequency: To get your story in front of people, you have to tell it, and you have to tell it often. Tell it to the point where you get tired of hearing yourself talking about it. Though you may feel like you’re over-telling the story, it’s getting heard by someone who either hasn’t heard it before, didn’t pay attention to it before, or didn’t take it seriously before. It’s the concept of getting many people to hear it and then reinforcing the message. (If a child only did 2+2 one time, it’s okay to say they may forget the answer is 4. However, by doing it over and over again, they not only know how to use their visual or physical aids to determine they answer. Instead, they know the answer is 4 almost automatically. This is exactly what you want your audience to do – to automatically recall your business without much thought.)
The Right People: It’s super important to get your message in front of the “right” people – either direct future clients or those who will spread the message, and maybe even influence your future clients.
Know your competition: You can’t appropriately compete with your competition unless you know what the offer, their story, how they tell their story, and their prices. You have to be able to state what makes you better or just as good. You have to be able to tell people why they should go with you instead of with the competition. For some organizations, it’s price. For others, it’s value. For others, they play to the appeal of convenience or status or some other emotional response. Now, you can tell a story of “difference”.