From my conversation with marketing/PR expert Gary Purece.
Successful marketing means that you identify prospective clients and position yourself in the market so they choose you over your competition. When I sit down with clients who want to position their marketing, I seek the answers to four basic questions:
1. WHO IS YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENT? Who wants to buy or could be stimulated to want to buy? Who is in a position to buy what you sell? What geographical and financial factors affect this ability?
A good way to identify future clients is to listen — really listen — to those you have now. Their comments, especially negative ones, will help you tailor both your product and your approach to other prospects.
2. WHY WILL THEY WANT TO BUY? What emotional and physical factors will influence them? I just worked with an east coast psychiatrist who ran a practice with ten other psychiatrists and wanted to position herself. Our conversations quickly disclosed that her community was predominantly upwardly mobile professionals. Many of the women had delayed having children. Due to fertility drugs, a high percentage of families had twins, triplets, or more. We decided to focus her practice on these families, the first practice in the area to do that.
How did we do this? First, we realized her potential audience was geographical, that is, in her community rather than regional, national or international. These prospects had distinctive demographics. By appealing to a unique aspect, we hit on her core group. She’s now hugely successful in her practice.
3. WHAT ANGLE SHOULD YOU TAKE? How is your product or service unique? Why is it perfect for your target audience? How is it different from everyone else’s? How will it fulfill your core group’s needs in a way that no one else can?
This is positioning yourself in the market. (Remember how Avis advertised, “We try harder.”) As an example, when other advertising consultants do presentations, they talk about budgets, print versus TV, soft versus hard sell. I position myself by emphasizing that you start by targeting your audience, positioning your product, and creating distinctive selling propositions. Lots of mom-and-pop businesses, confronted by super stores, can’t compete or even survive unless they find a unique niche to fill.
4. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SELL IT? We all know people with great ideas, products, and inventions. They spend a fortune developing this product, but it sits there because they have no idea what to do with it. Is there a system in place to put your product in the customers’ hands and return their money to you? Or do you need to create one?
Market to your core group, and position yourself among the competition. That’s million-dollar marketing!