First time business owners can tend to underestimate how crucial their marketing strategy is to their success. As John Jantsch points out, “The fact is most people, if they consider marketing strategy at all, stop at a core message, identity elements and perhaps a sales proposition and call it a strategy.”
This tends to be generic, vague, and ultimately useless in driving your business. Greg Head of Small Biz Trends knows from extensive experience that “all successful businesses have a clear marketing strategy that makes everything they do more effective.”
The business owners who do take more time to research a proper marketing strategy can, on the other hand, quickly find that they are being drowned in the tsunami of information available today. So many marketing gurus and resources, with so many complex and ever-changing terms and techniques, can further complicate an entrepreneur’s already overloaded life.
The more technical aspects of modern marketing can be learned or delegated over time. Business owners just starting out (as well as those who have been at it longer but find themselves struggling) should start with (or revisit) the basics. These can be summed up into two simple points.
Like the Oracle at Delphi said: It is important for business owners to know what their business is all about. This means determining the specific identity of the business and what it will provide, as well as who your competitors are and what makes your business different from others.
In this regard, the two other phrases carved into the Temple of Apollo can also apply to your business strategy. “Nothing in excess” means that you should determine what your business can and can’t do with regards to your resources and abilities. “Make a pledge and mischief is nigh” is the third phrase, and is simply a fancy way of saying “don’t promise what you can’t deliver.”
Know Your Customer
Knowing your customers well is essential when doing business today. This has two sides to it.
On one hand, your target customer should be clearly and specifically defined in your marketing strategy. This is heavily co-dependent on your business’s identity and offerings, as discussed earlier. On the other hand, you need to know how to effectively interact with potential and existing customers to truly get to know them, how they think, and how your business can be of most use to them.
By John Hester