Top 10 Steps to Spectacular Marketing Success
By Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach
Ever wonder why some shoe-string start-up businesses succeed wildly, while some well-funded ventures tank big time? Contrary to what you might believe, spectacular success does not require a huge advertising budget, celebrity endorsements, or an MBA. Here are the ten simple steps that will lead your business to spectacular marketing success:
1. Create a clear picture of your goals and what you're going to do to achieve them. You can't figure out how to get someplace without knowing where you're going, so you need to document your plans by quantifying your goals (how much revenue you want to generate), outlining your strategies and tactics (what you plan to do to attract, acquire and retain your clients), and finally, scheduling your activities (when you're going to do all these great things).
2. Understand why you are in business. You have your own business not because you want to work for yourself, but because you have something of value (a product, service or information) that someone is willing to pay you to get. Period. You may have a personal agenda (or three), such as making a huge profit or tithing 20% or pursuing your artistic passion, but those reasons are not why people pay you, so they are not reasons why you are in business.
3. Identify your best or ideal client. There is no product, service or piece of information on Earth that "everybody" wants, including yours. Heck, we can't even agree on the same soda pop, for goodness sake, so why would you think that everybody in the world would want what you're selling? Chances are there are people out there who really want and need what you've got to offer, and once you figure out who those people are and where you can find them, you're in the money.
4. Identify your solution. Another tricky step, because most people try to sell the process, not the outcome. If you think you know what your clients really want, ask yourself this: Why does my client want that? The answer to this question is probably the solution you offer.
5. Articulate your solution. Distilling your value to a particular client base in seven to nine words is a great way to articulate your solution (many of us call this an "elevator" speech). For example, an image consultant I know used to say she dresses women who want to look their best. Nice, but so what? What do her clients really want? Here's a hint: Her new "elevator" speech is that she helps women look 10 pounds thinner and 10 years younger.
6. Spread the word. People have to know that you exist and that you can solve a particular problem for them in order to take advantage of your services. Tell everyone you know (and plenty of people you don't know) about your business. Too modest to talk about your own great self? Let your clients do it for you, by quoting them on your web site or in your marketing materials, or having a notebook of letters from satisfied customers.
7. Ask for business. Kids working the counters at fast food restaurants have no problem asking if we want fries with our orders, but many small business owners (particularly service providers) are hesitant to ask for business. Remember two things: People like to be invited (so invite them to work with you), and you're offering a viable solution to someone who would benefit from your product or service, not trying to pick his pocket. So ask.
8. Provide great service. Think "service" isn't part of your business? It's part of every business, but the type and quality vary wildly. Maybe your restaurant doesn't allow substitutions, but your servers are helpful and friendly, your restrooms are spotless, and your products are delivered to the table piping hot (or ice cold, as the case may be). That's good service.
9. Appreciate your clients. Nobody likes being taken for granted, especially your clients. There are many ways to demonstrate your appreciation, including personal notes, multi-purchase programs (buy 10, get one free), longevity discounts (after a certain number of purchases, the client can purchase at a lower rate), and even verbal expressions ("Thank you!"). Make sure your clients know that YOU know they have a choice of vendors, and that you're happy they chose you.
10. Take personal responsibility for your success. Whether or not your business succeeds or fails depends on you, not market conditions, competition, or other outside forces. Obviously, you want to confirm that there is a market for your product or service before sinking your last dime into the business, but know that once that market is identified, the only thing standing between you and success is you. Thinking otherwise gives you an excuse to fail, and that's not the way to spectacular success.
Spectacular success is less a matter of chance than choice. If you choose to follow these steps, success will follow.
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This article was written by Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach. Ronnie's web site is a comprehensive marketing resource for small office/home office business professionals. For free marketing resources including articles and valuable marketing tools, visit her web site at www.VeronikaNoize.com, or email her at Ronnie@VeronikaNoize.com.
Top 10 Steps to Spectacular Marketing Success © Veronika Noize 2003. All rights reserved