The foundation of any marketing plan is not only about the 4 P’s (more on that below), but also about understanding basic human behavior, habits, and trends.
You are probably reading this because you have heard or read through numerous perspectives on marketing and effective strategies and may be a bit overwhelmed. You may have come across some marketing tips that are as simple as 1, 2, 3 while others may have been more complex. I want to break down the basic (and universal) elements when it comes to marketing. For any business, no matter if you are offering a product or a service (in any industry), you must know the following 3 elements:
- WHO is your target market?
- HOW will you reach them?
- WHAT is your marketing message?
WHO IS YOUR TARGET MARKET?
Here is where you want to focus on your main audience. Really delve deep and think about who are the people that your product and/or service is made for. Think Niche! You want to learn all you can about your target market- everything from demographics (age, gender, ethnicity, location, etc.) to what attracts your target market. You want to study your market and know what they like, dislike, find inconvenient, where they shop, trends they follow, etc. Also, know your audience’s “pain point.” If you can figure out what your target market needs to solve a problem or make things more convenient, you can add great value. AND…people will be willing to pay for it.
When you get to know your target market better, you may also find out more about your competitors and trending topics. By doing this research, you are also studying other companies that may offer similar products and/or services. This is a win-win! When you know more about your competition, you are well equipped in the marketplace and can create an effective and solid business model.
HOW WILL YOU REACH THEM?
Give yourself time to carefully think about the mechanisms to reach your target market. There are various “touch points” for you to interact with your audience. You can opt for any of the following:
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest)
- Print and broadcast media (newspapers, radio, and TV)
- Newsletters or Blog or Email
- In-person (one-on-one meetings, events, and meetup activities)
- Marketing/branding collateral (flyers, 1-page fact sheets, business cards, buttons, etc.)
BONUS TIP: When you know your audience well, you will also know the best medium to reach them.
WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE?
It is best that your message is described by the three C’s: Clarity, Concise, Call-to-Action.
- Clarity: You want to be as clear as possible about your product and/or service
- Communicate to your target audience what your product or service is.
- Describe how they will benefit from purchasing it.
- Explain what makes you unique from the competition (emphasize your added value).
- Format your message so that it is eye-catching and easy to follow.
- Concise: You want to be straight to the point, brief, but comprehensive in your message.
- Avoid a message that is too wordy. You will risk losing your audience.
- Avoid a message that is not comprehensive. You will risk selling yourself short.
- Avoid a message that is too short and does not communicate your unique value.
- Call-to-Action: Please ensure that you ASK something of your potential customer/client.
- You can ask them to provide their contact information.
- You can encourage your audience to sign up for free consultation.
- You can have your audience register for an upcoming event.
- You can remind your audience to follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter.
- And the list goes on…
BONUS TIP: Be aware that you want to offer something before you make the ask (i.e. free product samples, free pdf content, free webinar, etc.)
MARKETING PRINCIPLES: THE FOUR P’s
The four P’s of marketing are essential components of any marketing campaign. They are as follows:
- You can learn more about the four P’s with real-life examples in the next installation of this blog. Stay posted.
Hope this article helped you think through the foundation of a marketing plan. What ideas would you add? What has worked for you? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.