Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marketing Tips

I was a guest blogger at Maryann Miller's It's Not All Gravy blog earlier this week and a number of her readers asked some very interesting questions about marketing.  Although most of her readers are writers, I found their questions to be the very same types of questions other business people encounter:
  1. What's the biggest marketing mistake most business people make?
  2. How can I market so that I stand out among my competition?
  3. What's the most effective way to get word out about a new product?
Answer to question #1 is a toss-up:  Believing marketing is not part of their job description or not understanding precisely what marketing is.  No matter what your job function, you MUST promote and sell yourself and your product or service.  If you're not telling people who you are and what you do, how are they going to you even exist let alone do business with you?  Even if you hire a marketing firm or publicist, YOU still need to take a serious role in your own marketing.

Answer to question #2:  In order to stand out among your competition, you must first KNOW what it is your customers want.  Too many business people gear their marketing plans and programs toward what they THINK their customers want or to satisfy their own personal preferences.  Neither of these approaches is different; their both lackluster and common.  Once you KNOW what your customers want, you must present yourself as the unique and special person you are, and the ways only YOU can give them what they need.  This usually takes a lot of time and consideration.  But once you nail the message, it should be effective.

Answer to question #3:  This is going to depend upon who you are, what your product is, and a bunch of other things.  Primarily, however, you need to tell as many people as you can about the fact that the product exists.  Yes, if you can target the ideal group(s) of people who will benefit from using the product, that's a good idea.  But oftentimes, if you have a strong enough customer base, even if a particular person isn't interested in your product, if they like and trust you, and have confidence in you as a business person, they'll help you spread the word.  If they're invested in you and your business, it's more of a cinch that they'll help spread the word.

Feel free to pipe up if you have any of your own marketing questions.


  1. I couldn't agree anymore on #1!

    I think so many people lose their passion to promote themselves after their business starts. A major reason being consumed by the WORK of said business.

    It's important to never leave home without your soapbox.

  2. Matty, I just LOVE it when people agree with me. (Especially when they're spot-on.) Thanks! :)