The First Step to Effective Marketing
“The essence of marketing is asking first, ‘what business are we in?’
and not ‘how do we sell more products.'”
Forbes Magazine, The Death of Kodak, 8/20/13
In recent weeks, a number of new consulting clients have come to me because they wanted help marketing their business. A few minutes into the conversation, it became clear that the problem wasn’t that they didn’t understand marketing. The problem was that they didn’t understand their business.
Marketing is simply the process of communicating to others – clearly and succinctly – what you do that can benefit them. To do that effectively, you have to understand – clearly and succinctly – who your business benefits and what they want and need.
You also have to know what kind of business you’re really looking to build.
- How big do you want to grow?
- Do you want the help (and responsibilities) of maintaining a large staff or would you rather work alone and bring in free-lancers as needed?
- Where do you fit on that continuum?
- What does it make sense for your business to focus on?
- What are you the most passionate about doing?
- What are you best at?
- What unmet needs do you see in the market?
- Where do these three areas intersect?
- Who are your best prospects?
- Do you need the world to know about you or just a handful of repeat customers?
- Are there enough people locally to support your business or do you need to look globally?
Examining your business through the lens of questions like these will help you understand what you’re trying to build, who you’re trying to reach and what you can offer that will satisfy both their needs and yours.