So the start of a new year is always a good time to adopt some fresh thinking and even better when you turn that into action.
I’m going to take a wild guess here but I’m thinking that when you hear the word ‘marketing’ you feel the same way as a lot of people I meet and talk to. “I really don’t get it”, or “I don’t know where to start” tend to be the most common reaction.
So if either of the statements above sums up how you feel as well, then relax, you’re not alone.
What I’d like to do is give you a really simple recommendation of the best place to get started. And it makes no difference if you’re completely new to marketing or you’ve been in business for years.
The very first thing I encourage you to do is stop focusing on marketing how-to ideas. And what I mean with this is don’t become preoccupied with yet another great idea for marketing activity. Before you start with the activity you really want to learn what makes marketing work in the first place. This is even more important if you’re currently spending money on adverts and promotions.
What you really want to be learning is how do you approach marketing in the first place. There are various elements, all of which are important, and here’s my list:
• What are you actually selling; not the product or service you offer, but the perceived benefits and what are these?
• What makes people want to buy what you have to offer? What emotions drive this action?
• Who are the types of people that typically buy what you have to offer and how do you know this?
• What makes your biggest competitors good at what they do – what makes them different to you?
• Why should people buy from you – what makes you and your business really different?
These five questions are all fundamental to deciding how to think and feel about your marketing. You need to get a clear sense of what each one means before you can start to think about any sort of marketing plan or campaign.
Above all, the really important thing here is to be totally honest with yourself. You’ve every reason to be so. If you find yourself stuck on any of these questions then perhaps you need to take a step back and start asking more questions; what do you know about your business and how well do you understand it?
So if marketing all seems a bit of a confusing subject, or something you still struggle to get to grips with, then use these five questions and gain a bigger sense of awareness and confidence before you dive it.
This is a great exercise for every business to go through once a year and the best time to do that is always now!
By Nial Adams
of Make Marketing Work