Clearly defining your target before you take your first step. Can you imagine a general in a battlefield yelling “Ready, fire, aim!” Well that is exactly what many strategic marketing services do in their marketing. In this issue I will help you create the centerpiece of your marketing efforts — your marketing plan. Here we go.
- THE PURPOSE OF YOUR MARKETING
What is the outcome you really want? Be specific. A true Guerrilla knows that the clearer the goal in the mind and on paper, the richer the rewards of your marketing efforts. A Guerrilla Marketer knows that all goals should be accompanied by a specific weekly, monthly and quarterly timeline. Here’s an example of a few three-month goals: to develop 50 new leads, to cultivate ten new clients or to send 100 newsletters targeted to the most influential people in the industry. What are your marketing goals?
- THE BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Now that you have defined your marketing goals, the next step is to identify the benefits of your product or service. Ask yourself: What do people really want? Some of the things they want are: to be happy, to feel safe, to make more money, to be in loving relationships or to have a sense of purpose. Marketers often confuse features with benefits. Features are the things that are inherent in your product or service. Benefits are what the buyer gets from your product or service. Here’s some examples: Driver airbags (Feature)–Feelings of safety and security (Benefit) Ergonomic chair (Feature)–Comfort, stress relief (Benefit) Tele-coaching (Feature) No commute, call from anywhere (Benefit) What are the benefits of your product or service?
- YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Now that you’ve identified the purpose of your marketing and the benefits of your product or service, it is time to clearly define your target market or markets. Exactly who wants and needs what you have to offer? The wrong answer is “everyone.” You want a niche and the more focused the better. What are their ages, incomes and most important needs? For example: Lawyers age 22-45 with incomes ranging from $50,000-$250,000; Kinko’s copy store owners in Miami, or social workers in Cook County. You can have a larger target such as entrepreneurs, but the Guerrilla knows the tighter the target, the sharper the marketing focus. Who is your target market?
- YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Now that you have determined the benefits of your product or service and your target market, ask yourself these questions: * How is your offering different from your competitors? * What is distinctive about your business? This is your USP– unique selling proposition and competitive advantage. If you don’t have an inherent competitive advantage, you’re going to have to create one — a real one. ”Flame-broiled,” says Burger King, visually and verbally, because their research has shown them that customers equate flame-broiled with health and good taste. ”Your gas free if we don’t wash your windshield,” says Dan’s Auto Service, a local gas station that invented their competitive edge. What’s your competitive advantage?
- YOUR MARKETING WEAPONS
We offer one hundred weapons for launching your marketing attack (You can find a list of 100 marketing techniques in our online library . You will want to spend some time with the 100 Weapons list and chose the weapons that are most appropriate for beginning your attack. Make a list of the top ten that are ready for launching.
- YOUR BUDGET
The beauty of our marketing is that about half the marketing techniques are free. But don’t let that fool you, there are important reasons to spend money on your marketing. The Guerrilla knows that the most important place to spend money is on your business presentation. This means the quality of your stationary, business cards, brochures, flyers and logos. The public will get their first sense of your professionalism through your written materials. Make a strong impression. Now spend a few minutes deciding where you will get the biggest bang for your buck with your marketing dollars.
- MEASURING YOUR ATTACK
How will you know if you have achieved your marketing goals? How will you stay accountable along the way? How will you know what to improve? A weekly and monthly marketing calendar is essential. Many people start a marketing plan with a tremendous amount of energy and focus, but after a few weeks, this energy seems to dissipate. This is where your marketing calendar will keep you on track. Another support structure is a personal coach. A coach will provide a weekly check-in on your goals and action steps.