The Fundamentals of Marketing

A Step-by-Step Guide

You've started ​your dream business or you've landed your first marketing gig, but where do you begin? Identifying your marketing strategy and developing your first marketing campaign can be done with these four fundamental steps.

Know Your Target

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Who are you trying to reach? Have you identified your niche? What do they look like? What do they do? What do they read? Where can you find them?

If you've done your homework you should be able, to answer all of the above. Often business owners and even marketers think that if you cast the net wide you will reach more people, but the opposite is true. When you cast your net wide you miss the ability to hone your craft, tailor your message and reach the pain points of those you are looking to serve. More is not necessarily better. Focus is always better. Know your audience like the back of your hand. Why will they purchase what we offer? Why will they object?

Let's say that you wanted to be bilingual. You wouldn't study both French and Spanish at the same time because you might learn both at the average level. You more than likely wouldn't be great at either, because you would be sharing your focus.

A narrow focus empowers you and strengthens the impact you can have in the marketplace. It's like marketing yourself as a general doctor versus a doctor specialized in working with children.

Educate on Your Benefits

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Now that you know your audience, you can educate them on your benefits, features, and why they should buy your product or service. You've eliminated the noise, and you can speak directly to them. What do you want them to hear? What do you want to tell them about what you offer? What do you want them to remember about your business?

Brainstorm. Bullet out those features if you are selling to consumers and bullet out the benefits and cost savings if you are trying to reach other businesses. Do your bullets pass the "so-what" test? If so, you are ready to move to the next step.

Craft a Strong Call to Action

Call to Action
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Now you've identified your target, and you've listed out your features and/or benefits. Great work! You now must focus on what you want your prospects to do. What's the call to action?

If you are focused on a particular campaign what are the success measures of that campaign? Do you want them to call? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to submit ​an inquiry?

Be clear about your expectations. Once you've identified the course of action you want them to take, make sure you've removed any obstacles from them doing so. For example:

  • Is your telephone number clearly seen?
  • Does your inquiry form structure work?
  • Can they purchase via telephone, online or in a brick and mortar store easily?

Test the process. You'd be amazed at how difficult we make it for prospects to complete the desired action. Make the transaction easy, no matter what the call of action. Zero tolerance for obstacles.

Measure, Monitor, Log, Report, and Learn

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Now that you've put in the work and you are ready to push your campaign live be sure to measure and monitor the progress. Learn from your efforts; it will come in handy for each campaign that follows.

What were the results? Did they meet our expectations? If so, why? If not, why? Know the answers to these questions, understand the answers, identify how you can make a campaign better, identify what worked. Log these answers, analyze the data and work to make each subsequent campaign better.