Lesson 1: Don’t’ spend a dime before you’ve written a short strategic plan for your product or service, whether you’re a start up or a veteran marketer.
Who’s your demographic? Kids? Elders? Active young adults? What gender? Both? What about their psychographics – how do they think? Personal habits? What’s their cultural nature? What do they read? What do they view? How do they shop—online or brick and mortar? Big Box shoppers or local boutiques? You get the point. The more info you have the better your marketing approach.
Who’s your competition? Study their products or service. What’s their price points or fees? Can you match or beat them? How do they distribute and promote? What media are they active in? What’s their success story?
Lesson 2: Bite the bullet. Raise some funds to promote, publicize and advertise your business. Business cards and networking are just a start. But appropriate your budge shrewdly. Whether your markets are local, regional or national, there’s a methodology to getting the most exposure for your marketing dollar.
Study the traditional print media and online social networks. In print, get to know the editors’ preference for possible articles that can profile your firm’s expertise. Google, the digital marketing phenomenon, uses print direct mail promotions to advertise its own AdWorks marketing product. Astounding! A giant in online communications using direct mail (print)! There’s a message here.
Lesson 3: Be different. Even radically different. Your creative approach to marketing is everything from logo to multichannel promotion. More about this in our next column. Stay tuned.
One last word: If you’re going it alone, walk carefully. Pitfalls are enormous and costly especially in a start up business. It might be wise to seek professional marketing help. Look into local small, experienced creative agencies. There are lots of them and they won’t steal your eyeballs. This one move could be crucial to your business. Usually there’s no charge to talk to them. They can help you establish a unique position and personality, an aura that attracts new business because your approach is suddenly refreshing, unique. Emphasize the terms “strategic” and “creative” in your discipline. They’re joined at the hip.
For a free evaluation of your marketing goals, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-393-0494.
By Russ Madison, President/Creative Director, Lone Wolf Advertising