Advice on how to Prepare for Market
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” is a classic statement on advertising, commonly credited to Lord Leverhulme founder of Lever Brothers (now part of Unilever).
If the role of a marketer was considered difficult in Lord Leverhulme’s time, you wonder what he would have to say about today’s marketplace with its’ wide choice of traditional and digital marketing tools to choose from. Whether your business is small or large, some form of promotion or marketing is likely to be necessary. It’s also pretty likely that however careful or skilled in marketing you are, not all of your marketing activity will be successful, after all it wasn’t for our Soap Lord!
Prepare for Market
But, there is good news, if you do your homework, plan carefully and work with the right partners, then wastage can be reduced, crucially don’t start spending money on advertising until you have a plan. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some key points you should consider.
It may sound like classic MBA speak, but the thought that goes into preparing a mission statement is where the value is, it makes you think about what you are aiming to do!
Think about your Strengths and Weaknesses, where are the Opportunities and what Threats do you need to be aware of. This will help in deciding what sort of marketing you need to do. It will also help in building defensive arguments, highlighting areas where you can grow and those that you can possibly forget. Swot up on SWOT
Unique Selling Point (USP)
What makes you different, the reason people buy from you rather than a competitor. Your marketing should demonstrate this
What do you want to achieve; Telling people about a new product or service, increasing sales or perhaps expanding into a new geographic area.
Brand, Product and Service strategy
Your Brand, Product and Service strategy should all be clearly defined, complex messages are very difficult to communicate. Do they fit the market they are aimed at, are they competitive and is pricing in place. Spend some time looking at what you do. Big brands like to productise everything, even services, you can learn from them. Don’t be afraid to shed noncompetitive products so you can focus on your strengths.
Make sure you can deliver what you promote, so called Resource Planning. Avoid promoting services you cannot deliver, promotion should boost areas where capacity is under utilised
Do you know who is buying your product, and importantly who should be buying it, but isn’t. To avoid waste, marketing budgets should be directed at the right target markets, so it is really crucial to get this right.