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You’ve heard this before, probably. Marketers ruin everything. Something so innocent, creative and honest quickly can be overtaken by marketing and business promotion once they get their hands on it. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube…

But what I’m about to say is a different take on this idea. If you’re working with a marketing consultant, they can ruin everything. And by “everything” I mean, everything you thought marketing was about.

Here’s what most people think marketers do:

Design some cool promotional ad, send it out using some magic trick, and reap the rewards.

No.

In my experience as a marketing consultant, I’ve witnessed this over and over again. Our clients want us to sweep in and make magic happen but I believe really great marketing starts somewhere much earlier than when we typically get contacted.

To have a solid marketing plan and strategy, you have to consider 5 major things:

First, your target market. I’m pretty sure that you don’t have the time or the money to say that EVERYONE is your target market. Each person you reach is an expense, not just an opportunity. Some people cost more than others. Some of them do not give you a return on your investment. You need to know who is most likely to give you a return on your investment. Keep that information in your pocket as you move on to the next questions.

Now, you need to consider the 4 P’s of Marketing.

Product
What are you selling? Is it something your target audience wants or needs? Is there a true hole in the market or are you developing a product or service that is in competition with others (hint: there’s almost always competition)? Are you wondering already… what does this have to do with marketing? Because, if your product doesn’t fit your market no amount of promotion is going to help you make a profit.

Price
Same goes for price. If you’re over or under priced, you risk losing valuable customers. Pricing is an art. It is both practical and psychological in nature. Higher prices creates an assumed value on what you’re offering. If you sell high, people expect more from you and your product or service. If you sell low, they’re likely going to think you’re “cheap” and may not value your business in the long run. The goal is to find the perfect price point where you can make the most money. It’s an economic equation of supply and demand…

Placement
Location, location, location. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, friends! You might say “hey, rent is cheaper over here on the outskirts of town so I’ll just go there” but that creates another psychological value in your potential customers. Now, they have to go out of their way to buy from you. You might not be convenient. There might be someone more convenient offering a comparable solution. And your physical (or online) location will determine where, how and when you purchase advertising.

Define all of these things before you get to…

Promotion
Yes, this is what you probably think marketing is all about. Print collateral, t-shirts with your logo on them, advertisements, youtube vlogs, etc. All of this depends on your previous decisions. If you were to hire me to help you with these items, you can bet I’m going to ask you about all of those items above before I even get into the promotion. And, we might even uncover that your promo idea isn’t a good fit for your target, product, price or placement.

Marketing is a complicated and exciting puzzle that I love solving! If you are in need of advice on your businesses target marketing, planning or promotional efforts please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m accepting a few consulting spots for December and January right now.