with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
I received the following question from an Entrepreneur Mom reader:
How do I figure out how to market my business successfully?
Here are my 5 Basic Marketing Tips in response:
1. Know your business. Before you embark on marketing your business, you need to know your business well. You need to be able to summarize what you do in a single sentence that you can say to someone who doesn’t know your business, and they should be able to understand what you do without having to ask for further explanation.
2. Know your business goals. As important as knowing your business is knowing your business goals. What are you hoping to achieve through marketing? Are you trying to increase sales directly? Are you hoping for more traffic to your web site? Do you want people to hire you? Having specific and achievable goals helps to dictate how and where you’ll do your marketing.
3. Know your audience. Once you are able to articulate what you do, you still need to know who you are trying to reach. By audience, this usually means your customer or client - the person who will buy from you or hire you. You should know your audience inside and out including demographic and psychographic data. Demographic information is more concrete data such as age, education level, income level and location. Psychographic data is more about the feelings and habits of someone such as how comfortable they are shopping online or how often they buy gifts for others.
4. Target your marketing. When you know your business, your business goals and your audience, then that knowledge helps dictate how and where you market. For example, if you are marketing a product to seniors, you wouldn’t want to advertise in Seventeen magazine. If you were marketing to teens, you wouldn’t necessarily reach your audience by being a sponsor on NPR. Knowing your audience means you know their reading, listening and watching habits as well as their Internet usage so you can reach them where they are paying attention.
5. Don’t forget your business. Everything comes full circle in marketing. Whatever you do in marketing, it all must come back around to knowing what you are trying to achieve from a business standpoint. When you are looking at a marketing tactic, you can vet its worthiness by going back to your fundamental knowledge of your business and audience. Making sure that everything you do in marketing is attainable and measurable is important for making future business and marketing decisions.
More Tips from Experts
I turned to some of my Twitterfriends who are successfully marketing their businesses or their clients’ businesses to get their top marketing tips. Built into my request was the challenge to respond in 140 characters or less because that is the limit imposed by Twitter.com.
Some enterprising marketers sent several messages with one tip per message. Others had my email address so sent longer responses.
Here are some of their tips:
Moms in Business Blog,
#1 Create a short mission statement that defines your business.
#2 Define the “perfect” customer for your business.
Social Research Foundation http://www.socialresearchfoundation.org
Ready, Fire, Aim!
Oops, get the right start with market research (that’s the “Aim” part which should be first) because your personal assumptions about the marketplace cannot always be right. You have to test the right types of audience using the right questions and methods. Be ready to change (or discard) your strategy (even your product/service), cut your losses or be open to the new opportunities professional research can give you.
Global Public Relations, Boingo Wireless
Personal Blog: http://pop-pr.blogspot.com
Listen. Monitor. Talk. It’s simple actions like this that will allow you to find out what your customers really want, what they think about your brand, and what you can do to change perceptions and beliefs.
And while there are different tactics for large and small, local businesses, the basics are the same. Do you own a local boutique, restaurant or shop? Monitor Yelp and respond to criticism (not defensively, though). Are you a multi-national conglomerate? Use Google, Ask.com’s blog search and Tweetscan to see what people are saying, and respond.
Through those steps, you will begin to have conversations with your customers, and make them feel like they are members of your community rather than just a customer.
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