Part three of this Winning “5” Combinations article covers combinations four and five, along with “get to action” advice.
Winning Combination #4
Know, Love, and Trust Your Customers
Why do so many new products and service companies fail? Usually for many reasons, companies often are so enamored of their new product ideas that they fail to do their research on the most important entity in their entire company Their Customers! Even if they do get a nibble of information, they often ignore what the research tells them. It is important in product/service development to develop products that your consumer’s want, not simply what you desire to produce.
With effective market research, you can determine the need for your service, a product’s likelihood to sell , target-market demographics , and desirable store locations. There are numerous ways to uncover this information — from online research to focus groups. Here are a few simple and free ways for entreprenuers to do market research:
Step 1: Go to www.google.com
Step 2: Identify key words that describe your target market and service/product offering
Step 3: Run a search on each of those keywords
Step 4: Research the top 10 Sites that show up on Google and the sponsored links on the right for the following 7 Key Market Research Questions:
Who is the company and principal of the company? What products and services are they trying to sell? At what price point are they offering these products and services? Who are they targeting? What are the demographics of their target audience? How are they delivering their product and service? How are they positioning their product and service? How are they promoting their product and service? Step 5: Create a one page document for each company that summarizes the key questions and then one final executive summary of all 10 sites comparatively. Use this information to create and position your own marketing strategy.
Ask your existing customers – Conduct a survey of your target market with Survey Monkey. Trust that they will tell you what they want. Invite a group out for lunch and have in informal focus group. Contact a local MBA program and offer an internship to a grad student. Join online forums that talk about your kind of business. Set up a chat room where you conduct your own online focus groups. Renegade entrepreneurs may find this task tedious, but I promise you , it won’t be as painful as regularly dusting the thousands of dollars of unshipped products you could have laying around your office or staring at an empty appointment book!
My business coach, Alan Weiss says there are three key questions to answer prior to establishing any marketing approach:
What is my unique value for buyers? Who specifically will write a check for that value? How do I reach them? Take the time to do the get to know your customer intimately up front. Understand what pains them and what makes them excited and then show them how much you adore them by creating specific products and services to meet their needs.
Self Inquiry: How can I improve the lives of my customers today?
Winning Combination #5
Create Consistent Marketing (Promotion) Engine
As entrepreneurs we often interchange the words marketing and promotion to mean “activities’ that are aimed at trying to get customers. Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you’re continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return. These activities include market research to find out, for example, what groups of potential customers exist, what their needs are, which of those needs you can meet, how you should meet them, etc.
Marketing also includes analyzing the competition, positioning your new product or service (finding your market niche) pricing your products and services and promoting them through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.
Promotion keeps the product in the minds of the customer and helps stimulate demand for the product. The ongoing activities of advertising, sales, and public relations are often considered aspects of promotions.
Your promotions are the communications strategy of your plan. Here you’ll plan not only the message you want to use, but also the tools you’ll use to spread it to the world. But first, I need to share with you the 3 C’s of Marketing Success:
Consistency (communicate regularly with your customers and prospects) Clarity (deliver clear benefit driven messages to those customers) Collaboration (work with marketing experts, a mastermind team, and form joint venture partnerships to expedite growth) If you can master these three items, you will be heads and shoulders above a majority of your competition. Jay Conrad Levinson said to me once, “It is unfortunate , but true that bad marketing done consistently is better than good marketing done inconsistently.’ Create consistency in your marketing program.
There are several ways to promote or market your company. In fact, I have an entire home study course called Promotion Mastery that details an entire plan from start to finish on exactly how and when to promote your business and products/services. Imagine what good marketing done consistently can achieve! Here are some general suggestions to consider when developing your marketing engine:
Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity. Set specific marketing goals every year; review and adjust quarterly. Maintain a file of ideas for later use. I have a board in my office that I call my “parking lot’ for ideas. Carry business cards with you (all day, every day) in your car, in your purse or briefcase. I even carry a brochure or two for that special occasion. No piece of information (invoices, thank you cards, email, mail etc) should ever go out without your company contact information on it. Every communication outside your company is an opportunity for you to promote yourself! Keep Educating Yourself
Meet with your Mastermind Group at least once a month. Attend a marketing seminar. Read a marketing book. Subscribe to a marketing newsletter or other publication. Join an association or organization related to your profession. Hire a marketing consultant or coach to brainstorm with. Create a Marketing Plan that Automates the Marketing System
Target Completion Date:____________ Project Completed:_____________
Get Into Action
The most important thing about creating success in your business is to take massive action. Not a little action massive action. At a minimum, make yourself and your potential success a commitment and do at least 1 action item a day for each of the 5 winning combinations toward creating business success. Schedule the time on your calendar and just get it done.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, please call and take advantage of our complimentary 30 minute strategy session.
“It’s not what happens, but what you do that matters.” To your success!
Copyright (c) 2006 UpLevel Strategies