It is said that out of 10 new businesses, 8 of them fail. Even though this is a proven fact, let this not scare you; but rather stress the importance of understanding your targeted market and what will make your venture successful in the current business climate.
A majority of entrepreneurs jump headfirst into a business without preparing a proper marketing and business plan; or industry research or survey. For this reason, they realize rather quickly that they are not connecting or satisfying their customer’s actual needs and there is nothing that separates the value of what they are offering from the competition. Entrepreneurs who find themselves in this situation often have a problem communicating the specific value they are offering clear, concise, and in a compelling way that customers can easily understand. In a nutshell, this is a recipe for disaster.
The truth is that majority of businesses fail due to lack of planning and marketing techniques. As such, to avoid failing and setting yourself for success, it is important to take advantage of online marketing strategy, especially in today’s business climate. These strategies can be categorized under, building your brands, understanding your client’s needs, crafting a unique message, building a strong online presence.
1. Understanding Your Client’s Needs
The first cornerstone of a successful online marketing and arguably the most important is understanding your customer needs. In another word, by failing to understand who your market is and what they are looking for; then you have no basis for your business. There is no business without a market. For this reason, you have to identify your potential customers and the need to satisfy.
However, the million dollar question is; how do you identify your market and need? Well, this can be achieved fairly easily.
The first step should be asking questions – This can be achieved by conducting a survey or personal interviews with your lost, past, and present customers. Do not forget to include partners and vendors to learn more about consumer behaviors, opinion, and perception of your product and service.
The second step is research – What does this mean? Well, it simply means identifying your environment, in terms of competition, economic environment, your target market, market saturation, market research and others. The aim is to learn and understand the market, and the need that must be satisfied.
2. Crafting A Unique Message
Do you know perception plays an important role? The way customers or clients perceive your business or what you have to offer will determine whether you will become successful or not. Then, how do you improve the way customers will perceive your product? Well, this can be achieved through a unique message strategy.
By crafting a good messaging strategy campaign, you will be able to paint a picture of credibility, which coincides with your audience. The aim is to appear trustworthy and professional to your market before they even have the opportunity to work with you. How do you create an effective messaging strategy?
First, you must define who you are as a company – This means answering questions such as why are you in business? why should your clients trust you? why should your customers choose you?
The moment you answer these questions; you will begin to realize that your message is coming into focus. Let your message become your company’s ‘Bible’.
3. Building Your Brand
Building a brand is important and a well-known strategy. The brand building simply refers to the feeling you like to evoke in your target market when they come across your website, logo, or different marketing materials? In other words, how do you want your clients to think of you as a company? Well, the answer you get should help you drive your brand building campaign. It is important to note that for many customers, ‘seeing is believing’.
For example, research has proven that when you add 15% more green to the 7UP soft drink label and perform a taste test; people will report that it has more lime flavor than the lemon flavor, even though you have not tampered with the drink itself.
Therefore, the above research proves that with a strong branding effort, you will get to define your vision for the brand. By combining this with an effective marketing technique and an understanding of your target audience, you will run a successful business.
4. Building A Strong Online Presence and Following
Online presence is important, especially in today’s business climate. According to Google, which is the leading search engine; 89% of consumers perform pre-buying research on product and services. Out of that number, a majority of the research is through mobile devices and social media. As such, having an excellent online presence is important.
Typically, a strong online presence and following are achieved through a press release, blogging, excellent online customer service, online sales, reviews, social media, website, email marketing, SEO and PPC marketing. For this to be successful, you have to set up a communication calendar, schedule marketing measures, and map out your touches.