ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR
MARKETING YOUR NEW BUSINESS
by: Dr. Kevin Nunley
know this business inside out," Laura told me the week she started
her new business. "I just don't have the foggiest idea of how to
It's a problem that
almost everyone starting a new business faces. You can be the best plumber,
tax accountant, or doctor in the world, but if you don't know how to get
the word out--how to market your product or service--there's no way you
can get the customers you
Here are five essential
steps to follow to get great marketing that doesn't cost a fortune.
What is your market?
Decide who your main
customers are. As a group, how old are they? Where do they live? How much
money do they make? What kinds of jobs do they have and what are their
interests? The better you can
sketch a detailed profile of the kinds of people who will be your main
customers, the better you'll fare in the next four steps.
What kinds of media do your main customers use?
Each type of media
has its own target audience. Each radio station, newspaper, magazine,
or TV program tries to interest a specific segment of the population.
The trick is to match your main customers with the kinds of media they
A Top 40 radio station
tries to reach teenagers and 18 to 34-year-old women. The local newspaper
may be geared to homeowners over the age of 35. An industry trade magazine
might be read mostly by senior managers scattered all around the country.
If you aren't sure what group a media outlet is targeting, ask their sales
Maybe you have a service
business that will be of interest to people living in a certain neighborhood.
Flyers delivered door-to-door could be the best way to let prospects know
Remember that media
isn't just TV and newspapers. Effective media can be anything that conveys
your message. Media choices range from million dollar commercials in the
Super Bowl to a few
free pens with your name on them.
Limit the media you use to what you can afford to use consistently.
The key to effective
marketing is consistency. You have to hit the audience with your message
again, and again, and again. Marketers use the Rule of Seven. Prospects
must see or hear your message seven times before they consider buying.
Don't blow your entire
marketing budget on a one-shot media blitz. Choose a less expensive type
of media that you can afford to use week after week. That's how you get
Sell the main benefit of your product or service. Make your marketing
How does your product
or service improve your customer's life? Talk to your customer from their
own perspective. Does your product or service save them time? Make them
richer? Make them more attractive? Your marketing should drive home this
benefit as clearly and directly as possible. Customers buy benefits! When
you advertise the features of your product or service, connect those features
to the benefits they will bring the customer.
And finally, don't miss out on FREE publicity.
Radio, TV, newspapers, newsletters, and magazines are constantly on the
lookout for good stories. Prospective customers will be impressed if a
media outlet features a story on what you do.
Is there something
about you or your business that would interest other people? Is there
something about your business that is newsworthy? Maybe you have useful
information to share with others. Consider sending a press release to
your local newspaper. Better
yet, make a phone call to the news desk. Radio DJs can often be persuaded
to talk about your business, especially if you take them a free sample.
Consider your cable TV company's community bulletin board and an article
for the trade publication that covers your
industry. (Drop me a note and ask for my free report on media publicity.)
Last, but certainly
not least, remember to promote your business on-line. The net is open
to everyone. It's the only "big" media that allows the small
business person to get their message out at very low
cost. Bulletin boards and newsgroups may appreciate helpful information
that you provide, and most won't mind if you sign your name along with
four to six lines about your business.
These are the five
essential steps to effective marketing. Keep them in mind as you decide
how to market your new business. They are the single most important reasons
why some marketing fails while other marketing brings loads of new customers
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