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Markets and start-up marketing basics

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To the market to marketAny new business needs a market; but what does this mean?

And if that new business can’t define its market; how does it undertake any start-up marketing effectively?

How do I know I have a market?

There is a boring technical answer to this essential question, but if you pick the bits apart it makes practical sense. A market is when there are two parties, who are both able to freely decide to trade something they have for something the other party wishes to have.

So how many times have you heard a start-up complain they have a wonderful product, but no one wants to buy; ie there is only one party. Or I have 10 of these, how many do you want to buy, and by the way I am armed; ie a mugging. Or but I don’t want to buy that for £100, I’ll give you £50 and refer you to 2 friends; ie we have a different sense of value and what we can trade.

If you have a market, then you can consider the 2 why’s, the many who’s and 7 basic what’s of marketing.

The Why’s of Marketing

Successful marketing understands the why of its customers and prospects.

WHY Is the reason or need that the customer is looking to fulfil. If we all only wanted to buy a car merely to travel from A to B then there would be no luxury cars and many fewer brands. The why tells us what the prospect wants to buy.

Consider going to a restaurant. The why could be I’m hungry; its lunchtime; I have an hour to spare; I want to seal a deal with a client; I want to impress a prospect; I want an intimate dinner date; we’re have a celebratory dinner; we’re on a night out with the guys. For some of these the food is key and for some completely unimportant as the ambiance is the essential factor.

WHY Explains the move from the status quo. This is state we are all in most of the time, which is that quite frankly I don’t give a fig who are or what you do. It is only when there is an issue or a problem that I have interest- when I have a cracked pipe, I become immediately interested in the availability of plumbers and go looking for them to help me now.

If it’s a new car, I’ll start researching and asking questions of the web, friends and those whose experience I trust, pick up a few car mags and then when I’m ready wander around a few car showrooms or look at the car ads. Only then might I actually speak to a seller of cars.

The Who of Marketing

There are virtually no products that everyone would buy all the time. So the who is the focus on those people, who could and will buy from you. Who really are your customers and who are your prospects?

Take a look at what you think you are offering. Is it only for the Forest of Dean, or Gloucestershire or anywhere? Is it something bought every day or only occasionally? Is it a low cost item or high cost? Does it fit a particular age group? Lifestyle? Stage of Life? These are the basis of segmentation so that you can begin to focus on particular types of potential buyers.

The next stage of the Who is to begin to construct what marketing would call persona. This is a series of named stereotypes which explains who you are targeting, their why’s, what they are buying and how you can influence them through marketing.

The 7 What’s of Marketing

After why and who, comes the 7 basic what questions:

  1. What will convince the prospect of the benefits of your product? Be specific.
  2. What is your real uniqueness, your unique selling proposition (USP) or your competitive advantage? These terms are all the same concept. Look at your offering coldly, if you are the same as everyone else the cheapest price usually wins.
  3. What is the overall marketing strategy and what measures are in place to check that it is on track? Plan where you’re going and know you’re getting there.
  4. What tools could I use; and what tools will I use which my targets appreciate/use? If your target does not use Facebook even if you love it don’t waste time and money on it.
  5. What is the ‘product’ that solves the ‘need’ and then what is the ‘value’ and ‘benefits’ of that product in the eyes of the buyer? Remember the restaurant and the difference between MacDonalds and Quat’Saisons
  6. What can the prospect pay and what potential profit does that leave? Money builds your resources.
  7. What am I going to do today to market my product? Marketing evolves and is long term so best start today for the reward tomorrow.

Next steps

If you need help with defining your market or with your start-up marketing and are in the Forest of Dean, contact us to find out what we can offer, because like most effective marketing it is all about starting conversations!

If not then look out for the next in our series of the Building Business Basics either here on the website or like us on Facebook to see it in your newsfeed, when it is posted.

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