The Basics of Marketing

By Bruce Lacroix © 2007

Bruce Lacroix is a small business and tourism consultant, speaker and writer. He lives in Nelson, BC, Canada and has clients in Canada and the Caribbean. He can be reached at blacroix@shaw.ca To learn more, go to www.smallbusinessconsultant.ca and www.tourismconsultant.ca

Marketing frustrates most business owners. So many ways to market, so little money. To get more bang for your buck, remember the basics of marketing. These are:

  1. Go directly to the target market
  2. frequently
  3. with the benefits of doing business with you.

What does that mean?

1) It makes no sense to market to those who do not need or want your product or service. Why broadcast to everyone about your home cleaning service? Instead, target those with the money and lifestyle most likely to use the service. Spend your time, money and efforts on those who you have identified as your target market. You do know who they are, don't you?

2) Then you have to keep reminding them that you are there with what they need and want. Recent surveys indicate that the average North American is hit with around 100,000 marketing messages a year. That’s over 250 per day. People tune out the vast majority of them. Keep marketing!

3) And most importantly, make sure that your marketing very clearly describes the benefits of doing business with you. You are clear on the benefits of using you over the competition, aren't you? That means knowing the answer to “why should I buy from you?” And forget the words "service" and "quality". Alone, with no further explanation, those two overused words mean nothing. People only buy solutions to problems and/or good feelings.

Musing these principles, market like crazy. A Nelson, BC hot sauce manufacturer originally from Togo dresses in his native robes, plays music, and offers samples to passers-by. A successful auto body shop owns an old pickup truck. The front half is rusted and dirty, with “BEFORE” written in big letters. The back half is shiny showroom perfect, with “AFTER” and his phone number also in big letters. And he drives it everywhere. It’s the only marketing he does. And a popular restaurant uses a fan to blow tantalizing smells out onto the street and entice people in.

They practise the basics, and laugh all the way to the bank. How about you?

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