It all comes down to this: Successful business entrepreneurs do not always follow the crowd, or blindly participate in the latest “fad”. They have a clear marketing strategy and that makes every action they take more effective.
Unfortunately, the majority of small business owners stay too wrapped up in daily actions such as: blogging, emailing, and especially social media updates that are not actively moving them forward on decisions that will improve the performance of these strategies.
Simply put, you must decide on your marketing strategy so that every tactic you deploy afterward will work that much better.
There are several factors to a great small business marketing strategy; however, across the board, there are always 3 major factors that are found in every successful business we have worked with throughout the years.
The 3 Keys of Marketing Strategy
- What is Your Unique Benefit (Your Value Proposition)?
- Why Are You Different and Better for Your Target Customer?
- How Are You Unmistakably Different From Your Competition?
What is Your Unique Benefit (Value Proposition)?
Determining your unique benefit or value proposition is the #1 determining factor for whether customers will continue to learn about your product, or click away from the page.
Your unique benefit should be focused on one or two key aspects of your product(s) or service(s). When you get this right, it will be a huge boost for your business.
The key to getting it right is to focus on what your product(s) or service(s) actually delivers instead of a laundry list of what your products do (the features).
Your unique benefit is the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
How do you define your unique benefit (which is your value proposition)?
Do this in 3 steps:
- Clarify how your product solves customer’s problem. (What makes you relevant in their life?)
- Explain how your product or service delivers specific benefits (How can they measure the value in their life?)
- Define why the customer should buy from you. (How are you unique from your competition?)
You have to present your unique benefit as the first thing the visitors see on your website and also clearly visible on all calls-to-action on your website.
Why Are You Different and Better For Your Target Customer?
Make this as simple as possible. Customers want one or two key points to affirm their decision. If they have to read a lot of text to understand why you are better for them, you’re over-complicating it.
Simply draw them in with a clear, compelling list of all the things you do better.
Let’s think about this in a real business scenario. Consider that you are a direct sales representative selling weight loss shakes. There are several hundred thousand other people who sell this weight loss shake. How are you going to distinguish yourself? Why would someone buy from you, instead of the next guy? This is where your unique value proposition comes in. Do you run a dedicated Facebook group for members to get free healthy recipes and work out videos? Perhaps you can offer a free 30-day kick start coaching program to start your buyers off on the right foot. Do you offer free delivery? Or a free supplement with every purchase? If you settle for trying to sell your shake to anyone without offering anything different, you may be disappointed with your results.
Pick the top one or two and put them on your homepage and include them in your marketing strategies across the board.
How Are You Noticeably Different From Your Competition?
Can you define what makes you different from your competition? Learn how to identify your key strengths, and how those strengths beat your competition, to better position and sell your products or services.
Identifying your competitors is important to a great marketing strategy because it will aid you in identifying your business category and which market segment (customer niche) to compete in.
To compete effectively, it is vital that you answer these questions to reduce risk, time, wasted resources, and expenses:
- Who are your competitors?
- What are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your competitors planning to do next?
Let’s look at this example: a new weight loss and energy patch may have a unique health benefits, application method, and design, but effectively competing with every weight loss product (both direct competitors like shakes & wraps and indirect competitors like exercises videos, diets etc.) in a $14 billion product category is difficult, even for a large, successful company. If the competition is too strong, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the new product to break in. It may be more profitable to carefully target a specific segment of a category where the odds of success are greatest. Even the weight loss shake segment of the category is over $3 billion in size. Perhaps “non-edible weight loss products” would be a more manageable segment of the category with just a couple million in revenue?
The point of your competition analysis is to carefully deliberate, from your customer’s point of view, all the alternative choices they have to NOT purchase from you.
Understand that and you can make sure that your business provides advantages over your competitors, beginning with those who are in the direct category with you.
The key alternative marketing strategies outlined above will work in any business. All it takes is a simple mind shift in your part to think a little more carefully about who you want to sell to, and why purchasing from you will make your customer’s buying experience better. Be creative in what you can offer your customer over your competition. This will put you ahead in the game before you know it.