The second point in the Get Fruitful Marketing Manifesto is about widening your perspective to take a 360 degree view of your place in the market. This requires that you ask yourself:
- Who is else is offering a similar service or product?
- Where do you fit in the market-place alongside these other businesses?
- Do you view them as competitors or potential collaborators?
- What market trends are emerging that might impact your business?
- How can you integrate all of your marketing communications into a joined-up systemic approach?
When I guide business owners through the Get Fruitful Marketing Programme, I help them undertake a Competitor Mapping exercise to explore these questions in more detail. If you want to do this for yourself, then you might like to read Blue Ocean Strategy – How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. It’s a really insightful book about making your offer truly unique.
I also guide people through a SWOT and PEST analysis, to consider their Strengths and Weaknesses as a company, and to identify potential Political, Social, Economic and Technological Opportunities and Threats in the marketplace which could impact their business. The next step is to look at ways in which you might use your strengths to compensate or deal with your weaknesses, capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate the threats. The world we live in is ever-changing, so if you’ve done this exercise before, it’s always good to do it again every so often. Also, to get input from others who can bring different perspectives on your business and the world beyond, in case there’s something you’ve missed.
In addition to taking a holistic view of the marketplace, you need to take a similar approach to your marketing communications. Know that just executing a one-off activity won’t produce the results you seek. Depending on who you listen to, people need to see a marketing message around 7 – 10 times before taking action. This is usually because they are not ready to commit when they first hear about your offer – either because they don’t know, like or trust you enough to buy. Your job is to maintain their awareness of your offer until they are ready. The only way to do this is through a sustained campaign to communicate the right messages, through the right media, to the right market, at the right moments, over a period of time. You need to build a marketing system to support your efforts in doing this.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed just thinking about the prospect?! If you would like a helping hand working out where to start, and mapping out the next steps to formulate an integrated strategic marketing plan to grow your business, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to advise.