8 Marketing Milestones

Uma lista interessante que li hoje na American Venture Magazine. São propostas simples, mas que eu concordo que fazem a diferença (especialmente a 1, 3 e 10 8).

1. Profile Your Customers. Who are your most valuable customers? Can you describe them succinctly, in 50 words or less? Profiles are descriptions of your customers’ values, beliefs and decision-making processes. While it’s important that you understand the products and services that you offer customers, it’s even more significant to understand what your customers value and why so you can fulfill their needs. Don’t assume you know, ask them.

2. Play 20 Questions With Your Clients. Imagine that your five most important customers are sitting in a room with you. What questions would you ask them about their purchases, their needs and interests, and the factors that influence their decision-making processes? Hopefully you already know how they found your company, what they have purchased, and why. If you don’t, these should be among the first questions you ask. Compile a list of 20 questions that will help you define your customers. Then develop a framework that will allow you to obtain critical information, determine the methods you will use (i.e., surveys, market research) and define sources of this data.

3. Remember to Keep Your Friends Close but Your Enemies (i.e., Competitors) Closer. Identify several companies that offer competitive or substitute products or services. Discover what their benefits are to potential or current customers of yours. Now think about how you compete against them by comparing your message, value proposition and target audiences with theirs. Based on your assessment, develop at least three strategies that you will use to position yourself effectively against them and are prepared with this knowledge when prospects ask, “What sets you apart from ABC Company?”

4. Identify Partner Companies That Will Create Win-Win Relationships. What do you expect from a partner and how can it contribute to your company’s growth? Can your potential partners’ strengths be leveraged to empower your business? What does your ‘must have’ list look like in order for your partnership to succeed? Do you each add value to mutual companies while not competing with each other? A strong marketing alliance offers many benefits, including reducing risk, sharing costs and improving time to market, so choose your partners carefully.

5. Find Out If Perception Is Reality. How do your customers and prospects perceive you? Branding is the impression you leave through every customer touch point and involves far more than a nice logo or cool tagline. Everything you do has to incorporate your message, because if you dilute it in any way, you won’t be sending a clear definition of the value you provide customers. As the saying goes, “Perception is reality,” so in order to ensure that your brand is strong, your message must be clear, focused and on target at every touch point.

6. Prepare a Strong Elevator Pitch. Ever find yourself in a room with a key prospect and you couldn’t succinctly explain your business to her? Perhaps you rambled on for minutes, never getting to the point, or you froze up. Elevator pitches are designed to help you prepare a very brief pitch explaining clearly to anybody you meet why they would want to continue a dialogue with you at a future point in time. You don’t want to tell them everything about your business, just enough to whet their appetite and get them interested in meeting with you again.

7. Align Marketing Programs to Meet Sales Goals. Sales and marketing have to work together to support business growth. Even if the same person wears the sales and marketing hats in your company, you must plan your marketing program based on how many sales leads you need to generate and what your cycle time is. For example, if you know you need 1,000 leads over a six-month period of time to attain the number of new customers required for business growth, proactively plan your marketing programs well in advance so they generate the desired results.

8. Harness Your Passion as a Strategy. Even the most successful companies have their share of business ups and downs. How will you use your passion to get through the rough patches and continue to grow? Consider your passion for your business. What do you love about it? Why are you starting or did you start it? List 10 reasons why you feel passionately about your business. Post this in your office or some place where you will see it every day to remind yourself why you’re getting up each morning and going to work (even if that’s just down the hall). These 10 reasons will keep you motivated on the good days as well as the bad ones!



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