Small Business Academy

19 Jan

1/19/2012

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Q: How can small brick and mortar retailers compete with online business? (PART TWO) Creating and Using Your Marketing Message

Last week we talked about the importance to high quality customer service and how it can directly impact your bottom line. This week I want to share with you the second key factor in successfully building and growing a small business and give you my Marketing Blueprint. The first step is to:

Identify your company as THE source for your customer’s needs and solutions.

You want to help your customer make a connection to you and your products or services as the solution to their problem. “I have been where you are and therefore I understand how you feel. My products and/or services can solve your problems”. As you are writing your message remember that:

People are motivated to take action by three things:

  1. Fear,

An example might be that without your product or service they will continue to suffer with their current most urgent need and that need could potentially become even worse.

  1. Personal Power,

However, using your products or services could result in giving them personal power over their current situation resulting in…

  1. Freedom

From the headaches, concerns, burdens, and worries that up until now, have been plaguing them and diminishing their quality of life. So to create your marketing message we are going to do a little exercise.

Using three file cards write “Fear” on the top of the first card, “Power” on the second card, and “Freedom” on the top of the last card. Now on each card list five aspects of your product that relate to each of these motivating words. Once you have completed this step make a note of how it relates to your personal story. Now just hang on to those cards for a minute because we are going to do something else with them.

The second phase of creating your marketing message is to answer each of the following questions about your product or service.

  1. Why should your customer buy your product or service and how will it benefit them personally? This is the old Feature, Advantage, and Benefit part that you will use to introduce your customers to your products or services. Don’t stress on this. Just come up with a sentence or two for each feature, advantage, and benefit and then write it once on each

card.

Here is a little tip. A feature is a type or quantity of something. It is also a logical or intellectual statement. So you want to see feature specifications spelled out clearly in black and white.

Advantages and benefits are a quality or condition of something and have an emotional value.

The next questions you want to answer are:

  1. What is the purpose of your product or service

and in concise terms what will it accomplish for your customer.

  1. How does your product or service work? In other words,

how does it do what it does? What are the mechanics of it?

  1. Finally, What other things can it do or be used for?

Can the same product or service be used in multiple ways or for different intents, and for a variety of different kinds of people?

Remember, people love to buy things but they don’t like to be sold to. So first introduce them to what your product or service is going to do for them.

Take the results of these two exercises and combine them to create your marketing message for your product or service.

Now that you have your Marketing Blueprint and message I would like to show you how you can put it to good use with a few more business success principles.

Create more evangelists.

Everyone in your company has the power to spread the word about your business. Create a one-paragraph, 30-seconds-or-less positioning statement built around your core marketing message and share it with all your employees. Be sure they understand your company’s mission and why it matters to customers. When someone asks your employees what they do, each of them can become company evangelists by spreading the right message.

Get customers fired up.

Being an effective company evangelist requires taking your individual passion a step further by creating a message or cause that stimulates others to join your company’s movement. Events, for example, are great ways to spread your message and brand awareness–whether from a speaker’s platform, a cooperative event at your place of business, or a community celebration.

Listen to your community.

If you’re providing a great product or service, you can bet your customers are talking or writing about their experiences. Provide a friendly home for your community by inviting ideas, comments, and participation. Create a community space on your website that allows customers to interact and share feedback. Your best customers will be glad you asked for their input. You can gather information through online surveys and share special invitations and advance notices of upcoming products and services with them through e-mail. Be prepared to accept input–good or bad–gratefully.

Create instead of compete.

The point is to create a business, a service, or a product that is of greater use value to the buyer than the monetary price they have paid you for it and to share that product or service with as many people as you possibly can. Your focus and purposeful intent must be to increase and better others, resolve your customer’s needs to your highest capacity, provide the finest possible experience for them that you can, and continually try to do it all better. This is the golden secret of any successful business.

I hope this has given you a little guidance. If you need more in depth help I have a free video series that goes into more detail about this very subject at AlexzandraD.com so please feel free to enter you email address and the entire video series will be delivered right to you inbox! You can also leave your comments or questions just under each video. I love hearing from you and it helps me create even more meaningful products and services for you, so keep them coming. Good luck!

 

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