How To Start Marketing Correctly And Avoid Failure
A Problem For Marketers
Very often new marketers lack a solid success plan.
Many start with high hopes and great expectations, but in "failing to plan, they plan to fail".
Here is how to start correctly...
Step # 1 - Planning
Your first task is a modified SWOT analysis.
- Strengths - Note your personal strengths in terms of skills, knowledge, experience, and personality. How can you use your strengths to give your business a competitive avantage ? Be realistic and objective.
- Weaknesses - What are your weaknesses ? What personal and business skills do you need to improve on ? How will you remedy these ?
- Opportunities - What business opportunities will you exploit ? For instance are you interested in selling digital or "real" products ? Are you going to work largely alone or are joint ventures your forte ?
- Threats - What issues do you forsee ? Identify the competition, consider your cash flow, think about targeted traffic and search engine ranking etc. How will you cope with each issue ?
Your next task is to create a business plan consisting of :
- Financial Plan - Here you write up your borrowing requirements, your own capital stake in the business, and general business budgets.
- Marketing Plan - Detail your marketing and advertising strategies. Set budgets for these key activities.
- Sales - Estimate sales levels and timescales when you anticipate the sales.
For more details on constructing a business plan consult:
- An accountant
- Your bank
- Your local small business advisory service or
- Use Internet resources such as :
The small business administration for US businesses http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html
Business Plan for UK businesses http://www.businessplanning-4-you.com/businessinfo/business_plan_uk_.html
International business can start at http://www.bplans.com
Above all, your business plan must be realistic in the sales estimates and it must not under estimate your time and money costs.
Step # 2 - Research and Find A Niche
If planning is the "road map", research shows the "destination".
Research and planning are simultaneous, parallel activities. One is incomplete without the other.
Product Centric Research :
Based on your SWOT analysis, define the business, products or services you want to focus on.
For instance if you have a strong interest and experience in a sport, or the breeding of a type of pet, you may choose to cater for others with similar interests.
Being easier, most new marketers use a Product Centric approach to define their business interests.
Market Centric Research :
This is the difficult, but more likely to succeed, approach.
It focuses on identifying clear market needs and then finding very specific products to satisfy those needs.
This approach is based on market research techniques such as interviewing people about their needs and then finding out how best you can satisfy those needs.
With this approach you know your business will succeed before you commit money !
Your aims in finding your niche are to :
- Identify a "hungry" market
- Find out the exact nature of the "hunger"
- Determine how best to satisfy the "hunger"
Step #3 - Create a Feature Rich, Content Site
Most people will not buy from you at their first visit, even if they have previously expressed an interest.
Visitors must learn to trust you, before they will buy from you.
It takes time and communication to build trust.
A content rich website is an invaluable tool for building trust.
Building and marketing such a site achieves two goals :
- Depending on your advertising strategy, it attracts targeted traffic, and builds good double-opt in mailing lists.
- It encourages "pull" marketing where customers come looking for you, rather than the more costly "push" marketing where you go looking for customers.
Step # 4 - To Be An Affiliate Or Not To Be
The content rich website is the top of your marketing funnel. A mechanism for pulling in highly targeted visitors who have expressed an interest in your product or service.
This builds trust, but little hard cash.
New marketers are often concerned about what to sell, real money comes from "Back End " products.
* The first and easier option is to research and join good affiliate programs. These not only pay good money for hard work, but they provide high quality, good value back end products.
An excellent example of such a program can be found at http://shmyl.com/bgz
A good affiliate program, such as http://shmyl.com/bgz, not only provides you with products, they also provide web templates and sites for you to use immediately.
You can be marketing in the time it takes to sign up !
* The second more difficult option, but one which offers you more flexibility and control, is to create your own products.
Until the end of March 2004 we are offering a FREE e-book at our website to show you how to create your own info products in less than two hours.
(If you read this article after March 2004, contact us and we will send a copy of the e-book to you.)
If you choose the do it yourself option, you will need to build a professional product web page, per product, along with all the merchant facilities such as credit card processing required to make the site operational.
Visit http://www.iprobuilder.com/14127 for the easiest currently available point and click, "No HTML Required", professional web site building and hosting program.
Step #5 - Get The Sale
Whichever option you choose, you need excellent copywriting to market your products and services.
Even if you use Market Centric research, do not fall into the trap of thinking that your market will buy whatever you show them on your product sales page.
The copy must be compelling and drive the prospects to take the action you want i.e. buy from you.
Copywriting is an art almost anyone can learn. However, if you feel your skills are not yet good enough then pay for a copywriter to do the work.
Good copy can sell almost anything. Bad copy cannot sell the best product in your chosen business line.
Step #6 - Mind Set
From discussions with other marketers, many people get to step 5 ready to sell products, typically 6 to 9 months after setting up business.
Frustration begins when sales fail to materialize and your cash flow is more out than in !
Be prepared, pre-plan and you will avoid this frustration because :
- Your business Sales Plan will indicate a realistic timeframe and level of sales.
- Your SWOT analysis will have prepared you for business issues as well as opportunities.
The planning you carried out up front is your insurance against frustration, and disappointment. It is also an excellent yardstick by which you can measure your progress.
This focuses your mind and effort on attaining small successes which build up over time into major career successes.
This is why it is critical to go through the planning and research stages in fine detail, realistically and objectively.
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About the Author
Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave marketer and a published author from England. The "Simply Easier" brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.
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