Marketing Your Business
by Michael D. Morgan, Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Trainer & Speaking Coach - Morgan Success Group, Inc.
Marketing! The most challenging aspect of business today! It is also the weakest area of knowledge for the majority of businesses today. Many people believe that marketing is just about putting together their print materials and some advertising. Unfortunately, that description doesn’t even scratch the surface. Marketing is defined (Websters New World Dictionary) as: "all business activities involved in the moving of goods, or services, from the producer, or provider, to the consumer, including selling, advertising, packaging, etc." It’s important to realize that these "activities" are all encompassing. Two very important aspects of marketing are image and positioning. Your marketing efforts help create the type of image you want to be known by. Image also differentiates you from your competitors. Marketing helps position you in your current and potential customers minds with a specific image. Marketing is a process that helps create a special feeling and image of your company, products, services and, in many ways, what they will do for the customers. A great example of this is Federal Express who created a wonderful image and positioning with their "When it positively, absolutely has to be there overnight!" The image showed they were fast and understood that you needed to have stuff somewhere dependably fast. It also positioned them very favorable against the U.S. Post office who did not appear to successfully specialize in that specific service. In reality, the US Post Office have always shipped packages of all sizes, but did not press speed as an important need. Let’s define image and positioning a little more. Let’s use Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS) as examples of two companies who compete with the US Post Office. Like the Postal Service, both of these companies specialize in shipping packages. FedEx positions themselves as rapidly shipping smaller packages and documents most anywhere in the world. UPS specializes in shipping larger packages most anywhere in the world. They have built their images as specialists in a very specific area. Their advertising reinforces this image and creates a desired image in your mind. Now imagine that you want to start an international shipping business. Market research tells you there is a definite gap in provided services between FedEx and UPS. You have expertise and knowledge in the shipping arena and you know that you can easily handle the services in this gap. Understanding how each of these established shipping companies have positioned themselves, you have to decide what you can do to differentiate your company from them and create a special position that tells your customers how you are different and that you are the prime choice for these special services you provide. Once you have defined these differences, you must translate them into marketing information that would be included in your company’s daily dialogue, mission statement, printed materials, product packaging, and all advertising media. Here’s another quick example. Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, and Chevrolet. All three automakers manufacture cars. Ask yourself these questions. Which maker would you say is the top of the list as far as quality. Who is second and then third? Obviously, most of us would choose Rolls Royce first, then Mercedes and then Chevrolet. Their products have reached a position in our minds as far as quality, value, and a level we feel we can relate with. Once you determine what position and image you want for your business that will help separate you from your competition and reach out and inform your potential customers the reasons and benefits of using you company’s products and services, you need to place them into different modes of communication. This means that everything that a company does is a part of marketing. For example, when a customer calls you, the person who answers the phone is involved in the marketing process. How packages are packaged, shipped and what shape they arrive in is also part of your marketing. The print materials you create, the sales people who meet with customers, the picture your customers have in their minds are all part of marketing. A mission statement helps define on the most basic levels the W,W,W,W,H, & W of your company and it should bring you and your employees together so that you will all believe and say the exact same thing every time, all the time. Then the process of designing printed materials, such as logos, brochures, information pieces, and specific positioning pieces begins. It’s important to remember that your potential, current and past customers are from different walks of life and have different tastes. Consequently, one brochure will only reach a certain segment successfully. It is important to design several pieces in order to reach as many different segments as possible. People respond to emotional and logical arguments and presentations differently. Many successful companies are aggressively marketing themselves on many fronts at the same time with many different pieces. While there is a slightly higher cost in this approach, the level of success is in direct proportion to the efforts. Just look at McDonalds marketing. They are always offering different specials in conjunction with different offers. Their ads are targeted to mothers, fathers, children, families, and eaters of all ages. They have built their name -- McDonalds as a standard for they type of service they provide. They always have the golden arches as their main logo in everything they do. They also use Ronald McDonald, and all the other characters, as another marketing and positioning element. Let’s talk about designing your own marketing materials! First, make sure that you have done the invaluable research when you were deciding on being in business and then developing your business and marketing plan after you decided that this is what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. Asking potential customers what they see as missing services or products and why will give you much of the wording you can use to help positioning. Remember the old statement, "What this country need is a good five-cent cigar!" This became a positioning statement for many stores who advertised their cigars as a ’Great five-cent cigar!" Listen to what people are asking for and position yourself as the provider of exactly that. Keep your materials simple and concise. Keep print large enough to read easily. Use three to four main points and then use bullets to quickly cover the information in each point. While there are many powerful Desk Top Publishing computer programs available to create your materials, should you? Please ask yourself if you have the required knowledge and expertise necessary to do a professional job. Do you know and understand print layout, creative design, creative writing, graphic design and material development? If not.....DON’T! I know I would not feel comfortable allowing someone to do handle my business financial accounts because they bought a copy of Quicken and they know a little about checking accounts. If you are so inclined to experiment, research every marketing and advertising piece that catches your eye and play around with putting together ideas that caught your attention. Then take these ideas and roughs to a qualified designer who makes their living at a profession they are experts in. Poorly designed materials can create a very poor image and stop you before you get started. The most important tools and information you can give to designers is a clear understanding of the image and position you want to achieve and maintain. That means really knowing everything about your market , your potential customers, the products and services you going to provide, and how you’re going to pro-actively build and maintain your marketing plan is critical to success. © Michael D. Morgan. All rights reserved. Michael D. Morgan
Morgan Success Group, Inc.
Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Trainer, and Speaking Coach
"Helping Individuals and Corporations Be Ahead By Design, Not By Default!"
Past President -- Colorado Speakers Association Web Site: www.morgansuccessgroup.com
Email: [email protected] 5234 Windgate CT., Suite "A"
Colorado Springs, CO, USA 80917
719-596-1605 ~ 1-800-873-4031 ~ FAX 719-596-0340