What Will Answering These Four Questions Reveal About Your Business?
Say you’re a small- to medium-sized business owner who’s looking to grow your company. You’d do well to ask yourself four key questions before moving forward, says former big-brand marketing executive-turned-writer Gerry O’Brion. These questions have to do with positioning your company in such a way that it is distinct from your competitors.
Indeed, all successful businesses have this in common: They have found a way to be different from their competition in a way customers value, O’Brion notes. And because our lives are packed with choices, he says, “it’s more important than ever to give customers a reason to choose you.”
That’s where the four questions come into play. O’Brion suggests reviewing your answers annually, though we here at Brandsplat think anytime you’re dreaming up a new service or product is a good time to check in and ask them again.
Question #1: Who is your target?
Sorry, but “everyone” is the wrong answer. Your target audience should be made up of your most profitable customers, those who purchase from you most frequently and those whom you enjoy serving. This group also likely comprises those customers who readily recommend you to others and tend to be underserved by your competition, he notes.
Question #2: What does your target need or want?
Remember, you’re marketing a solution to your target audience’s needs. Sometimes, those needs are easy to understand and define: My feet are cold on winter mornings. I need slippers. The most important aspect of the slippers I’m looking to purchase is that they keep my feet warm. Other times, they’re less so: I suspect I’ve been the target of investment fraud but I’m not sure, and I don’t know where to turn for help. The most important aspect of the service I’m looking to purchase could be knowledge, empathy or even direction. By understanding your target audience’s needs and wants and matching them to your offerings while keeping an eye on what you deliver better than your competition, you can further drill down into the matching game that is marketing. That brings us to the next question…
Question #3: What is your unique benefit?
O’Brion suggests that companies create a list of the benefits they provide for their customers. Start by listing which needs and wants you fulfill for your customers, and then narrow it to which of these are things that you provide but your competition doesn’t. “Many times, companies are providing unique benefits that they’re not even telling the customers about,” O’Brion says. “The best companies choose just one thing that sets them apart from competition. Then they focus solely on that message.”
Question #4: Why should they believe you?
Finally, you must give your audience a reason to choose you over your competitors, O’Brion says. If they’re switching products, give them permission to change their habits by reinforcing why your product is a better choice for them. If they’re choosing your service over another, give them a reason to feel confident that they’re making the best choice. He points to Papa John’s promise of “better pizza” because they use “better ingredients” and Progressive’s promise of low prices because they present competitor quotes right on their site and let you compare.
Once you’ve answered these four questions, you essentially have your marketing message. Now it’s time to let us use it! We’re professional content strategists who can handle the blogging and social media promotion your business needs to grow. Sure, there are lots of content marketers out there. But our unique benefit comes from our knowledge of what works on the ground when it comes to content strategy. We know it’s different for every client, and we know it changes over time. That’s why we pay close attention to getting you the results you need rather than employing a one-strategy-fits-all method. So when you’re ready to have YOUR business promoted to YOUR target audience in a way which emphasizes YOUR unique value proposition, drop us a line.