The Importance Of Getting Your Marketing Foundations Right

Marketing efforts are becoming more complicated and complex these days.

Changing consumer preferences, dynamic market trends, and improvements in digital technology have created new challenges for businesses and organisations.

Due to this, your marketing strategies and activities must be well thought out and thorough planning must be done so thousands of pounds or dollars aren’t wasted on marketing campaigns that deliver little or no actual results.

Above all else, business owners need to get their marketing foundations right, and have clarity on their ‘Pre-Marketing’ position. Pre-Marketing refers to core business fundamentals that every business needs to know to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and stand out from their competition. Without clarity on these, a business will always struggle to win customers and will have little choice but to compete on price (which is a dangerous downward spiral).

Getting your Pre-Marketing position right will mean your marketing activities are far more effective, delivering a far greater return on investment (ROI), and your business will establish a market-dominating position above your competitors.

Unfortunately Pre-Marketing has been overlooked and ignored by most ‘expert’ marketers who typically focus just on the two far more well-known marketing activities – strategic marketing and tactical marketing. Strategic marketing refers to the planning of your marketing campaigns, whilst tactical marketing refers to the actual methods you use to undertake your marketing campaigns, such as social media promotion, advertising, and PR.

Consider Pre-Marketing as the secret initial stage of effective marketing that goes before strategic and tactical marketing. Without it no matter how much money you spend, your marketing activities will only ever deliver limited results.

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at the five core elements of Pre-Marketing that will enable your business to flourish.

The five core elements of Pre-Marketing

1. Definition and Clarity of your Unique Selling Point (USP) - what is it that makes your business unique? What sets it apart from the competition? It is a fact that more than 99% of businesses around the world fail to promote their unique difference. Your business is unique, so show it.

2. Identify Your Value Offering - when promoting your business or introducing products or services to customers, you need to emphasise your value offering, or value stack. Your value offering is essentially elements and factors that you offer your customer above and beyond price. This could include free advice and consultations, free resources, or any other attribute or benefit that is part of your customer offering.

3. Define your Customer Benefits – how do your products or services solve customer problems? What problems do your customers have that you are resolving? The answers to these questions are your list of customer benefits. Remember a customer benefit is only really a benefit if it solves a problem for your customer.

4. Create a Business Strapline - today’s consumers search based on keywords, and an effective strapline can help to differentiate your business from your competitors. Your business strapline is the short form of words or phrase that is used to get your business's focus, expertise, or benefits across to potential customers.

5. Create your Core Business Messages - what is it about your company that you want your customers and prospects to remember? Your core business messages should be positive, value-laden, and easy to remember. When people think of a particular product or service, your business should immediately come to mind.

Once you are clear on your Pre-Marketing position, you can move on to your strategic and tactical marketing activities. But even before this, you will find that having clarity of these fundamental and essential business elements will reap rewards within your business, and not just in your externally focused activities.

You will have more clarity about your business and its unique place in the market, you will know that you focus on customer value rather than cheap prices, and you will know better than ever before who your target customers are and how to attract and engage them.

You will also be able to set more specific and targeted marketing objectives, effectively determining what you really need to achieve. If your objectives are unclear, your marketing strategies will lose direction and provide few actionable results. By setting your marketing objectives and understanding every aspect of each, you will know what to aim for and have a far better chance of reaching them.

Give your business the best chance to succeed and stop wasting money on ineffective marketing by getting your Pre-Marketing position right today.

To find out more, talk to Pre-Marketing expert Arup Biswas of Absolutely Write – The Content and Messaging Specialist for Start-ups and SMEs.