Thursday, November 16, 2006

Is Marketing your Achilles Heel?

I was negligent in not posting a link to my controversial column on entrepreneurial marketing in the October issue of PROFIT Magazine.
You can read the column here, but the core point lies in the following paragraphs:

  • "Early in my new content-marketing career, I discovered how hard it is to separate individual marketing initiatives from the big picture. Brought in to help firms do something simple, such as write a press release or update a website, I would ask a few positioning questions to ensure I understood the market and the message. Questions like: Who is your target audience? What do they expect from you? What do you want to sell them?
  • "Not only could many companies not answer those questions, I discovered they had been unconsciously avoiding them. Understanding customers—not to mention ourselves—is a tricky business that takes time, effort and thinking. Putting aside the daily busywork to recalibrate and refocus not only seems wasteful, it might expose competing points of view, lack of focus or a failure to keep pace with the market."

The column concludes by urging entrepreneurs to consciously review their own positioning efforts. Ask questions such as these:

  • Who is your market? How has it changed since you last asked this question?
    » Why do customers buy from you?
    » What's the highest-value product or service you can sell to them? And what do they really want to buy from you?
    » Who else needs and wants the products or solutions you're selling? How can you engage them?

Agree? Disagree? Want to explore this further?

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here. Or you can click on Comments, below, and get a dialogue going with your fellow entrepreneurs.

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