The first foundational marketing initiative you must complete is market research. By determining your target audience and positioning within the competitive landscape, you can better determine the ways you can truly benefit your customers. Whether you are launching a new business or starting a new marketing initiative, creating or revisiting your business’s market research can help you better serve your customers.
When positioning your services, it’s important to promote how your services are the most convenient option for your prospective customers. Part of positioning your services as convenient is to provide simple options, pricing, and messaging. To be convenient is to simplify everything and to be able to describe your services, why your customers need your services, and how your services work concisely so anyone can understand it. This is where your messaging comes in (see Messaging under Branding section).
If you position yourself as the best and most convenient local business that offers your services, then your messaging needs to showcase that. This impacts your website, social media pages, flyers, brochures, billing statements, business cards, mailers, and all other pieces (marketing or not) that have words on them. By simplifying your prospects’ choices with easy-to-understand messages, you are more likely to reach and convert your prospects into customers. This simplicity and convenience also affects other aspects of your business and marketing efforts.
Before you can narrow down your messaging, you need to establish your positioning. This means you must first know exactly what you offer and then research what your competitors offer. These competitors will primarily be local businesses or national businesses that offer similar services as yours. When you have a few listed, review their positioning by reviewing their website, business listings, social media pages, and possibly visiting their location or speaking to people you know who have used their services before.
The purpose of this exercise is to establish where the competitors are positioning themselves in the local market. From there, perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis about at least three competitors. Take your opportunities and your competitors’ weaknesses to establish your positioning in the local market. What can you offer that your competitors can’t? What can you improve to compete with your competitors? Learn from these analyses to create a positioning statement and brand pillars, both of which will help you know what to focus on in your messaging and marketing efforts.
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