It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.
Sir Winston Churchill
This may seem like an odd quote to introduce a discussion about marketing for a home business. However, for me, it sums up the marketing concept very well.
It always worried me that people talked about “sales and marketing” as if they were part of the same thing.
I spent years at university learning about marketing mixes, market segmentation, brand positioning and other academic marketing topics. And then I spent another decade or two in the marketing industry before I came across a simple definition of the difference between sales and marketing:
“Sales is how I like to sell. Marketing is how you like to buy.”
Churchill was right. If we are to succeed with a new home-based business, we have to do what is required by our customers. If necessary, we need to learn new skills to make it what we do best.
In keeping with our quest to simplify the process of establishing a legitimate work at home business, we have developed a simple framework for developing a compelling marketing strategy.
It’s called the 5 Part Symphony (abbreviated to G.U.I.D.E.):
- Gather information. This information should cover things that help you understand the market you are considering – what are the trends? Are the larger players squeezing out the small entrepreneur or not? Are there many competitors and what are they like? Is the market growing or shrinking?
- Understand your prime prospects. The prime prospect is the person who will make you money. Many business people make the mistake of believing that their target market is “anyone who needs an XYZ”. There is always a smaller group of people who will make you more money than the masses.
- Identify your prime prospects’ needs, wants and preferences. How? Talk to them. What are their challenges? Is there an opportunity for you?
- Design your product or service as a tailored solution. If it is seen as just what the prime prospect is looking for, you have a winner.
- Engage and call to action. Developing an innovative solution without communicating its benefits effectively is like winking in the dark – you know you are doing it, but nobody else does! Interact with your prime prospects and inform and persuade that your solution is what they like to buy.
In the detailed pages in this section we will go into more detail about differentiating your product or service, the marketing mix, brand building and networking.