5 marketing principles for entrepreneurs

“I don't have funds to invest in marketing, the product is not promoted, so I don't have enough sales, and the circle closes with me still not having funds." - does that sound familiar? The good news is that there are marketing techniques you can apply to gain traction.

1. Know your audience  

That is, find out what your customer's profile is, their habits, in as much detail as possible, because all these things dictate the marketing tactics you will use and their effectiveness.   

You need to know who your ideal customer, for whom your product or service solves a problem, is and what their journey from need to purchase looks like. Here are some questions to help you define this profile:   

  • What are the problems and challenges they have with my type of product / service?  

  • Where do they spend their online time in communities of people with the same preferences / needs / problems?  

  • What do they post on those channels? What kind of language do they use?  

  • How do they purchase similar products / services? Where do they look for the same kind of solutions that your product / service offers?  

  • Where do they get their information from?  

  • Who do you look up to in the industry? Who do they trust?  

  • Is there a seasonality to your type of product / service?  

  • What is the most prolific time of year for them?  

How do you identify their problems and frustrations so that you create messages that make them click?  

Document yourself using:   

  • Forums / web-sites and Q&A sections  

  • Social media groups & communities (Facebook, LinkedIn groups)  

  • Industry specific online communities  

  • Reviews on the website or in social media; Testimonials  

  • Comments in communities/forums  

  • Messages and comments to published articles, or social media posts   

  • Chats and e-mails from customer support/sales  

  • Surveys (GoogleForm, Typeform, Survey Monkey)  

2. Prepare a buyer's journey  

This is the journey the customer takes from the need awareness to the actual purchase of the product and its repeated use. The process has 3 stages that potential customers go through:   

  • Discovery - identifying the need/problem  

  • Consideration - research, documentation   

  • Decision - making a decision    

Identifying the journey stage of your prospects   

  • Keywords used in Google searches  

  • Keywords intent  

  • Organic vs. direct traffic   

  • Web-site survey (the reason for the visit)  

  • Questions on social media/support/sales  

It is important to identify what this journey looks like in the case of your business, so that you can be as present as possible in the contact points where you can offer your help.   

3. Choose the right marketing channels and prioritize them  

The choice should be made according to the effort each requires and the ability to cover them, on the one hand, and their return of investment, on the other.    

What does the process look like?   

  • Build a presence on the channels your audience uses to find solutions to its problems / needs.  

  • Contribute and make yourself known on those channels to earn their trust.  

  • Be present at every stage of the buying process.  

Channel discovery questions  

  • Which channels can connect my audience to the product as quickly as possible?  

  • Which channels fit my budgets and resources?  

  • Which channels have the least competition and increased reach to my target audience?  

  • Which channels match my expertise?  

4. Create relevant content for every stage of the buyer's journey  

If you have NO online presence and zero brand awareness, it's better to focus on top-of-funnel content, based on long-tail searches + the questions of the target audience in the exploration stage.  

If you already have an online presence and people know the brand, it's better to focus on mid and bottom-of-funnel content based on the questions in the consideration and decision stages.  

5. Pay attention to how you communicate in times of crisis   

In times of crisis, it is good to focus on the actions that are really essential and adapt to the context. It is important to ask yourself how you can ethically serve and help your target audience on the one hand, and how you can educate them on the other.  

Times of crisis are by no means times when despair and fear should be used as sales leverage. Communication in such contexts needs to be centered around empathy, the value your business brings to the market – how can we support our communities?  

Focus on what works for your type of business, the industry you operate in, based on the resources you have.  

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