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How to Start Your Marketing Plan – Part 1: Know your audience!
Know your audience!

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I really can’t emphasize this enough… KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

You have a business – a GREAT business, a fabulous product and the most amazing idea that everyone will totally love – so what now? How do you get that amazing “Cool Thing” in front of the eyes of the amazing, cool people who will want it?

You need a plan… a solid strategy and an actionable plan for the marketing of your amazing “cool thing”!

Well, we know what our “Cool Thing” is. We worked hard on our “Cool Thing’sbusiness model. We filled in all the spaces… dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. We know our value proposition, target customer segments, distribution channels, core capabilities, cost structure and how we will make our profit. But, how will we market our “Cool Thing” over the course of time? What steps will we take? What is the best way to get to the word out… and even more importantly, get the money in?

Who is your audience?

We need to really figure out our customer (typically begun in the business model) and understand what their need is and where we fill the void.

Ask yourself:

  • Do we have different types of customers? If so, who are they?
  • What do our customers want and need?
  • What are their challenges?
  • What will we give them to solve their problems or fill their desires?
  • Why will we matter to our customers?
  • Why do they need us or more importantly “want” us?
  • What is our true value proposition?
  • What is it that makes us special to our customer?

  • Now we have to find out how to reach them. How do we get to each of these potential customers and really talk to them? Remember, we need to have a conversation with them about how we will solve their problems… how we help make their lives better. We need to know each specific segment of our customer to understand where to speak with them and just as importantly, “how” to speak with them.

    We should know the basics from the research we have already done in the business model and have made some assumptions based on our own knowledge, but we need to flesh it out further and really find out how to reach our customer.

    They won’t magically find us. We need to find them. Be wherever they are!

    So, now ask yourself:

  • Where do our customers go?
  • What are their interests?
  • How do they typically find what they need?
  • What are they searching for?
  • How do our customers search for and get information?
  • How can we be there at every possible consumer touch-point?
  • Where is the lowest hanging fruit that will cost us the least in money, time and upkeep to start?

  • Create some personas if you can. Marketo has a good “persona cheat sheet” for you to get started. It pretty much relies on you conducting actual interviews, but to be fair… that is really a good place to start.

    You can also check out this nice little persona recipe from the UX Lady. It’s a bit more user friendly than Marketo’s and it really gets into the heart of your customer as well.

    You have to do your research to make the magic happen. Don’t rely just on your gut because a lot of time the ego will get in the way and you can easily make incorrect assumptions not based in fact. It’s not about YOU it’s about THEM! Keep that in mind!

    Start with asking WHY! And then ask WHO!

    Let’s get busy on that for this week. Next week we move on to “Part 2: The Dreaded Marketing Objectives”.

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