Marketing in a Local Economy (Part 1)
This article was contributed by Patrick Kennedy, VP, Superior Woodcraft, Inc. More of Patrick’s writings can be found here. What is your current marketing plan? What steps have you taken to adapt your marketing plan with the economy?
Marketing in a Tough Economy
The craftsman side of me isn’t interested in boring business details. Being introverted I am even less interested in selling and marketing. The truth is that you can create the finest product in the world, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows that fact. When you are an unknown, your skills, talents and projects remain secret. Worse yet, sales are non-existent. Don’t allow your talents to remain a secret to the world. Let’s take a deep breath and talk about business; specifically marketing in a tough economy.
What are you marketing?
Marketing is simply the process by which you create customer interest in your goods or services. Now get some paper, a pencil and an eraser. It is best to put the following information in writing as it will help you create your plan. First you need to define what goods or services you are selling. What are the attributes of your goods or services? The answer might not seem as obvious. For example, my company, Superior Woodcraft, makes custom made cabinetry – simple. But is that what our clients are purchasing? A closer look reveals that Superior Woodcraft brings utility, beauty and harmony into our clients’ homes and lives. Superior Woodcraft improves the lives of our clients, we just happen to do this through custom made cabinetry. What are the real reasons your clients purchase your products? The answer to that question is what you will be marketing to potential clients. Next, think about your potential customers. Where do they live and work? What is the profile of your potential customers? Write it down.
Spreading the word
So far we have defined the goods and services you provide and identified your client base. Next, we need to define the process or plan that will create interest in your goods. I call this, “spreading the word”. How can you spread the word about your fine products and services? Sure, you can take out an ad in a magazine for several thousands of dollars for one edition, but most of us don’t have that type of budget. No worries, you don’t need much of a budget to implement an effective marketing plan.
Your marketing plan is an evolving process
Let’s get one thing straight right now. You will experience failures with your initial plan. That’s okay. Fail often, fail quickly and fail cheaply. In the end you will have created a better plan. It’s no different than that very first project you made. I’ll bet it wasn’t your best work, but you kept moving forward and improving your skills. Now you create works of art. The same process is involved here. Keep working and revising the plan, because it is a never ending process.
Coming up on Thursday, Patrick breaks down specific actionable steps for establishing a marketing plan from his personal experiences.