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Why the best marketing tactics may have failed you up until now

By: Kathy Hendershot at Virtual Impax

Submitted on Fri, Nov 17th, 2006 12:00 am

Ever wonder why some marketing tactics work for some businesses but not others?

Maybe you heard about a business that paints their company's domain name on the top of their delivery trucks and increased online sales by 25% in a single quarter. However, when you try the same tactic, your sales remain flat.

The reason most marketing tactics fail is that they are not part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. A comprehensive marketing strategy helps you to choose which tactics will work best for promoting your business.

Why do you need a marketing strategy? Well, launching a web site without a marketing strategy is kind of like standing in the middle of a field with your rifle in your hand. If you don't have a marketing strategy, you'll be shooting at every leaf that the wind picks up.

Your marketing strategy will help you to decide whether you should be shooting at rabbits or deer. Not only will your marketing strategy help you to define your target, it will help you hit that target when you raise your rifle to your shoulder and take aim.

If you have never shot a rifle before, you need to know that the sight on a rifle will determine whether you hit your target. If the sight is merely a millimeter out of alignment, even though you have properly lined up the sight with the target, you will end up shooting above, below or to either side of the target. Even if your shooting mechanics are flawless, a rifle with a sight that is out of alignment will prevent you from hitting your target.

When your marketing strategy meets the rifle with the properly aligned sight, you will find your shooting accuracy will improve dramatically.

Developing powerful marketing strategies

STEP ONE - Research, research research
This is where you find out what you do not know. The more you know, the better your marketing strategy will be.

Find out all you can about:
- Your customers
- Your competitors

A frequently often overlooked "competitor" is the ever present "Do nothing". Doing nothing is always an option. Frequently, it's the service professional's strongest competitor. Never underestimate the power of doing nothing as your most fierce competitor.

STEP TWO - Determine the problems your customer has and the solutions you offer.

Everyone has problems. Marketing is merely the act of bringing your solutions before the people who need it most and are ready, willing and able to pay for it.

Once you know everything about your customer, you already know the solutions he or she is seeking.

STEP THREE - Determine the emotional triggers that will ignite your sales.

The act of buying is a complex and emotional decision. The reason your customer is making a purchase is not always readily apparent. While you may be selling candles, your customers may be buying:

- Emergency lighting
- Aroma therapy
- Ambiance

Find out why your customers are buying and you will be on your way to marketing success.

STEP FOUR - Creating a strategy that results in Breakthrough Performance

Now it is time to take the information gathered in the first three steps to create a precise marketing strategy. With this information, you can now see what role your web site will play in your marketing strategy.

With this information in mind, your web site will be built with performance in mind.

About the Author

Kathy Hendershot
Virtual Impax
Kathy Hendershot-Hurd is a Small Business Internet Consultant. She launched her web development firm Virtual Impax (http://www.virtualimpax.com) in 1998. She is the author of "Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results." Find out more about Niche Marketing at http://www.findmyniche.com

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