And When the “Dark Cloud” Lifts…

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And When the “Dark Cloud” Lifts…

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Although we may choose not to hear it, during the process of returning to a sense of normalcy, we may find things a lot different than we knew them to be before the Pandemic invaded.  Many of the industries we were part of, have disappeared. Some of us need to acquire new skills to enter new fields. We may even have to accept giving up what was familiar for totally new concepts and new horizons. We experienced family members and others we knew taken from us too early. Likewise, our experiences with simple things like shopping, eating out, and entertainment all will be different.

And what about marketing? Can we use the same methods to promote products and services in the future as we used in the past? Or have a lot of these approaches changed to meet new business and technology challenges? The answer is some have changed. For example, social media has been successful in reaching many people who have been “locked down”. Digital marketing, i.e. e-newsletters, e-mail and content marketing, etc. also have experienced some success.

Simply put, there are two elements to making marketing work. The first step in trying to “sell” something is to get the potential target’s attention. If you can make an informative presentation that is of interest to them, they will pay attention to you. A simple survey of the target audience or present customers may reveal what aspects of your product or service they are interested in. By segmenting the total audience to those whose interest is in your product or service, you stand a better chance of capturing their attention. One note of caution; as happens sometimes with focus groups, some of the participants will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than giving you their opinion.

Whenever we have conducted such a mini survey, a “common denominator” usually appears, that is, a similar answer shows up many times. Although it is not a panacea, it may be a good place to start.

The second and most important part of effective marketing is content. Talking about areas of interest to your potential market will grab their attention and they will listen to you. Your presentation must be honest, easy to understand, and promote the benefits to the potential buyer. Benefits usually win the day. Hopefully, the result will be a sale.  As simplistic as all this sounds, it must include market and competitive research.

Some questions that need to be answered might include:

  • Is the market for the specific product or service expanding, decreasing or static?
  • How many other companies offering the same products or services are competing with you?
  • Are they very large or about equal in sizeto you?
  • How much of the market share do they presently have?
  • Do you have adequate funding to compete with them?
  • Are your goals realistic?

Remember, many very successful products available today did not exist a few years ago. They either replaced existing types of products or created new markets. Once you have developed a promotional campaign, test it with different groups and in different geographical areas. This gives you the opportunity to “tweak” any part of it in a relatively small area before committing to a full fledged national or international roll out.

Also, follow up with companies who have purchased from you. Solicit their opinions on your customer service, your ability to get the product to them on time, and how good or beneficial the product or service was. This will help to strengthen your future marketing efforts.

Franklin Cooper © 2021