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You’re already aware that at the heart of every successful business is a creative team and marketing strategy. Without marketing your product or service it is near impossible to attract potential customers. Your offer must be known by potential customers to give them the opportunity to learn about your benefits and become an actual paying customer. When embarking on this journey, it's useful to ask some basic questions to help guide the planning process.
What does your business actually do now? And what does it intend to do in the near future?
Getting to grips with this first question can be surprisingly tricky for some clients. The answers here will help support the design and research decisions we need to make through the planning and implementation process.
What do you want to accomplish with the new site or campaign?
Another way to phrase this is to ask if you understand the primary goal of the project and how success is going to be measured. There are many supporting outcomes that can be targeted including; increased sales, greater visibility, wider customer reach, increased volumes, educating your audience, encouraging social interactions, and so on. We need to work together to understand the central themes and targets. We will build out the project from that foundation.
How do you want the site or campaign to differ from what you’re already doing?
Nothing happens in isolation. You’re already doing numerous activities that need to work in harmony with the new creative elements. Are we complementing something that already exists or are we working on territory not currently covered by the business now? Alongside these questions you need to understand what is working for you now, and how and why that should be changed (if at all).
What makes your company special?
Usually a difficult one to answer. You need to be able to articulate what makes your business either unique or better than your core competition. Fundamentally, when promoting any product or service, we’ll need to understand why your customers should choose you, and then help them make that decision. Your answer may be one stand out point, such as price or speed to deliver. It could also be a number of contributing benefits, such as customer service, warranties, and re-sale consultation.
Do you know and understand your competition?
It’s easy to assume a quick ‘yes’ to this. Even if you think this is you, spend some time researching the competition. You may well know them from an ‘insiders’ perspective, but do you know them from a potential customers’ perspective? These are often very different. Put yourself in the mind of the buyer and ask how your competition operates.
What have you seen that you know you like?
There’s usually a compromise somewhere down the line here, budgets come in to play. However, a great place to start is to have an appreciation of what has worked in the past or for related sectors, and start from there. Another way to approach this is to consider what you don’t like or think doesn’t represent your vision and message.
Do you know the pleasures or pains of your customers?
People buy for their reasons, not yours. We can all sometimes fall into the trap of assuming we know why our customers are buying. Genuine customer and market research helps get to the bottom of what you’re offering vs. what is wanted in the market.
These questions are a good starting point, but we strongly suggest you continue to dig deeper into this area. You need to find out what is wanted in the market and why it is wanted. This will help create and deliver a website and marketing campaign that truly resonates with your target audience, rather than simply passing them by.