The holiday season has officially passed and it’s time to start fresh — it’s time…
Marketing strategies all start from one very important question. And, if there’s one question that can make a business owner squirm, it’s this: “What makes you the right person to buy from?” Some may respond with a quick comeback like “we’re the best” or “because we’re the cheapest.” (Although if that’s their initial response, we often have some work to do!)
But even if they have an initial answer, most business owners start to feel uncomfortable when probed further. I want to go beyond generic replies such as “We do great work” or “We’ve got incredible customer service.” I want to know the specifics.
Imagine your ideal client standing before you, and you must explain precisely why you’re the top choice for them. How would your answer differ from that of your competitors?
I’ll be the first to admit that there was a time when I struggled to answer this question myself. We offered too much, engaged in activities outside our expertise, and couldn’t clearly articulate why someone should choose us.
Many of my clients face the same struggle.
However, once we identify what sets us apart, what makes our offering unique among all the others, it becomes an easy next step to incorporate this messaging into our website, marketing materials, and sales meetings with potential clients.
This is the key to writing effective marketing strategies.
I delved into this topic extensively on the MAP IT Marketing Podcast.
If you know your ideal customer and want to demonstrate that you’re the perfect match for them, here are some questions you can ask:
What exactly are you offering me? In marketing, we often discuss features and benefits. While I’m well-versed in this concept, I find myself naturally gravitating toward discussing features (e.g., six meetings) rather than benefits (e.g., a clear and confident plan for your future). Start by de-emphasizing the features and focus on identifying the benefits that truly matter to your customers.
Marketing strategies include this: Considering how your product or service will make your ideal customer’s life easier. Is it a one-time solution? Will you help them maximise their purchase? Is there ongoing support or aftercare involved?
In what format will people receive your product or service? I’ll never forget the time I ordered a table and chair set as a newly single mother of three young children, only to receive a pile of unassembled pieces without any prior mention. I would have gladly paid extra for one that came ready to use!
What makes you the most qualified person to help me? This isn’t limited to professional qualifications alone. You can also highlight the life skills you’ve developed and the on-the-job training you’ve acquired. I often mention the diverse range of small businesses I’ve worked with, their sizes, and the scope of my experience. You might emphasise your specific skills for your target market, which others in your industry may lack.
Whatever you say, ensure it reflects your current capabilities rather than relying solely on past accomplishments or future aspirations.
We want to offer our customers genuine insights into what they can expect from us.
Why you? Avoid mentioning competitors directly—doing so rarely comes across well when explaining your unique selling proposition. However, it’s valuable to model your differences and present them as distinctive attributes.
For instance, while your competitor may work with anyone, you exclusively serve German Shepherd owners (which might seem peculiar, but who am I to judge!). Perhaps you offer a broader range of products or services than they do, or a more specialised option. Maybe you provide group offers while they only offer one-on-one sessions. You could be either the seasoned veteran or the fresh newcomer in your local market.
All these differences can be explained in ways that benefit your ideal client.
Remember to periodically reassess your points of differentiation to ensure they remain relevant. Additionally, avoid positioning yourself solely based on price.
This part of marketing strategies can be really hard to work out along. If you know you need help working all of this out – get in touch! We’ll talk and find out how we can best help you. OR… Join our map it marketing school and create your own marketing strategy, and get two hours with me one-on-one for just $148.75 NZD a month, for four months.