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Marketing Towards Your Strengths

» Introduction
Market to your strengths. Donít simply follow someone elseís lead. He might know business, but not necessarily know your business, or more importantly, truly know you. When it comes to marketing, you canít separate yourself from your business. If you personalize your marketing program, youíre life will be simpler, your approach will be streamlined and, youíll find, your personalized marketing machine will work much more effectively.
» Step 1
Sometimes it just seems as though we should market whenever and wherever possible, particularly during tough economic times. And now with the array of marketing venues available things can get more confusing than ever. The promotional choices seem endless including traditional advertising, direct marketing, public relations, online marketing, SEO, social mediaÖ the list just keeps growing

But donít simply make knee-jerk choices, when picking a marketing program, or building a personalized marketing machine. Remember to market to your strengths. Donít simply follow someone elseís lead. He might know business, but not necessarily know your business, or more importantly, truly know you. When it comes to marketing, you canít separate yourself from your business. You want to reach your target market and increase sales, but you also want to present yourself and your company in a specific way. You want your brand to illustrate who you are and what your company stands for.

One of the reasons, Iím such a strong advocate of traditional PR is that it is the best marketing tool available for branding your business. Nothing offers you the validation and credibility of being featured in the news. You are positioned as an expert in your field. Your product or service is presented, not as an ad or a commercial, but as a news story. But even within the PR arena, itís important that you figure out how you want to be presented, whether youíre comfortable being the spokesperson, what media you want to approach, what type of media angles you want to use, etc. Even once you pick a marketing approach, such as PR, you need to tailor it to meet your specific needs.

So, letís say that PR is part of your promotional mix, an integral element in your marketing machine, what other forms of marketing are you going to utilize? Thereís advertising, but that can get expensive, and if youíre going to give it a shot, you need to commit to giving it some time (actually you need to commit some time to any form of marketing to see if it actually works). If advertising is in your marketing mix, where are you going to advertise? What image are you going to put out there? Direct marketing is another avenue, but again, does that type of marketing truly suit your type of business? If you have a restaurant or a spa it very well could. It might not suit another business as well.

Finally, we come to the wild world of the internet. Here you have article marketing, online advertising, blogging, social media, ezines, etc. The trouble here is often it might look like youíre moving forward, where in fact, very little is happening. You could have a couple of thousand followers on Twitter, but is that converting into actual business? Also, with such approaches as article marketing or blogging, are you comfortable writing? Is that one of your strengths? On the net content is king. If you are posting information, you want to make sure that itís accurate and that it says what you want to say, how you want to say it. There are those who will write and post for you and that can often work, but make sure that you are keeping your voice and your point of view, otherwise youíre losing control of your message, which means youíre losing control of your brand.

Some people thrive online and have fun posting blogs, commenting on otherís blogs and posting on the various social media sites. Others find it intrusive and intimidating. If you are one of the latter, that doesnít mean you should avoid blogging or social media, but that you should either have someone do it for you who you can carefully supervise, or that you should come up with a system that takes no more than an hour a day. So although social media is the buzz-of-the-day maybe youíre someone who hates the net, but loves the phone. Cold calling could still be your most valuable marketing tool. This entire marketing puzzle is best solved by focusing on your strengths. Yes, there will be marketing arenas youíll be leaving out, but thatís okay. Your life will be simpler, your approach will be streamlined and, youíll find, your personalized marketing machine will work much more effectively.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2009

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