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Weekly Internet Promotion Articles

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Vol. 1 issue #42  Dec 17, 2002

 

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Building a Solid Foundation for Marketing Success
 2002  by Cavyl Stewart


It's a burning question.  One asked by every online business owner (and would-be business owner) on a regular basis.  Yet, there seems to be no defined answer.  Depending on whom you ask, you're likely to get a flurry of different - and often conflicting - answers.  What's the question?  "How do I effectively market my online business?"


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While the actual methods may vary, there are certain fundamental things that simply must be in place before any marketing attempts will be successful.  So before you begin spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, take a moment to be sure your marketing foundation is solid.

Know Your Target Audience

This is the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts.  It is also, without a doubt, the one fatal mistake most marketers make. Rather than taking the time to prepare an in-depth outline of their preferred customers, they guess.  This generally results in a target audience definition that reads something like this: "Anybody who wants to accept payments online."  That is simply too vague and will inevitably result in a giant waste of both
your money and time when it comes to marketing effectively.
Basically, it makes for a very shaky marketing foundation.

Rather than guess. find out for sure!  Do some research, ask some questions, talk to people, and get a firm grasp on who it is you'll be selling to.  When you do, you'll be able to make qualified and accurate decisions on:

* the type of copy to write,
* the best mediums for advertising,
* what benefits your audience is most interested in,
* their preferred payment and shipping methods,
* and much more!

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Target Audience Analysis

When you analyze your target audience, you'll want to find out the answers to questions such as the ones listed below.  Fill in the blanks with your product/service or area of expertise.

* What _________ products/services do you currently buy?
* Why do you buy your current brand?
* What do you like about it?
* What could be improved?
* If you could recreate the product/service, how would you change it?
* What Web sites do you frequent?
* What ezines or newsletters do you receive via email?
* Sex?
* Age?
* Annual income?
* Occupation?
* Title?
* Are you a business owner?

Obviously, there are many more questions you could add to the list depending on your specific product or service.  This list, however, gives you a good starting point.  Once you create a list of questions, it's time to gather information.

Getting the Info

There are several ways to gather information in order to analyze your target market.  Talk with people one-on-one or in a group.
Conduct an online survey.  SurveyMonkey.com offers an excellent (and free) online survey tool.  Make use of online forums.  Place a form on your site; if visitors fill out the information, enter them in a contest to win a prize.

Use your imagination.  Find an "information collection" method that works well for you.  But don't neglect to get the details about your future customers.  A firm grasp of your target audience is the entire foundation of your marketing plan.  Be very sure yours is solid so your promotional efforts will deliver a high return!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Looking for detailed, proven information on how to effectively market your online business?  Cavyl Stewart has lots of FREE email courses at Web Biz Space University.  Choose from a variety of courses on email marketing, publicity, Web sites, and more.
Get your FREE email courses today at
http://www.webbizspace.com/Free-Email-Courses.html.

 
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