Five Questions to Ask Before Promoting Any Product or Service

We have written a lot about planning. Whether it’s setting your overall marketing strategy or simply creating a plan for growing your audience on Twitter, you are always better off by taking the time to plan strategically before you begin.

Today, we’re going to apply this concept specifically to the process of promoting any single product or service that you may offer. Below are five key questions that you need to answer before you begin. Think of this as a checklist to use before you launch a new campaign.

Who is the product/service intended for? What is your target market? Does this target market for this particular product or service differ from your “normal” target? If so, your normal marketing approach may not work. Create a brief profile of your ideal customer. (Gender, ethnicity, economic status, affiliations, behavioral patterns, physical location, etc.)

What are the specific benefits of your product/service to your target market? What are the key benefits of your product or service? Remember that the benefits are different than the specifications. Specifications tell what you do… benefits are why you do it. Example – a financial planner may select mutual funds for you, manage your IRA, help you diversify your portfolio… but the benefit is the secure and comfortable financial future they help you create. A tax attorney may file litigation, represent clients in court, etc… but the benefit is FREEDOM from the IRS. Highlight the benefits that most appeal to your target market.

What differentiates your product/service from others in the market? Is your product/service “one of a kind” in your market? Unlikely. So what makes your product or service superior to the competition? Why should your customers do business with you instead of someone else? The essence of this question is… how can you communicate that yourproduct/service offers superior value to everything else on the market? Remember that you must answer this question specifically for your target audience. (If your audience isn’t very price sensitive, for instance, offering a low price isn’t going to resonate well. Your sophistication and your years of experience, on the other hand, may be key selling points. The key is to understand what your market is looking for.)

What are the best channels to reach your target audience? There are many channels to choose from… from social media to the newspaper to advertising on TV. Which channel (or channels) are going to be the most effective for this particular campaign? Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box.

How can you motivate your audience to take action NOW? It doesn’t do you any good to pique the interest of your audience or get them mildly interested in what you’re offering if they don’t take action. Experts suggest that the human brain registers anywhere from 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day. So if your prospect doesn’t take action when they’re thinking of you, it’s unlikely that they’re going to spontaneously remember at a later date. Whether it’s picking up the phone to call you, physically walking into your store, filling out a contact form on your website, following you on Twitter, or whatever—it’s your job to give them the motivation to take action. Create a sense of urgency by making your offer time sensitive. Convey exclusivity. Convince your audience that they are being left behind. Appeal to their wildest hopes. Or their fears. However you approach it… motivate them to take action now!

It’s far better to take the time and address these questions before you begin… otherwise, you may find yourself answering them in the context of “what went wrong?” after it’s too late.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!