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Narrow your focus related to your prospect pool. This may sound like an odd statement from a marketer – especially when you want to increase your prospects and, thus, win more business. Let me explain. The more refined your prospect group is, the better. You will be able to deliver content and messages to the audience that cares about them. Broad generalizations won’t resonate with this group. If you have a broad target group, you normally can’t speak too specifically for risk of alienating one segment or another. Yet, if you knew that one group was actually going to be in greater need of your services than another, you could design your message specifically for that niche. And that, my friends, is exactly what you should do.

Here’s an example. What do you answer when asked, ”Who is your ideal client?” The answer should not be ”Middle-market sized businesses” or ”Anyone needing X.” Before giving an answer, you need to do thorough analysis, set goals, and think about who you are really targeting. You also need to know what they need, their pain points, their business cycle and knowledge about how they make decisions. You need to know how to listen, and what you would really want them to know or consider.

If you don’t know how to answer, begin with your current clients as a starting point. Analyze them. Who are they? Why are they using you? What do they spend with you? How often? What is the average sale or fee? Can they be categorized in some other way? Start with one set of data and keep filtering it for meaningful information. Set goals for future clients, too. Plan. Strategize. Analyze any web analytics that are available to you. Your analysis will glean golden nuggets of marketing information. It may show you, for example, that the majority of your most profitable clients are all within a 10-mile radius of you. Guess what? Now you know WHERE to target. Or, by studying the findings you might discover that a certain percent of your clients are referrals from three specific sources. You may also discover trends from on-line information such as an increase in requests for more information on a niche product or service of yours.

Your analysis could yield a lot of powerful information that will help you refine how you serve existing clients and help you strategically set marketing goals for your organization. Knowing your existing clients can help you refine your target audience,which will enable you to truly speak to their pain points, drive deeper into why they may benefit from your services, and focus your efforts where they matter most. Smart marketing starts with smart analysis.

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When I meet with business owners, many start by confiding that they are behind in ”getting out there,” are tardy in communicating with prospects, or are caught up in the latest big deal. That’s actually good to hear, because it means business has been good – which is excellent! It is also a positive statement because it shows that their head is into the marketing game of their business already. That’s a very good sign, indeed. So, how do you begin when you feel like you’re behind?

• Start getting motivated today
• Start with what you know you can manage
• Start dreaming
• Start to conduct an analysis
• Start with a strategy in mind
• Start to create a plan
• Make a commitment to marketing that you know you can keep

Creating a robust, integrated marketing plan will not suit you if you and your internal resources are not able to manage it. Have a purpose. Develop a plan around that purpose. Execute on that effort. Analyze the result. Begin again. Remember that this process can be done on any scale. Don’t kick yourself – instead, kick-start your marketing, and start doing it today!

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What does the current state of your marketing affairs mean for your business? Do you serve clients one way, but your website speaks to something else? Does your brand truly reflect your business essence? Do you understand how you win new business and why clients stay with you? Are you happy with your pipeline? Even the best custom-made shirt won’t look and feel good if it’s not pressed properly. What will happen if you iron out the wrinkles in your marketing plan?

Marketing is not accidental. There are key components that determine why you win business and why clients stay with you. Each aspect of a coordinated plan stands on its own, but coordinates with the others; the sum is worth more than the parts. Let’s look at one example, more than once, business executives have told me that they don’t need a brochure. It’s fine for them to have that opinion, but consider this: a brochure extends your time with your prospect. It is a tool that precedes you and also follows you. The same is true for other tactics and tools. They work to leave a lasting impression on the capabilities of your firm. You’ve invested so much into your business; the marketing effort is worth it. So, go ahead and press that shirt, Chouette Marketing can be your starch.