My ringing cell phone displayed a name from someone I met while networking. I answered “Hi Steve.”
Steve shouted, “Help Me Rhonda.”
“Rhonda, we’re ready to get going with that big marketing program. We need it all, social media, new website, blogs, radio advertising, maybe even that SEO thing. Help Me sell my stuff. When can you get started? Help sell stuff.”
“Steve, that’s great news. I’d love to help you out. So what’s the deal? What are you selling?”
“Rhonda, get this. Not only will we have the largest selection, but we’ll have it for women, for men, for kids, and even those Plus sizes that are so hot right now. And every color you can imagine. The packaging can be recycled or reused as storage containers in your kitchen or garage. We’ve even signed a deal with that boy singer from “America’s Got Talent” to endorse us. Every sales associate is a factory-certified expert, and we’ll do the same-day installation for free. You can mix and match to create literally ten thousand combinations of size and color. We’ll carry both the top end premium line and also have a whole floor devoted to bargain and previously owned models. With one urban store in the middle of town and our giant supercenter out by the airport, we simply can’t fail.”
Inc. Magazine suggests that an effective marketing plan must contain a good definition of the product – what it does, what sets it apart, and who is likely to be interested in buying it. After all, knowing the product allows you to define your target audience.
That sounds like an easy assignment until confronted with the reality of trying to figure out exactly WHAT your marketing should focus on. And your marketing should focus both on what is most important to your customers and what separates you from your competition.
Maybe you guessed from my conversation with Steve that he doesn’t know what he is selling. He wants to sell stuff. But rather than identifying what his product offers and who will want it, he has a laundry list of every possible product feature. And that won’t get you to an actionable definition of what you are selling.
Take the time to identify:
- What business are you in?
- What do you sell?
- What products will be promoted?
Read more about product definition in a marketing plan from eHow.com.