What Market Are You In?
Sometimes it can seem obvious and other times it can be quite hard to determine, but the market you decide to sell in can make a massive difference to your success. You might think that you don’t have a lot of choice. Whatever you have chosen to sell will determine your market status. But that’s simply not the case. And the more creative you are with your thinking, the better the results could be.
Whether you know me or not, if you’re reading this blog, you know I work in marketing. But what is marketing? Most people believe that marketing is about promotion. However, that isn’t strictly true. One part of marketing is about promotion. Marketing also looks at a whole raft of other things. Marketing is ultimately about connecting a company to a customer, and it needs to take care of every aspect of that journey, including product, price, place and promotion.
So if we now know that to be the case, when I sell myself as a Marketing Consultant, what market am I in? Who am I competing against? The truth is it could be a whole load of different people. For starters, I could compete against other Marketing Consultants, Marketing Agencies, in-house marketers or marketing specialists. But if I look at the fact that what I actually do is help businesses to grow, in that market I also compete against Business Coaches. In fact, the more I look at who I am and what I do, the more competitors I could start to find.
Locating Your Market
Ultimately, I am always going to be helping a business with their marketing. I don’t know how to do anything else, and I’m good at marketing. Why would I want to pretend to do anything else? But who I choose to aim that at, the value that I decide to offer and who I decide to compete against is all open to me. There are probably hundreds of different options available. What I need to do is understand the options and then make the wisest decision. I need to work out which market will allow me to have the strongest voice and the strongest chance of success.
Look at supermarkets. All of them sell groceries. Fundamentally, every single supermarket sells food, drink and home products for people to be able to function on a day to day basis. Yet if they all decided just to focus on this, it would make it very hard to compete. So each of them have found a little marker in the sand where they can sit and be different.
If I were to say Aldi, Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys or Waitrose, you’d have a pre-conceived idea of the experience you’d get at those shops and the price you’d pay. You will also have an idea of the types of products you’ll get at each of these stores.
So how can you take this and transfer it into your own marketing to find more success?
What Do You Do?
The first question to ask yourself is what you actually do. Don’t list the products or services you sell, work out what value that offers. Remember, I don’t do marketing, I help businesses to grow. Coca-Cola doesn’t sell soft drinks, it refreshes people. Persil doesn’t sell washing tablets, it ensures we have clean clothes.
So what is it that you do?
Then work out why you do it. What is that purpose behind what you do, and what makes you different and special? Don’t worry about a list of USPs. Think about who you are and why. It’s deeper and more important than a list of USPs.
Now consider who your competitors are. And I don’t mean look at the people who do the same thing as you. Remember me. I don’t just need to look at marketing people. If my purpose is to help businesses grow, I need to look at all the other companies out there who help businesses grow. They are my competition.
Who, in reality, is your greatest threat? And is there a way you could twist what you do to find a sweet spot where you could really shine?
Let’s look at banking as an example. A bank is a place where you can keep your money. That’s about it. But they don’t compete on that. They compete on their service, whether they’re good for businesses or individuals, whether they are new age or traditional, your experience when using them, and how much you trust them. The reality is, they’re there to help you keep your money somewhere safe, but they build these whole environments around that to try to compete.
When you’ve looked at the competitors that you think are your greatest threat, are you sure you want to be in that market? Could you realign your messages to fit into a market that is more open to opportunity? Could you tweak your products or services so that they really stand out in a place that no one else is yet to star in?
Sometimes a tiny bit of creative thinking can change the entire outlook. You could reach more people and resonate with them on a whole new level just by pointing in a slightly different direction.
If your marketing isn’t rendering the results you’d like, maybe it’s time to stop and re-evaluate the market you’re in and the way you’ve chosen to present yourself. Some simple tweaks could cause waves.
At Lindsay Woodward Marketing, we love to help people re-align their thinking. If you’d like to have a chat about how we could help you re-focus your marketing and find your perfect market, don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free exploratory meeting.