It’s no good having a great USP if you don’t know much about your potential clients. Being the cheapest printer in the area might not matter if your prospects are well-off professionals: they may go for the printer who goes for a mix of quality and speed, for instance.
So, for a good marketing campaign, you need to know what your customers are like, what they like about you (this is where your USP will come in), what will be the most effective methods to bring them in, how you can contact your customers and prospects, the ways you can influence their buying, and lastly, how you can take control of all the processes involved.
In fact, ‘Think P’. Look at what’s important to you and your clients and decide which parts to concentrate on:
Positioning (For example, do you want to be known as the only lady plumber in the area, or the person to go to if the Inland Revenue is about to investigate you?)
Place (For example, do you want to sell from premises, a stall or online?)
Products (For example, what lines sell best or hardly at all? Which offer the best ROI? How do you package them? Is the image consistent?)
Price (For example, how much does it cost you to get a customer? Do they stay with you one month, one year, for always? How much are they worth to you over this period? What discounts can you offer? Will they incur any costs by moving across to you and can you offset these costs for them? Can you offer ‘free’ post and packing and include these costs in your price, yet still offer good value?)
Process (For example, do you make the whole process from seeing your product to buying it, to keeping them informed and giving follow up, consistent? Do you staff? It’s all marketing. Try the whole buying process out, from start to finish, for yourself, and get a ten-year-old to do it too.)
Promotion (For example, how do you promote yourself and your products or services, and how do you carry on promoting yourself even when you’re handing over an invoice?)
People (For example, how well are your staff trained? Do they put across a good and consistent marketing message? Do they know what to do when unusual things happen? How do they come across to the public?)
Presence (For example, it’s not only your staff that makes a difference to sales, it’s your vans, shop fronts, etc, that also matter.
Purpose (For example, what do you want your prospects to do when they land on your web page or visit your store?)
So, what are your Ps? Let your own ideas spill out – and then ask your staff, clients and prospects what they think too.