Survival Strategies for Small Direct Marketers, Part 1 (1,202)
Do you really understand the business you're in? Many small, and especially new, direct marketers don't have a strong sense of who they are or what role they fill in the marketplace. Knowing your identity includes understanding:
- What it is you're selling. What market do you serve?
- What your position is in the competitive marketplace—your strengths and weaknesses and the true niche you occupy.
- Whether you're using an effective way to communicate your brand to the audience.
- Your product or niche limitations and opportunities.
- How your customers view your business.
Without understanding who you are, it's difficult to set a stage for growth. If you don't understand who you are, how can you appropriately introduce yourself to prospects? Or, even more importantly, how can you be recognized by existing customers?
While we've only stated five pitfalls, the implications are far-reaching. If you have a plan, put the systems in place, bring in the right people, manage your data and understand the roles you play and needs you fulfill in the marketplace, you will have established a firm foundation for growth.
Stay tuned! Next month we'll take a closer look at the pitfalls and how they relate to the core competencies of operations, marketing, merchandising and creative.
Lois Boyle is president of J. Schmid & Associates, Shawnee Mission, KS. You can reach her by e-mail at email@example.com.
Steve Trollinger is senior vice president of client marketing of J. Schmid & Associates. He can be reached at (913) 236-8988, or firstname.lastname@example.org.