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How to Successfully Market Your Product or Service

biz_marketingNo matter how great your product or service, without a good marketing plan it is unlikely to succeed. Good marketing comprises three actions: 1.) Identifying your potential customers; 2.) Reaching your potential customers; and 3.) Convincing potential customers to buy your products and services (at which point they are "potential" no more!).

Identifying Potential Customers

How strong will your business be? Only as strong as the amount of research you put into it. That being said, the more you research your potential customers, the better chance you'll have of actually identifying them. Knowing who your customers are will allow you to target them where they live, will give you insight on how to position your products and services on the market, and may even tell you what kinds of benefits consumers desire.

There are a few ways to identify your target customers. The first way is to do the research yourself. Talk to clients, competitors, suppliers, other business people, etc. Look at the marketplace in general. Where are similar products and services situated, and who is buying them? Are your target customers male or female? What age range do they fall into?

Another way to identify your potential customers is to go through a third party, if you have the budget for that. There are many companies who are willing, for a price, to identify your potential customers for you.

Remember, you can't reach your potential customers unless you identify them first!

Reaching Your Potential Customers

Now that you know who your potential customer are, it's time to reach them. There are as many ways to do this as there are businesses, it seems! Reach your customers where they hand out and congregate. Create some great advertising copy and put it in magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals that they read. You can also try the yellow pages, radio, or television. The goal is to come up with a plan that makes potential customers sit up and listen. By following these five easy steps, you can rest assured that they will:
- Develop a single, clear message. Convoluted messages will only confuse your potential customers. Make sure they know exactly what products and services you are offering.
- Appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are a clothing company geared toward young, hip women, make sure everything from the font in your advertising to the language you use reflects that. 
- Have great pictures and graphics. Make them eye-catching and professional.
- Don't forget to ask for the sale. Most people think that the time to ask for the sale is later, after you've gotten your customer in your location. However, in most cases you want to ask for the sale in your advertising material. How do you do this? By building a sense of urgency with special deals, deadlines, and promotional discounts. 
- Make it easy for your customer to find you. Make sure you have all the pertinent contact information, including telephone number, address, email address, and web site.

Convincing Your Customers to Stick Around

Now that you've reeled them in and have hopefully convinced them that your product or service is needed by them, you need to get your customers to come back for more. With a well thought-out plan, this is easier than it sounds!
- Keep a list. Don't just let your customers buy your product and service and walk out the door. A good customer list can be one of your business's most valuable assets, so be sure to keep track of your customers. 
- Make use of the list! Send your customers and email blast now and then reminding them that you are around, and how you can meet their needs. Be sure to let them know of any special deals, incentive programs, or customer appreciation bargains that may be coming up. 
- Give something away for nothing. Do a monthly newsletter, either online or in print form, that gives your customers lots of good information for free. Not only will your customers appreciate getting something for nothing, but they'll be sure to think of you next time they need a product or service that you sell. A newsletter full of good information also gives you credibility.
- Promote, promote, promote! Include useful things like magnets, calendars, or rulers with your company logo and name on it with your customer's purchase. Try and think of something your customers use frequently.

Remember, your customers are key to the success of your business. Know who they are, reel them in, and keep them coming back for more!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Repair Site, part of Localwin Network.
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