Value First Marketing
The Baker’s Dozen
A long an honored tradition in retail baking is to “add one more” whenever someone ordered a dozen. Thirteen for twelve, not bad. Before the advent of hyper marketing, it might be the only value proposition one would need. Not anymore.
Today consuming markets are a lot more demanding. The pace and volume of market “noise” has increased exponentially from just a few short years ago. The evolution of media outlets and the price transparency afforded by the Internet has dramatically increased the competitive landscape. So how do you successfully position your business?
Start With The Basics
Don’t even think of marketing, promotion and sales if what your company offers is not valued by more than you, or valued by only a few, like your mom and your dog. Are you creating value equal or greater than the price you are asking? And, if so, how would you measure that? Is your answer plausible to an anonymous buyer?
If you wish to escape the tough world of competing on price only, then the word value must be thought through carefully. Value can be anything from a serious return on investment to a hilarious surprise gift. Think about that when you buy that wild and crazy birthday card for a dear friend. It’s the PERFECT card that you paid $6.50 for. Lots of money for a birthday card, but the buyer judges that the content and presentation is worth every penny.
Once you’ve identified convincing value it will be easy to craft the words (written or spoken) or create an event or a video to communicate the value. But who should you communicate with? Hint: “Everyone” is the wrong answer. Challenge yourself to ask and then rank the answers to, “who is likely to understand, need or want and agree the value of your offering?” It may be one or more demographic groups and if so, you’d be well advised to tailor your messaging to maximize your impact with each group.
Oh, and that leads me to that dreaded word, “marketing.” Ya know, that thing you spend money on to get known, trusted and liked. That thing that threatens cash flow because it gets spent before you realize any revenues from sales. Be careful here. The “Logo,” the “Brand,” the “Website,” the “Facebook Page” are useless without the basics:
- Knowing the value of your offering
- Identifying the most likely buyer demographics
- Communicating the value – right message to right audience
So hold off launching your marketing campaign until you have some objective feedback about the value of your offering.
Don’t Rush To Market. Test!
Test your idea’s value FIRST with friends and family and then with some willing strangers. Select and divide your would-be buyers into the demographic groups you identified earlier. Don’t assume that your demographic analysis is correct. Ask if they can think of a better one or an additional one.
Squeeze their imaginations. Ask which of their friends and family would buy or reject your offer and why. Take their feedback. If they confirm the value you think you have, ask what they would do to improve your offer. Don’t leave anything on the table. Ask them why they would not buy your offer.
The testing just discussed yields specific and actionable market intelligence. Work through what you’ve heard to sift the valid from the invalid, the unique points of view from the redundant ones and revise your offer accordingly. Time and energy permitting, you may choose to retest after your revision.
Prove Your Offer “Has Legs”
Detachment from your “good idea” (value offer) can save an enormous amount of time and money and get it “right” the first time. By first articulating your value and then sticking your chin out, before going to market, you will have increased the odds that your first impression will be far better than if you rushed right to market. Launching a marketing campaign now, with tested value and tested demographics, greatly increases the efficacy of your market spend.
A lot has changed since the “baker’s dozen” first appeared on the scene but the basics of presenting value in the market are very much worth heeding.
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