How to market yourself

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The book Purple Cow, penned by US marketing guru Seth Godin, warns that businesses are disappearing in a maze of marketing messages.

Like someone driving in the countryside, the first cow spotted can be a, ‘Wow, look at that!’ experience. But a hundred cows later, they become ignorable and forgettable.

A great marketing plan has to be to turn your business into a ‘purple cow’ so it stands out from the crowd. And as telemarketing man Tim Shaw would say, ‘But wait, there’s more’.

Successful operations have got the biggest bang for their marketing buck by telling their potential customers what job their product does. Consumers don’t really want products – they want solutions. The marketing message must say what problem the product or service solves for a customer.

Doing business without marketing (which involves such things as advertising, promotions, sponsorships and public relations, along with a whole barrage of customer survey techniques and other market research and promotion processes) has been compared to winking at a girl in the dark. “You know what you’re doing, but on-one else does,” said US ad consultant, Stewart H Britt in the New York Herald Tribune in 1956.

Nothing has changed. I remember when I was working for the Doug Mulray breakfast show on radio station Triple M, a colleague – Dave Gibson – had just taken a job doing the breakfast shift in Brisbane. I asked him what kind of audience would he be chasing? His answer – ‘Any bugger with an ear’ – showed he had an all-embracing attitude to customer collection – the ultimate goal of marketing.

Now businesses can be a little more systematic in their approach to customer collection, but when it gets down to basics the chief marketing goal of any business owner is to develop a recognised brand. A great product is only a start – you have to market it. In effect you need to be the talk of the town.

As your business grows, you must allocate a proportion of revenue to marketing. If you want to be a serious player, you must engage in sensible spending strategies to develop your brand.

You have to work hard to grow your business name and smart marketing is the way to go.

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