Weathering the Recession Through Effective Marketing

by / Friday, 28 January 2011 / Published in NMR

Running a successful business during a recession requires smart marketing. It’s not enough to simply put ads out and expect results – you must specifically target your marketing. When marketing to your target audience, there are two key points to identify. The first is why your products and services are important to them. Customers need to be aware of a need that they have before they can be convinced to make a purchase concerning it. The second is how your product fills the need that you have identified. Once you make them aware of a need, you can show them that you have the solution.

After determining who your target audience is, it is important to identify why they typically purchase the type of products that you are offering. This can be accomplished through some of the methods explained earlier, such as using surveys or inquiring in forums. There are three main reasons that people make purchases:

  • Physical Needs – All people have basic needs which must be satisfied. This includes things like food, water, shelter, etc. Since these needs are common among all individuals, they typically do not apply to niche products.
  • Problems – Another reason people make purchases is because they have problems which they expect to solve with the product. On the basic level, these types of problems include sickness, pain, fear, etc.
  • Emotional Needs – The last reason people typically buy products is because they want to feel better about themselves or about an essential component of their lives. This can include things like health, fitness, appearance, entertainment, relationships, pride, etc.

Once you have identified the need that your target audience has, it is important to explain how your products and services fulfill that need. It is a good idea to appeal to your target audience in whatever way is most specific and attractive to them. If you are not sure what elements might appeal to your target audience, you can get ideas from your competitors or even other companies with a similar target audience but a different product.

Another good idea is to identify several needs which your product can fulfill and then appeal to the one that is most urgent or significant. It might also be helpful to determine how your target audience is likely to approach solving the need that you have identified. Will they seek to purchase a solution from the get-go, or are they going to be looking for information initially? The answer to this question does not change whether you can effectively market your product, but it could have a significant bearing on the strategies you use to get people to your business.

Ultimately, all of your efforts boil down to how effectively you can convince your target audience that your product is a worthwhile investment to solve their needs. It is important to explain what features are of interest to your target audience, but it is more important to detail the benefits. Features are concrete facts used to explain specific attributes of the product, but benefits can be vague ideas that clarify exactly what a customer can expect to achieve with the product. For example, the features of a bicycle might include the number of gears or the frame durability. But the benefits might include a healthier lifestyle, a trimmer body, increased safety, etc. Remember: features tell, benefits sell.

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