If you are already marketing, suspend your outbound programs until you are familiar with the concepts of messaging, audience and channels you'll learn here. Then you will be able to judge whether you're doing it the right way or not.
If you are currently advertising now, you may not only be wasting money, you can be damaging your brand and harming your future success.
Your marketing skill will drive your business. When you hear customers express something they wish they had, or a problem you can solve, that's a new product or service opportunity for you. That's how winning products are discovered and developed; the customer is the inventor.
You will destroy your competitors.. A honed message is your secret weapon, and you'll deliver it at the right place and time to the right people. Your competitors will throw money away sending an ineffective message to the wrong people in the most expensive and inefficient ways.
Like law and accounting, marketing is a process-based professional discipline, not a creative artistic journey that 'looks nice' or 'gets attention'. And unlike the latter, it works.
What's particularly cruel about this common scenario is that you go nuts trying to figure out what the problem is...and can't. After agonizing months of waiting for customers who will never come, you look for an advertising and marketing agency to vacuum your wallet clean of the few coins that remain.
You do not have to spend a lot of money to sell a lot of products. If you do, something is not getting communicated. If an agency's materials are not working, you might be told it's just because you're not spending enough money on more of it. Agencies rake it in because of trusting business owners who don't realize how much easier it is to learn it themselves.
Too late, you realize that their stuff looks cool - but misses the mark entirely by not targeting your customer with your message and benefits. Then, you find out that they are just subbing the work to your aunt's second cousin who knows Photoshop, and quadrupling the rate.
Ad agencies are an expensive way to learn that nobody knows your customers and the benefits of your product better than you. Or cares more about results.
Branding: The bullet. Your brand message is what your customers see. This includes your real value to your customer; what makes you different and better; and the needs of your customer that you fulfill. This short paragraph makes you armed and dangerous.
Channels: The target. There are a lot of them, but we want only the best. Who are your target customers? Who are the best ones? Where are they specifically, and what do you think is the best way for them to find you? Where are they looking for similar products and services, and when?
Programs: The gun. Creative media that is 'placed'. This means advertising or other promotional methods. We'll figure out the cheapest and most effective method for you, and then we turn up the volume once sales can support additional costs.
Measurement: Your aim. If it's off, measurement lets you know.