Sales & marketing

Is your Pre-Marketing position right?

Are you one of those businesses or business people that are spending hundreds or thousands of pounds or dollars on marketing, but not getting the results you want?

Unfortunately most businesses are. ​

You invest heavily in marketing activities such as online and offline advertising, social media campaigns, business networking, and much more, only to receive a trickle of interest, or worse still, no interest at all.​

The reason is sadly very simple. You haven’t got your Pre-Marketing positioning right, or maybe haven’t invested enough time in defining these vital business basics.​

And the truth is unless you do, you will always be struggling to find customers and will always be struggling to stand out from your competition.​

What’s more, once you’re in this difficult situation, the only thing you can do to try and win business is to compete on price. You have to discount your prices, or run sales, or offer freebies, or undertake other price slashing activities that one by one make you cheaper than your competitors.

This is a depressing but inevitable downward spiral, and in the process you’re devaluing your services or products, and telling your customers that what you offer isn’t of high value or worth a higher price.

The dangers of competing on price

Competing on price is a dangerous and ultimately fruitless strategy for any business. Consider a business you know that does compete on price; what do they do when a new competitor comes along and prices themselves even cheaper than they do? Drop their prices to continue being the cheapest? If so, how long can they do this for, and are they really a business that is sustainable? And what happens when another competitor shows up who has lower costs and offers their services or products for even less?​

A strategy based on price is ultimately doomed to fail, but the good news is with just a little time spent on getting their Pre-Marketing activities and positioning right, any business can remove price from the equation and win customers who are prepared to pay much more for the services or products they offer.​

Ask yourself this – if you don’t differentiate yourself effectively from your competitors by having the right Pre-Marketing position and business messages, why would customers choose you unless you’re the cheapest?​

Many businesses and business owners think that other factors – such as convenience or location – are enough to grow their business. And there is no doubt that for some businesses these factors are important. But (and it’s a big but) what these factors don’t create is CUSTOMER LOYALTY; the magic ingredient every business needs to really achieve success and grow.

What is Pre-Marketing?​

Pre-Marketing refers to the essential fundamentals you must have in place BEFORE you start marketing activities of any kind. Think of them as your business’s promotional foundations, like the foundations of a house. Without the right foundations, the house will ultimately collapse, and it’s the same for businesses; unless your marketing foundations are right, your business will ultimately fail or consistently struggle to survive.​

Pre-Marketing fundamentals include:​

  • Definition and clarity of your Unique Selling Point (USP). Every business is unique but more than 99% of businesses around the world fail to promote their unique difference. What this means is that they end up looking, and being seen as by customers, like every other company in their sector. And when all the options look the same to the customer, they have no choice but to make a choice based on price. So getting your USP right is vital, but don’t believe for one second that just being you is enough! Whilst you are unique, a business’s USP is only ever effective when it adds value to the customer.
  • Identification of your value offering (also known as the ‘value stack’) to customers. In all likelihood, what you provide your customers with goes far beyond just the service or product they are buying. You may provide them with free advice and guidance, or access to special offers or deals, or free resources that are valuable to them. These are all examples of elements of your value offering (or value stack) – the benefits you provide that go above and beyond the price customers pay for your products or services. And the stronger your value offering is, the more attractive your business becomes to potential customers.
  • Identification and definition of customer benefits. The service or product you offer must solve a customer problem; solving this problem is the customer benefit you offer. Simply stating what you do or what you provide is not enough. Customers need to know how you make their lives easier, or you risk just being judged on the prices you charge. Remember a customer benefit is only of value if it solves a customer’s problem.
  • Creation of your business strapline – the short form of words or phrase that gets across your business’s focus, expertise, or benefits. You want your business to be memorable and for customers to understand what you do or what your values are quickly and easily. An effective strapline does this, and is a powerful way to get across important information in an easily understandable way.
  • Creation of core business messages – the fundamental statements and information about your business that you want customers and prospects to always remember. Most people will struggle to remember company information particularly when comparing many different businesses, so it is essential that you have succinct and effective core business messages that you consistently use and promote. This helps differentiate your business from all the others doing the same or a similar thing.

Why is getting your Pre-Marketing position right so important?

You need to get your Pre-Marketing position right to ensure your marketing activities of any kind are as effective as possible. 

Unless you do, you’ll likely waste hundreds or thousands of pounds or dollars on marketing campaigns that cost you a fortune and deliver only meagre results.

​You may have heard about Strategic Marketing and Tactical Marketing, the two areas that virtually every marketer or marketing company around the world focuses on. Pre-Marketing is the hidden essential element that they ignore or often don’t know about, but which has the greatest impact on how successful or not your marketing activities and campaigns are.

As you would expect, Pre-Marketing comes before you develop your marketing strategy, and well before you consider what marketing activities you are actually going to do (your marketing tactics). Consider the development of your marketing strategy and your marketing tactics as stages two and three in the process, with Pre-Marketing being the essential initial stage (stage one) that you have to get right first.

What’s the benefit of getting my Pre-Marketing right?

Having the right Pre-Marketing foundations in place results in you effectively differentiating yourself from your competitors, and no longer having to compete on price (and no longer in the download race to the bottom to be the cheapest).

With the right Pre-Marketing business messages and USP, value offering, customer benefits, and positioning, you will generate far greater interest and engagement from your prospects, leading to a significant increase in your sales and a new pipeline of hot leads.

Originally posted 2021-09-17 15:01:30.

Arup Biswas
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Arup Biswas

Arup is a former national newspaper journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in the media sector, including as a national press officer and spokesman for Oxfam. Thanks to this, and his experience in senior operations and strategy roles for national and international organisations, he has an in-depth and unique understanding of customers and audiences. As a copywriting and pre-marketing specialist he creates high impact and engaging content and custom fixed-priced pre-marketing position reports for organisations of all sizes and from all sectors. With this in place, organisations find their marketing activities are transformed and deliver a far greater return on investment than ever before.

Is your Pre-Marketing position right?

by Arup Biswas Time to read: 4 min