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HAVE YOU LOST SIGHT OF WHAT BUSINESS YOU'RE IN?

The best way to set new marketing strategies is to look at the essence of your business. Here's how to pinpoint the fundamentals.

With the ever-increasing competition, there is a constant need to improve and/or expand profits. As a result, many alert resellers, have begun to utilize new, productive, and often radically different marketing strategies, concepts, and tools.

The most important question to ask yourself before you implement a plan is, "What business am I in?" It's simple enough to say that you are in the computer, document management, manufacturing support or other vertical market. But such oversimplified thinking can lead to a reseller's demise.

While all around you the industry is bountiful, your organization can be decaying because you are relying on population growth, you are confident of the infallibility of your present product mix, your present market segment is taking more products and services than you can supply, and there is a preoccupation with the technology of the industry.

The problem is basically due to a lack of vision plus self-imposed limitations.

To take advantage of opportunities before they arise, you need a vision for the future. Visions in terms of customers and markets, products and services, company personality and character, as well as technology. All of these should be identified in order to meet the wants and needs of the customer.

It calls for a return to fundamentals. The most basic is that a reseller is in business to make money.

This fundamental reality has two dimensions called breadth and depth. Breadth defines the area enough to ensure continuing growth and head off competition, or at least be equipped to deal with it. Depth is the company's essential being, its soul.

Identify and capitalize on the essence that makes your organization vital and different from the competition.

 

Marketing Concepts that Work

By clearly defining and being able to articulate the reason for your organization's existence, you can get to the very root of marketing success. Marketing tools suddenly become more accessible and can be better used.

What determines how you orient yourself to your specific market? Resolution alone won't make it happen. It is determined more by your human, financial, and physical resources; your experience, products, distribution methods, and sales force; your technical capabilities, skills, and preferences.

More simply stated, the needs of the company and the needs of the market have to have something strongly in common.

How does this come about? Usually, it comes only through deep, long, and difficult soul-searching.

Let's put it in terms of the manufacturers with whom you are now dealing. What are you really buying? Hardware and/or software, training? You can get that from almost anyone.

What you should be buying is management assistance, understanding, and cooperation. If they are helping you with your business, then it logically follows that your business with them will grow and prosper.

The marketing-oriented reseller knows that business customer are always trying to tell them something. They learn to listen carefully rather than trying to tell the market what it wants or needs.

How do you find the vision, essence, or meaning of your organization? Here are five helpful ways:

  1. Identify unique skills or talents within the organization. It might be the special ability to communicate with a specific market segment.
  2. Apply competitive pressures.
  3. Recognizing what management enjoys doing most (usually correlated to what they do best).
  4. Have a bold spirit. Letting customers define their business or willingness to realistically invest today for a promise of greater returns tomorrow.
  5. Develop a clear, concise definition of what the customer is really buying and translating that into what you can offer.

But beware, this arduous search for self-perception is not without its hazards. These can include:

What business are you in? Your ability to answer this question is critical to your success. You should focus on the important aspects of this question. The correct identification of your business may foster previously unknown areas of market development. Or, it may change the nature of your business dramatically.

For example, you are not the purveyor of computers and/or software. You are serving some business segment's information-processing and handling needs. You are providing communications and decision-making tools. You are helping to develop, organize, manipulate, and communicate ideas and solutions.

Your search for true marketing identity may be painful, but it does provide substantial benefits:

 

Winning Marketing Strategies

Successful marketers generally define their businesses in unique, exciting ways. If people haven't been successful in their marketing, it is usually because these basic and time-proven strategies weren't used, were used incorrectly, or were used without any real understanding of their power.

The strategies aren't new. What is new is integrating them into a well-coordinated, total program.

 

These strategies include:

But keep in mind that nothing presented should be blindly followed. Marketing is an art. No two situations are alike. What works well under one competitive circumstance may not be the solution in another situation. This is an approach not gospel.

 

Common Marketing Mistakes

In order to be successful, you need marketing strategies that work. As with anything else, these strategies will evolve as old methods prove to be inadequate or worse erroneous. Here are some bad strategies you should look out for:

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