Marketing Tips- Who Are You Competing With?

by : Sue and Chuck DeFiore

Before you can market, you need to know who you are marketing to. Who is your customer? How will you market? Will you cold call, mail, set appointments or employ a walk in approach? Be careful with the walk in approach as many businesses do not permit soliciting. You might just want to drop off information and follow up with a telephone call.

In order to determine who your market is look at your business plan. How did you define your average customer? What was your estimate of total market size? What territory did you intend to service? You might want to make a table for the following: Product/Service - list your product(s) or service(s). If you offer a variety of models or types, list them separately. This will more clearly define your market. The more specific the answers to these questions, the easier it will be to determine a marketing plan. What marketing techniques did you delineate in your business plan? Are you using them, and if so, how effectively?

One of the best ways to determine what works best is to look at your competition.

What is your competition doing.? How are they marketing? What services do they offer? How do their prices compare to yours? Some of the ways to determine this information is to talk to prospects who are now using your competitors products or service. Ask them, 'How can I offer and deliver the same things my competitors do - or better?' Obtain and study your competitors literature, for example, promotional materials that outline price, what services they offer, products they are selling, etc. Keep all the materials obtained on your competition and update this information on a quarterly basis. If there is a industry publication that contains information on your competition, subscribe and read it. You may be surprised to find stories that reveal important information on your competition. Attend trade shows, exhibits, and conferences for your industry. Read the local papers and papers in the area your competition is located. Ask your customers what they like and dislike about your services or products.

Copyright DeFiore Enterprises 2000