The foundations of good marketing

Nathan Rodgers
April 28, 2022

Marketing doesn't have to be overwhelming or complicated. Here are five questions you should answer to build a strong foundation to guide your marketing efforts and help you get better results.

I built a hotel.

Not just me of course. I had two partners and there were probably hundreds of people involved in design and construction.

One thing I wasn't prepared for: How long it took to do the foundations.

There were soil tests, digging, more soil tests, more digging, laying out the reinforcing steel, pouring the concrete, waiting for it dry.

Then doing the next section, and then the next layer. And knowing the whole time that no one would ever see it.

But without those foundations, we couldn't have built the rest.

Well, we could have, but the first heavy rain, or earthquake, or settling of the ground would have brought it all crashing down.

It's the same with marketing and growing your business. Without a solid foundation, you will struggle to connect with your ideal clients.

Luckily, for your marketing it shouldn't take you nearly as long to work on these foundations as it did for our hotel.

In fact, if you are already serving clients, answering these questions shouldn't take more than a few minutes each.

So here are five questions you should answer to build a strong foundation for your marketing:

1. What? - Know what problem you solve

Your product or service must solve an actual problem that people have.

The bigger the problem, and the more it costs your customer not to solve it, the more they will want a solution, and the more they will pay for it.

If you aren't solving a real problem people have, then you are always going to be sailing against the wind in your business.

2. Who? - Know who you solve it for

Create simple profiles that help you understand who has the problem you solve. This is your ideal client.

This is also a time to stop to make sure there are enough people with the problem you solve for you to build the kind of business you want to build.

There may be a number of different profiles that have the problem, but you will get the most traction by focusing on one, or a few at most. Go deeper than a few simple demographics like age, gender, etc. Really dig in and get to know them and their lives, challenges, and problems. This leads us into the next question.

3. Why? - Understand why it’s a problem for them

Walk in your client's shoes and see the world through their eyes.

Why do they have this problem, what pain do they feel because of it, what do they hope a solution will do for them and how will they feel when the problem is solved.

Find the words they use to describe their pains, problems, frustrations and desired solutions. These can form the basis of your marketing message and be used in your copy.

The more you understand your ideal client - and the more you use their words to talk about their pain and your solution, the more you will connect with them and get them to feel like you really know and understand them.

4. How? - Show them a path to a solution they want and create an offer they can’t refuse

Think of your product or service as a road map that gets your customer from Painville to Happyland.

What is that journey? What steps will they take and how long will it take them? What roadblocks and challenges will they encounter? What tools, resources and support will the need to complete each stage?

The more detailed you can get on this the more you will be able to show a potential client that you have a concrete plan that can help them achieve the result they want.

5. Where? - Know where to put that offer so your Who can find it

If you don't know where your ideal client is and how you are going to get their attention, then it doesn't matter how great your solution or offer is - no one will see it, or only the wrong people will.

Get clear on whether you will use paid advertising, organic traffic, social media, cold emails, partnerships, or some combination of them. Identify the specific channels you will use, what your goals for each are, and how you will measure your success.

Set objectives for each channel (e.g., I will Tweet 3 times a day and send 2 direct messages a day; I will spend $10 a day on Google Ads and adjust until I get leads at less than $5), and then be consistent in implementing.

Know those five things, and your marketing will become much easier and much more effective.

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