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Steps to Success


Marketing is about getting the RIGHT products or services to the RIGHT customers or clients at the RIGHT time and the RIGHT location for the RIGHT price. So how do you get it right?

First you must be able to answer the following questions. Sometimes it's not as easy as you might think:

Who are your customers?

What are your products or services?

Is there a demand for those products or services?

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

Marketing is much more than advertising and promotion. It's also public relations, research, customer discovery, competitive analysis and more. John Jantsch, author of the highly-recommended Duct Tape Marketing says, "Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you."

The forms of advertising and promotion that will be most effective for particular businesses differ. The traditional channels -- radio, television, print -- still make sense for businesses that want to reach specific audiences and have the budget to do so. But for almost every business, the ability to market online has expanded opportunities exponentially because it allows you to reach for more prospects in many more ways, and many of these marketing channels are either free or extremely affordable. In addition to traditional channels, today you must consider online resources including a website, mobile app, Facebook page, LinkedIn,Twitter, Instagram, YouTube... and new resources that seem to appear almost daily. Which choices are best for reaching your customers and how will you use them? You'll need up-to-date marketing expertise to help you navigate these channels.

Information about your market and the potential customers in it is also very important as you develop strategies to connect with those prospects. There are a number of resources and methods for gathering and acquiring this information. The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, for example, offers a Champaign County Community Profile in addition to other information that can help you define your market in detail. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission has a wide range of Information Services including useful statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau lof Labor Statistics and other sources.

Additional Marketing Resources

The videos below from the SBA Learning Center will help you plan and execute the marketing activities that are essential to the success of your business.

Why Local Marketing and Mobile Go Hand-in-Hand

Communicate your proximity

By Deborah Sweeney

Local marketing has, thankfully, evolved past direct mailers and physical signage as efforts have shifted towards building an online presence. However, local marketing campaigns still woefully neglect...

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