A Focused Marketing Strategy Is Always A Winner

focussed marketing strategyOne important part of your marketing strategy concerns the range of products or services you offer.

If they span across many markets or segments then your strategy does get a little blurry.

It can confuse also your customers.

To state the obvious this is not what you want.

One of the best ways to grow your business is to offer specific products or services around a core area.

This makes it easier to achieve your objectives, such as wanting to keep your customers buying or wanting more customers.

As an example looking at Johnson’s baby website it is clear what the products they offer centre on.

You and your baby.

This site is dedicated to baby care and they stay within their competencies and what is profitable for them.

For instance they do not sell baby food, baby wear and got out of nappies a long time ago.

The common trap for small business owners is trying to compete in a lot of different markets and segments by offering unconnected products or services.

For example if you offer writing services for those that need resumes and others who want website or blog content, what is the common theme that tie these services together.

If you think about it there isn’t any.

Here are a few questions to ask to see if your product or service range makes sense and tips to make the most out of your offerings:

  • How many markets do you compete in? If more than one under your brand you may consider refocusing or launching a new brand.
  • What is the common denominator? Look at the market dynamics and see if your offerings match up with your key competencies and will be profitable for your business.
  • What else can you offer? Once you have a core focus, look at the different segments of that market and see what the demand is, who are the competitors and if there is an opportunity to expand what you offer.
  • What products or services do you need to get rid of? This can be a tough decision, however it is one you will need to make if you want to enjoy long term success.

To gain credibility and be known for your expertise, have a focused marketing strategy on a core market and segments with a specific range of products or services.

 

16 Responses to A Focused Marketing Strategy Is Always A Winner

  1. Renee says:

    What a timely article! During this morning’s commute, I saw a business that sold food, clothing and haircare products. I really don’t know why people do that. They need to decide who they want to be and stick with it. They are trying to be too many things to too many people. I would be hesitant to shop with them because I would think that they are just trying to make a buck whichever way they can…so how reliable would their product(S) be?

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Renee,

      That does seem a bit of an odd combination. Was it a retail business? For a small business i do think get your core business under control before you branch out otherwise it can be very difficult to control everything.

  2. Billye Survis says:

    Great advice Susan! And so true. A friend of mine who creates customized, personalized invites just went through this process as she decided to focus only on one area, weddings as opposed to anything that would bring in revenue.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Billye,

      Thanks for sharing as that is a good example we can relate to as small business owners.

  3. Susan — I was interested in the example you gave of offering resume writing and blog writing services. There is no connection and could be confusing. Funnily enough, I’ve gotten a reputation for writing good resumes, and people come to me. But I don’t actively sell the service because people looking for help with their blogs (which I do sell)and their social media presence are not typing in “resume writer” in search engines to find me.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Jeannette,

      You are right there is no connection, yet I see these two services offered on a number of websites. Your story about how you have a good reputation for writing resumes is probably one reason others offer it and forget they can confuse potential customers.

      Thanks for sharing this.

  4. I also think that a wide selection of available products is a very important competitive advantage. The more products you offer the better for your business. So, do the best to offer as many related products to your business as it is possible. I mean, if for example, you offer website development services it makes sense to offer services like SEO, internet marketing, web hosting and domain name registration as well.
    Terje Sannarnes recently posted..Entrepreneur Training on Website Promotion in Google MapsMy Profile

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Terje,

      Sorry for your comment not showing up earlier. I think it depends on your market. If you have too many products then you lose the opportunity of focusing on the ones that make you the most money, the ones you can improve in quality and where you can dominate your market. The other side of course is to make sure you don’t just have one product as it is too risky.

  5. Delena Silverfox says:

    I think the best idea I’m taking away from this one is the idea of streamlining your marketing, trimming the fat by getting rid of everything that’s unneccessary (and this can be a brutally painful process), and brainstorming for ways to make your system even more efficient.

    Delena

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Delena,

      That is a good take out and you are right it can be a painful process, however once done things become clearer. Brainstorming is a good idea and I find using mind maps really helps.

  6. Good points Susan.

    Writing CV:s and web site content was most likely a good example, considering the amount of CV writing services around.

    Also agree with what Sherryl writes in her comment.

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Catarina, glad you liked the post. The problem with offering both is also they can be at opposite side of the pricing spectrum which potential can harm a brand.

  7. Great advice Susan to focus your marketing strategy. It is so easy and tempting for a new business owner to try to be all things to all people. It’s very difficult to turn down a chance to make money wherever we can but one of the best things we can do is to clearly define our niche and focus our energies on meeting the needs of one specific customer group. That way, we can be seen as the experts – the “Go-To” place for our product or service just like Johnson & Johnson is an authority in baby care. As always, great post.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..If Your Website Was a Wheel – Is Your Blog the Hub or a SpokeMy Profile

    • Susan Oakes says:

      Hi Sherryl,

      I think this is not only a problem for new businesses as businesses that have been around a while fall into this trap, sometimes without even knowing it. The interesting thing if you look at J & J they are competing in a number of segments (niches) and I think they started with bay powder then grew. Would be interested in your take as I see small business are still thinking about who could buy their products or services first rather than see which markets or segments of markets are viable and tailor what they offer.

      • Susan,
        That’s a good point about businesses having multiple niches. I think established businesses that have defined a core niche (and are bringing in revenue) have the luxury of expanding.

        I also believe that a business can have a niche product and multiple market segments. For example, the J & J website is targeting the consumer but I suspect that they must also target institutions such as hospitals. As consumers, we may never see those marketing materials but I’m confident they exist.

        When I blog, I often talk about segmenting your website using sub-directories, sub-domains and landing pages to direct targeted customer segments to specific areas of your website. Susan, you may have just helped me write my next post! :)
        Sherryl Perry recently posted..If Your Website Was a Wheel – Is Your Blog the Hub or a SpokeMy Profile

        • Susan Oakes says:

          Hi Sherryl,

          They do and the approach is quite different as you would expect and they have a section on their website for professionals. Will look forward to reading your post.