How to Effectively Market Your Business Online (Part 2)


(Part 2 of 3 Parts)

Marketing is a mystery you need to solve if you want to make money online.  As any good

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - ...

Wordle Cloud of the Internet Marketing Blog - 08/15/08 (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

sleuth knows, it’s asking the right questions that provides the answers you need.

In Part 1, we asked and helped you answer the first critical question to ask yourself about your online company:  What kind of business are you in?

In this part, we look at the second  question to ask and answer before you go broke spending money on an ill-conceived marketing plan.

Who needs what you’re selling?

Does anyone need it?

If you’re selling chocolate bars, the answer is no.  A lot of people want chocolate bars, but no one needs them.  Your approach to marketing a chocolate bar should differ from your approach to selling milk.  Milk meets a need for calcium and protein, while chocolate satisfies a desire.

Assuming you’re selling milk, who needs it most?  Children and older women need more calcium than most adults, so they represent a large market.  If you’re trying to sell milk to a healthy adult male — or someone who’s lactose intolerant or allergic to milk — you’re going to have a harder time selling it.

What if you were selling an iPhone?  A lot of people want them, but who needs them and to what degree?

A salesperson who counts Apple as his biggest client (or wants Apple to become his biggest customer) probably needs an iPhone. ( It wouldn’t be smart to haul out a Samsung Galaxy in the middle of a presentation.)

Salespeople, in general, might benefit from an iPhone but to a lesser degree and some might be just as happy with a rival smartphone.

It’s easier to sell something that people need.  (Umbrellas sell more briskly on rainy than sunny days.)

If an obvious need for your product or service doesn’t exist, try to create one for your potential market.

If you’re selling a service or product that people might want but don’t need, your marketing efforts should be aimed at making it irresistible.

But don’t assume that anyone needs or wants your products or services.  It’s up to you to define your target market based on research and analysis.

It’s possible to create a market for just about anything.  But it doesn’t happen by magic unless you’re a really, really good magician.

The rest of us need to practice marketing basics.

(Coming Soon - Part 3 of Want to Successfully Market Your Online Business? 3 Deceptively Simple Questions You Need to Answer) 

Missed Part 1?  Find it here.