by Doug Hudiburg
my experience, it is not hard to convince business owners and managers to
focus on marketing, what *is* hard is convincing them to do first things
first. Most people want to jump right into the promotional elements of
marketing, such as advertising and sales, before they have done the hard work
of building a solid marketing foundation.
YOUR MARKETING SYSTEM IS
LIKE A BUILDING
When people look at a building, what they see from the
outside is mostly just aesthetic covering. They see walls,
windows, ceilings and floors. These external attributes comprise the
sum total of the experience most people have with that building. The outer
skin, if you will, IS the building to the vast majority of people who
interact with it.
But stop to think about what makes a building truly
A building has a foundation, plumbing, electricity, etc.
Without these "invisible" elements the building would be of little use to
anyone. The same holds true for marketing systems that are built on an
Wildly successful entrepreneurs understand this
principle and can apply it to their businesses and to their marketing
I call it their "dirty little secret" not because the concept
is inappropriate for young audiences :-) but because it means getting your
hands dirty. You can't build a good foundation without getting a little dirt
under your fingernails.
THE MANUAL LABOR OF BUILDING A MARKETING
The work that makes marketing programs effective and
profitable is the grunt work of marketing. It is the marketing
equivalent of digging foundations, pounding in re-bar, and welding
girders. When it comes right down to it, many marketers just don't
have the stomach for it. They want to avoid the dirty work and
move quickly to the glamour and glory of promotion.
I have created a
conceptual model of the optimum marketing infrastructure. I'd like to share
it with you here, because it helps to illustrate the idea that I am putting
There are four layers to the optimum marketing
1) Business Foundation
2) Marketing Foundation
4) Promotional Activity
The efficiency of each
layer is dependent upon the preceding layer. In other words, without a strong
layer #1 (business foundation), it is impossible to have an effective layer
#2, #3, or #4 because you will be so plagued with business problems
and breakdowns, that your marketing efforts will go largely
If any one of these elements is not functioning correctly it
can completely wipe out any promotional marketing efforts that
you undertake. For instance, you can write an ad that pulls like crazy and
has the phone ringing off the hook, but if you staff your order desk with a
rude, surly, ex drill sergeant... well, there is a breakdown in your
I'm not going to delve into each of the 4 layers in this
article, but I would like to touch on the elements required for
strength in layer #2, the marketing foundation.
If you have
established a solid business foundation, then you are ready for the dirty
work of forming a strong marketing foundation.
You don't have to be a
genius, you just have to be willing to do the work. For those of you who are
ready and willing to get your fingernails dirty, here is a list of components
that make up a strong marketing foundation. What the foundation really
comes down to is four things:
1) Knowing WHO your prospects are
2) Differentiating your company (brand)
3) Having a
product(s) that meet the needs of the market (product)
4) Having a
marketing infrastructure that helps move your product to the market in
exchange for appropriate payment (infrastructure).
-> Elements Of
The Marketing Foundation
..... target market
..... key market needs
..... market size
..... growth rates
..... other potential markets
..... unique selling
..... distribution channel
..... part numbers
..... ordering process/system
future articles, I'll pick apart each of the four major components of the
marketing foundation. For now, I hope that simply reviewing the list above
helps you to see that these elements all contribute to the success of a any
marketing program, and to see the value in doing them
Promotional efforts that are deployed on top of a solid
marketing platform become almost effortless.
So, are you ready to get
Good luck building your marketing foundation, and until
next time... I wish you effortless marketing.
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Each of the following Ten Marketing Tips is based on a highly effective, but often overlooked, marketing tactic. How many are you using? How many have you overlooked?
Seven Steps For Creating Successful Marketing
Jay Conrad Levinson, the creator of the
Guerrilla Marketing series of books - the best selling series of
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What to Include in Your Marketing Plan Write-Up
For those new to marketing planning, the thought of
completing a plan from start to finish may feel daunting. It
need not. The level of detail you choose to include in your
marketing plan will depend on your resources and situation.