Small Business Marketing

Deciding on a Marketing Message

Written by Amy Bax for Gaebler Ventures

When starting a new marketing and promotions campaign, there are many factors to take into consideration. This is a look at several main things you should research before rolling out a new campaign.

When beginning a new marketing campaign for new or current customers, there are quite a few factors to consider.

Deciding on a Marketing Message

Getting an idea of what strengths and weaknesses exist will help you decide how to position yourself in a way to produce the best results.

Before coming up with a new message, consider these key factors and things about them to get a better understanding of what will maximize the efforts of your campaign.

The Competitors

Not only should you know who your competitors when you start a business, you should also be aware of what they are doing.

See what their message is, how they promote and advertise it, what channels of communication they use, etc. Visit their store as a "secret shopper". This is a commonly used way to find out information about a competitor.

Take note on how the competitor's store is set up, displays and advertising used in the stores, how they do business with customers, and any other information you can observe. You can also find out through customers or other businesses that work with them how they are viewed as a member of the industry and what things they do that others like or dislike in their advertising.

Your Opportunities as a Company

Examine the entire market. What are things your competitors are not addressing that you could easily do? Are there possible niches in the target market that are not being served?

Find opportunities that may be overlooked by competitors that you can take advantage of. Look at what you currently offer and see if there are benefits from what you offer that may have not yet been communicated.

Try to find ways that you can make your business stand out above the crowd.

Define What Your Target Market Needs

This is a lot like researching your opportunities as a company. Find out what your target market wants in a solution to a problem. Ask them what would satisfy them more that your competitors are not doing.

If you feel that competitors are underserving or ignoring a niche in the market, figure out how to cater to them and take advantage of the opportunity. Having an overall understanding of your target market will also help you analyze current and potential customers. This is important to understand their perception of your company when coming up with a new message.

Figure Out What Your Position Is

A position is how a customer perceives your company and what you have to offer versus the competition.

Along with the image you have created for yourself, this also includes price, promotions, communication tactics, quality, etc. Make sure the way your customer sees you is also how you see and have positioned yourself. If not, there is an imbalance which can make any marketing or advertising campaigns ineffective.

These factors all help your company get a good idea of what the next step in planning a marketing campaign should be. By analyzing strengths and weaknesses of each of these factors, you have a better idea of where your company is going and how to better position yourself in the future.

Amy Bax is interested in providing innovative informational resources to entrepreneurs. She is currently an MBA student at the University of Missouri - Columbia.

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