Written by

Candace Gerlach


18th February 2021



Something that we’ve observed over the years as marketing professionals is that a lot of people think we are in the game of sales and advertising. And while, to be fair, there’s an element of truth in that – marketing is so much more. 

Before you can even think about your marketing message and the channel you’ll use to reach your audience, it’s crucial that you spend time identifying the problem you are trying to solve and how you tackle that problem head on. This is what we like to call your brand promise. The value that you bring to your customers, your uniqueness, your relevance. Put simply, your strategy. 

Assess what’s going on around you. 

Firstly, look at the world around you. Observe the market, your competitors, consumer behaviours, where you fit in. At this stage, it’s useful to thrash out a good old-fashioned SWOT and PEST analysis. In laymen’s terms, write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

Plus, start to think about what’s going on from a political, economic, social and technological point of view. Say whaaat? I hear you say. It might feel like overkill but it’s really important that you get a sense of where your business idea fits amongst a whole raft of other factors. And don’t forget to reflect on your personal feelings too. 

Is anything holding you back? Are there any niggles you need to air with someone else? Write it all down so you don’t lose sight of it and you can find a way to move forward. 

Customer, customer, customer. 

If you haven’t already, identify who your potential customers are. Without customers you don’t have a business and the best way to attract them, is by understanding them and giving them exactly what they’re looking for. Based on your business offering, you will no doubt have a rough idea of what your customers look like but it’s prudent to go in deep on this stuff and be really sure. 

Think about their ambitions, challenges, desires, beliefs. In order to truly create a business that people want and love, this is a fundamental step to take. Creating a profile of these customers really helps bring them to life and encourages you to ask yourself the right questions. 

What value is your business adding to their lives? 

Once you have a real sense of who your customers are, beyond demographic, this is where you start thinking about how your business offering can enrich their lives. The only way to get customers on board with what you’re doing is by tapping into their pain points and needs. If you’re clear on exactly what problem you’re solving, you can talk their language and evoke an emotion that influences their purchase decision.

You have the power to make sure that they choose you over a competitor. We call this your value proposition. It’s the most powerful tool your business has. 

And it doesn’t stop there. Once you have all of the ingredients to shape your business strategy, which now has your customers at its heart, you can start to think about the sort of business you want to build. Whether that’s through your brand identity, your messaging, your content creation, the experience you provide – you can move forward with confidence knowing that you’ve started in exactly the right place. With the customer.