5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know about Marketing

The most successful entrepreneurs I know have a good understanding of key marketing concepts. It’s not enough just to have a great idea or even a great product; every successful business requires marketing to match. Without the right marketing, every business will fail. Here are five marketing concepts every entrepreneur should know.

#1 Understand Your Market

As an entrepreneur, the first thing you should know about marketing is that successful businesses are those that solve a problems in the marketplace. You should understand how your product or service solves a problem for someone else.

Just because you have a “good business idea” it does not mean you have a “good business opportunity”. Business Ideas for the most part are worthless on their own. In order to tell if your good business idea is also a good business opportunity, you need to understand your market by answer questions like,
  • How does my product or service solve a problem?
  • Are people willing to pay for my product or service?
  • Am I able to make a profit by selling my product or service?

In general, every entrepreneur first needs to understand the marketplace and how their business fits into it. Understand your market.

#2 Define Your Goals

When you start a business you need to define who you are, what you are, and what you are not. This is not always easy. Based on the fact that you decided to start a business, you recognize that there is a need in the marketplace. But maybe you have not yet determined what you will do and what you will not do. A dentist for example might understand there is a need to offer dentist services, but hasn’t yet decided to focus on either general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry. You should know what you

are good at, what the market needs, and what you will be doing and not doing. Define your goals.

#3 Understand Your Customers

Every company has customers. What some entrepreneurs may not know is that there are several customer groups that need attention in every company. Your customers may be your investors, your employees, your end-user customers, and your partners that sell to your end-user customers. Each group of customers has different needs, and you should understand what they are. Many startup companies do not understand the need to market to each of these customer groups. Understand your customers.

#4 Create Your Brand

Your brand is how people relate to your company. You create your brand by how you are perceived in the market place. Make sure your marketing efforts are aligned and work together to address the needs of your target customer. A great way to do this is to plan your marketing strategy in advance; making sure that every marketing activity you do works towards the same goal which is to persuade your customers to action. Remember that marketing can be defined as all the activities that promote, sell, and distribute your product or service. Create Your Brand.

#5 Your Marketing Should Lead to Sales

If your marketing efforts do not improve your sales, then your marketing has failed! Marketing activities drive sales. As you work on your marketing strategy and carefully detail each marketing activity, also make sure you define how you will track your success. It is critical to any marketing plan to understand what is working and what is not. Successful entrepreneurs are generally good at selling, and likewise need to make sure they become good at marketing. Your marketing should lead to sales.


Eamon Arnett

What a great post… and SO much you can pull out of it.

To go along with this, we are finding that spending time/money to define who your client “is”, is key. When you know that, it allows you to be focused and not feel you have to go after everyone under the sun (though that would be great).

Taking it one step further and defining in that group who is your “low hanging fruit” helps to get to that day of break-even!

We found that approaching calls as a survey (putting the potential client at ease) while discovering the right contact person and our clients needs/problems, has helped us build a better service and approach to selling specifically to that company.

Susan Newton "The Shower Diva"

Thank you for these five tips. I’ll post a sixth that I just heard from a friend today. She said, “There is a difference between PR and Marketing.”

PR brings awareness to our brands. Marketing, as you posted above, when done correctly, will lead to the sales of our products. I had never thought about it before like that; however, she is right. I had mistakenly grouped the two concepts together.

Of course, I may be the only one reading your five tips that has mistakenly grouped the two concepts together. I hope I’m not alone.

Lee Walko

Knowing your target market and performing segmentation is very important for sure. Another corollary should be a thorough understanding of your competition and how they will react to you. When your small you get ignored but as you grow your competition will take notice and action.