Four Steps to Unlocking Your Marketing DNA

Surfacing Your Marketing DNA

Let’s Take a Deeper Dive to Discover What Really Sets You Apart

There are 7 billion people in the world. So I hope this doesn’t surprise you: Unless you’re selling water or Facebook, chances are most of these people are not going to be your next customer.

And you know what? That’s just fine. Because the truth is you need a shockingly small number of customers to be really, really successful. You’ve got to let go of the urge to try to please everyone.

Where can you find the strength to do that? It’s going to take some sort of science! But first, a little bit more insight on how many people you need to reach.

To put it in perspective, let’s take a nice round number, like $1,000,000 in sales, and lay out a few options.

marketing dna

Even at a pretty conservative close rate at a $100 price point, you’d only need to focus on a target market of a few hundred thousand people to add up to your million.

As you move to higher price points, the size of your target market can get smaller. You won’t necessarily ignore the rest of the potential customers out there, but you can focus your message and your marketing money on prospects who are far more likely to need or want what you’re offering.

If you’re aiming for a broader or more generic target, you’re wasting your time and resources … and missing a great opportunity to thrive.

So take a deep breath and start thinking small. Really small. I mean, put your business under the microscope, and decode your Marketing DNA.

Because in order to zero in on a small, precise target market, you must first zero in on the fundamental building blocks that make your business special.

DNA – Deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecules that contain your genetic code, composed of four basic building blocks (adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, for the record). DNA determines, in essence, who you are. As a metaphor extended to business marketing, it’s everything that enables your business to thrive as a living, breathing organism.

The good news is you don’t have to be a genius molecular biologist to decode the strategic marketing DNA of your business; you just need to examine your business more closely in four stages (kind of like the four building blocks of DNA).

To illustrate, here’s a hypothetical example involving diving watches, just because I think they’re cool. Feel free to play along with an example closer to your interests or your business itself.

Step 1: Define your target market.

Let’s say you want to expand your diving watch business. Instead of launching a nationwide campaign to sell a $5,000 watch, let’s narrow down your target audience a bit.

Sure, it’s competitive and highly specialized, but the reality is that there’s a real market for high-end diving watches. Deep sea diving enthusiasts know how important high-quality gear is, and they’re willing to spend to get it. Still, you’re going to need to carve out a niche in this market if you want to succeed.

Step 2: Define the problem to be solved.

Look for a specific group of people with a specific problem that you can solve in a way nobody else does.

What problem might our customers in the market for a diving watch have?

Here’s an idea. Have you ever noticed that watches are designed for right-handed people? You wear your watch on your left wrist, and if want to use the dial or the timing stoppers, you just reach over with your right hand and press buttons and twist dials as necessary.

Now, if you’re left handed, this is a little trickier. Want to be able to use the hand you’re comfortable with? Then you wear the watch on your right wrist. But if you do, those darn knobs are on the wrong side of the watch!

That might just sound like a minor inconvenience. But if you’re diving deep into the ocean, this little design feature can become quite a problem.

So here’s your niche: Left-handed divers who want a watch designed specifically for them.

Step 3: Identify your key selling benefits.

What are the unique features of your product that make it better than or different from your competition?

Well, in this case, it’s easy. You’ve put all the watch controls on the proper side of the watch for left-handed people. The benefits are pretty clear. It’s going to be easier for your left-handed customers to operate their watch.

Step 4: Wrap these three elements into a powerful, unique value proposition.

Since divers use their watch to track time underwater and oxygen use, your easier-to-use product could actually save their lives. It will also reduce the chances of mistakes and lower stress. Overall, this simple difference in watch design will make diving more enjoyable and safer.

And that, my friends, is your unique value proposition.

After a few minutes peering into the microscope, you can quickly see how these fundamental elements merge into a clear picture of what sets your business apart.

What’s your target market? What pressing problem can you solve for them in a way that nobody else does? How does your offering benefit customers, especially on an emotional level? How can you clearly, concisely and compellingly encapsulate these advantages in one statement that helps focus your message and accelerate your success?

Answer these questions, and you’ve decoded your Marketing DNA: that special combination of target market, problem to be solved, unique selling points and your unique value proposition.

Knowing what you’re all about is empowering, so go out and sell a million. It’s written in your genes!

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