Scott Smith talks about marketing and branding…

As I was searching the other day for more information on creative advertising, I found some really great information from Scott Smith. This is information that will help with effective marketing and advertising.

In my old advertising and marketing days, I’d always start by collecting deep knowledge of the product or service, and of the category. That included always trying the product for myself, or getting someone I know and trust to try it.

I think this is crucial: if you don’t believe in the products you are selling or know anything about them, how do you expect to speak with confidence to your potential clients? What if they have a question about a specific detail – Can you answer it? What if they want to know more about the products reputation or durability – what can you say about it without having used it?

So, bottom line – Use the products you are selling! Have your friends and family use them! Get feedback. Post the feedback on your site (especially if it’s really good!); if it’s bad you may want to look at other options within the product line. Scott Smith goes on:

…ensure that the product or service [is] up to snuff and functioning properly according to its goals, and that brand or line extensions [are] in place to address various users’ needs or tastes.

We’d learn as much as possible about what the users think, and what they want. Car manufacturers can put all the technology they want into a car, but if a consumer wants a RED car and the manufacturer doesn’t offer RED in that model, the sale is lost. You gotta know stuff like that. Knowing the category is essential to maximizing potential revenues and profits.

The phrase “knowing the category is essential to maximizing potential reveues and profits” is perfect. If you don’t know what your clients want, you are probably waisting lots of time. Find what people want and then give it to them!

How do you find out? One way is by going to a bookstore or library and looking at magazines that your market users may be interested in. What types of products do they buy currently? Who advertises in these niche magazines? What do they offer?

Another way is to ask your market. Do a survey, make a poll or form they can fill out; give them something “free” if they fill out a brief quetionnaire. Do something to collect data that you can use in the future to better meet the needs and wants of your customers.

If you understand the importance of knowing…this stuff, and make it your business to know the answers in your categories, it makes selling and positioning a brand within a Web site whole lot easier…

Great stuff! Now use it (and make comments!)…

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