Consider these two sentences.
- I want to market my business so it’s successful.
- I want to create a marketable business so it’s successful.
In the first sentence, “business” is a direct object. It receives the action of the verb “to market”.
In the second sentence, “business” is a noun modified by the adjective “marketable”.
No, this is not a grammar lesson. But hidden within these grammatical differences is an important difference in how people approach marketing. Let’s explore what this means.
I Love My Business Idea. Now, How Do I Market It?
We’ll start with the first sentence where the business receives the action of marketing.
With this approach, the business is created in a way that – initially – is isolated from the idea of marketing.
An ah-ha moment occurs. The entrepreneur has an insight about a product or service they think would be a seller. It’s often based on a need they discovered in their own life.
Or perhaps it’s a personal passion. A chef starts a restaurant based on what she loves. A nature photographer starts a business because that’s his passion. A chiropractor trained to get into that profession, so he sets up in his hometown.
Perhaps an eCommerce business sets up a fulfillment and shipping policy that increases their profit margins but results in slower delivery and more difficult returns for their customers. The initial profit projections look better with this set-up.
An entrepreneur comes up with a new product he thinks is amazing. He loves it. He’s enthralled by it. He can’t wait to bring it to market. So he borrows money from his family, creates a prototype, and heads to China to get it manufactured. In less than 6 months, he has inventory ready to sell.
The business exists. It’s a proper noun – a real thing in the world. Then comes sentence one. The owner wants to market their business so they get clients and make money.
And that’s followed by a question. How do I market my business?
Let’s Create a Marketable Business!
In the second sentence, marketable and business are conjoined. The words come together, denoting a common purpose.
In terms of a business and marketing approach, this is absolutely different from the first sentence. The business idea is developed hand-in-hand with its marketing strategy. In fact, it’s usually the case the business started in the first place because they recognized a market need – and a way to execute a plan.
A chef trains in fine dining, but she evaluates the market place in her area and realizes that a kind of diner/brewpub would give her a much better chance of success. She forgoes creating a menu based on what she wants to cook and develops a menu that she believes will be popular with the locals.
The nature photographer wants to be in the great outdoors, taking photos like Ansel Adams. But he looks at the business opportunities and sees there are only two established wedding photographers in the area, and one of them has a lot of bad reviews. He doesn’t really care for wedding shoots, but he sees that’s where his revenue opportunity is.
The chiropractor wants to stay in his hometown, but there are three established practices there. However, in another town 50 miles away, there are currently no chiropractic offices. He decides to commute.
The eCommerce business evaluates their fulfillment and shipping process, and sees that one option will be faster, more reliable, and work better for customer returns. It will cost a bit more, but they decide the customer service benefits are worth it.
An entrepreneur is inspired and comes up with a great product idea, but when he evaluates the market, he thinks his target audience is probably not ready to buy yet. It doesn’t fit the current trends, but it might next year. He creates a prototype and does a Kickstarter campaign, but holds off on investing too much or starting full production.
A Marketable Business
So what is a marketable business? Let’s break down our examples.
To establish a marketable business, the chef and the photographer analyze what’s missing from their respective markets and develop their offers to fill that need. They forgo their personal taste and interests and instead offer a product/service that their consumer audience wants – and will spend money on.
The chiropractor analyzes his competition and sees that if he sets up where he’d like – near his home – he’ll face an uphill battle getting any of the local client base. But another community – that’s still close enough – is open territory. By starting out in an area with minimal competition, he can more easily market to and win the local client base.
The eCommerce business realizes that the long-term viability of their business relies on getting positive reviews and winning repeat business. They decide to adopt a customer-centric model where they’ll prioritize offering value to customers, even if it cuts into their profit margins. In the short term they may not make as much, but it will pay off in the long run.
The entrepreneur knows he has a strong idea, but he feels the timing isn’t right. He knows he can get a few early adopters to try his product, but sees that pushing it into early majority adoption isn’t likely. He’ll learn more by crowdfunding on Kickstarter, then watch the trends and be ready to strike when he feels the market is ready for his product.
As these examples demonstrate, a marketable business is just what the grammar says it is. It’s a business that is built – from the start – with an understanding of how it will fit into the marketplace. It’s a business built on an understanding of the target audience, including their needs, buying patterns, and location.
Today, more than ever, reputation plays a huge role in creating a marketable business. There are many businesses that thrive on nothing more than their reviews, referrals, and overall reputation. They are so well known for the quality of their work and their stellar customer service, they don’t need to do much other marketing to stay busy. That’s a business with marketing built in.
Smart entrepreneurs know that if they have an innovative product, just filling a need in the market is not enough. The timing of a product launch is also vital and often has the biggest impact on success. You can’t know for sure if your timing is right, but a marketable business makes calculated, careful predictions.
We get many business owners who come to Marketing 360® with an established business – and no strategy at all to market it. Everything we do is more difficult under these circumstances.
We also get business startups and established businesses where the business idea and how it’s to be marketed are one and the same. The reason the business exists is because they had marketing and revenue plans in place from the beginning. Everything is far easier for us under these circumstances.
Maybe you have a business idea and you’re not sure about the marketing. Contact one of our marketing consultants today and let’s talk through it. Before you invest time and capital into your business, make sure your model is marketable.