Important Marketing Questions Every Business Owner Should Be Able To Answer

important marketing questions

We’ve compiled a list of crucial questions every business owner should be asking themselves to set their company up for success…and there are a few questions that may even surprise you. This is going to be a highly informative show you won’t want to miss!

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Ready the Full Discussion Below

Glyna: Hello.

Sarah: Hello. Here we are! I’m super excited about today. I know I sound like a broken record. I say that often. But this one I’m really, really excited because we put together these questions that I’m so excited to go through. And we don’t claim to have all the answers by any means, but these are things that just along the way was a self -discovery and we thought, “Well, what better way than to share this with everyone because it’s truly helpful.”

Glyna: Yeah, it’s kind of the basis of all your marketing. You really need to start with these points and we’ll get to all of them, but if you don’t stop and think about them and really put things in place, you’re hurting your other efforts.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s like operating in quicksand.

Glyna: Ah. That’s a good one!

Sarah: Yeah. You’re never going to get anywhere. So, today we compiled a list of marketing questions that we think every business owner should be able to answer, and a couple of really cool examples to show what we’re talking about. So, let’s get started.

Glyna: Welcome to Marketing Mix everybody! Every week, Sarah and I are here to talk about all things digital marketing. We do like to mix it up, though. You never know. We may do some tips and trends, some Q&A, just you never know. That’s where the mix comes in, right?

Sarah: That’s exactly right. And today’s show, it’s a little different. But don’t forget. We go live every week on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. And don’t forget about our podcast, Marketing and a Mic. And as always, we want to make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing because we’re always putting out videos every single week. We’re turning them and turning them and turning them. And so this is, whether it’s day-to-day operations, whether it’s just your reputation, your customer service, your sales process, everything that you should be doing should make sense in generating revenue. So, that’s what we’re talking about, is making sure that everything falls align. And let’s just get right to it.

Glyna: Yeah. All right. So, number one. First, you have to think about this. What is your business known for? And you may think, “Well, that’s pretty easy,” but we really need to target and get down to the nitty-gritty. You can’t be known for everything. So, it’s very important to be clear about what makes your business different. Now, you can think about this in two different ways. Let’s think about the products and services that you sell. What are you most known for? And also your reputation. If people say Fusion One Marketing, what is it that they think of? It should be clear. So, that’s a good place to start.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s almost like other people are describing your business. How are they describing it? So, for products and services, what are your customers often purchasing? Or how would they describe your business? And if it comes down to reputation, it would be, are you known for your customer service? Are you known for your staff? Are you known for your quick delivery time? What are the things that are the chatter out there? Are people saying, “Oh, you need this? This is the business. They’re known for this, this, and this.”? So, that’s what we’re referring to. What are the customers saying about your business?

Glyna: Exactly. We’ve got a great little story here to tell.

Sarah: Yeah. This is a really good example that I actually heard on a marketing podcast.

Glyna: Everybody has heard of JCPenney, right? So, there’s a little behind-the-scenes story about JCPenney and how they got off track and can drive home the point that we’re trying to make. So, if you think of JCPenney, it’s always been known as the bargain department store. Customers love that. They love the JCPenney experience because they always feel like they’re getting a deal. And then JCPenney always has that in your face, red price discounts, price slashing, all that. And it’s all over their website and in their stores.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s exactly right. And when you think about that, you think about, who is that customer? And the ideal customers that go to JCPenney are the ones that like to bargain hunt. They like a deal. They like the discounts. That’s what drives them to JCPenney. So, a new CEO comes in and he’s just like, “We are going to completely rebrand JCPenney. We’re going to fix the image.” So, what his vision was was, “I want to make this more boutique style. I want to make it trendier. I want to bring in higher-end name brands. And I want to just completely revamp the whole JCPenney image.”

Glyna: Yeah. And you have to keep in mind, this is after decades that JCPenney has been in business and what they’ve been known for. So, what did he do? Okay. So, he removed all the overcrowded racks, ended all the big discounts, and he brought in more expensive product lines. But he failed miserably because why? He neglected to understand that his branding was definitely not consistent with JCPenney’s customers, all of those loyal people that have been following them all along. So, you have to think about this lesson learned. You can’t transform a company if the culture can’t be transformed. You don’t want to turn off all the loyal customers you have gathered because then you’re left with nothing and you’re starting all over again. So, that is an excellent example of what we’re talking about.

Sarah: Totally. I mean, it’s that whole thing of, what are you known for? And if you are trying to rebrand yourself or you’re trying to do something different, you got to think about, “Well, who are my customers? Are they going to go along with this rebranding? Or have I really made this company off of these certain features that are what are drawing those customers? So, yeah, that JCPenney thing, completely flopped. He’s like, “I’m going to redo the whole thing.” And the customers are like, “We don’t want to go there for the trends. We want to go there for the bargains. Why would you take that away?” And it really backfired.

Glyna: Well, yeah. And I see those kinds of things happen all the time and you just shake your head and go, “What were you thinking?” The same thing with your brand overall. I see people who are like, “We’re going to rebrand. We’re going to change our logos. We’re going to change our look. We’re going to even do all of that.” It’s okay. If you do that and change it a little or tweak it, but you don’t want to wipe out everything and start over. And then people would be like, “Who’s this?” They don’t recognize you.

Sarah: Yeah. And don’t forget why your customers came to you in the first place. So, let’s move on to number two, which is, what is your moneymaker? And no, we’re not going to say, “Shake your moneymaker.” Okay. What do we mean by, “what is your money maker”? What is working the best? This should be the one element of your business where you’re like, “Man if I could just sell this all day long, I’d be in great shape.” It’s not necessarily your most popular item, but it’s the item that generates the best ROI, and that’s what you really need to think about.

Glyna: Yes. You always have to think about ROI or return on investment. What’s the best for your company, revenue-wise? Now, if your most popular item is also your best ROI, then yay for you. You’ve done a great job.

Sarah: You get a star!

Glyna: If not, you need to sit down and re-examine what you’re putting out there and what you’re really advertising so you can generate more demand for that product or service. Keep in mind, your moneymaker is like, we always say, your golden goose. So, you want to make sure it’s front and center and you’re able to sell it more often. So, whatever you have to do to put that front and center is what you really want to concentrate on.

Sarah: Yeah, you’re exactly right. And if it isn’t, it’s your golden goose, but if it’s not generating what you want, then you have to re-examine that and how you can get it in front of more eyes. Okay. Number three. What do you want to focus on? This is just, I love this one because it’s really not what you think. I mean, many businesses make the mistake of adding all these different services or products that really just don’t make sense and they don’t align with what their brand is. They tend to think, “Okay. Well, if I offer more than the other guy, then I’m getting an edge over the competition. So, if he’s offering this, well, I’m offering more, then that’s going to put me ahead.” And that can backfire.

Glyna: Yeah. And I’ll say, we’re not perfect. 10 years in this business, we’ve had the same thing happen and had to re-examine. I call it getting lost in the weeds. You want to be everything to everybody just because that’s like, if you’re in business, you’re wanting to help. You’re wanting to be able to do everything, but you really need to focus. So, this is why it’s important to know what you’re good at and focus on that. If you don’t, you’re going to be wasting a lot of time. So, you don’t have to be a jack of all trades, master of none. Find your specialties. Find what works. We know, and I’m just going to use our example, we know we have our whole digital optimization package, our SEO stuff. We know how it works, who it works best for. We really honed in on that and try to stay out of, “Yeah, we could do that and that and that and that.” It doesn’t help. And a lot of times you may not have the bandwidth to be getting lost in the weeds, as we call it.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s another important thing. So, here’s a really great example. There’s a show that I was obsessed with. It was called The Prophet. And this guy would come in and he’d examine businesses. There was just an element or two that was missing, that the business owner couldn’t put their finger on it. And so he would come in and just help re-guide them. And he always had three Ps, which are Product, People, and Process. And he would examine which of those threes was working. So, this restaurant was called The Standard Burger, and they wanted to be known and establish themselves as a specialty burger restaurant that only used fresh ingredients. So, that was their thing. Then they started expanding their menu and they started including fried food because they wanted to cater to everybody. The problem with that was that those menu items, weren’t the top sellers because they were essentially a burger restaurant. So, they started bringing in frozen items. So, this fried food was frozen. And their thinking, they thought, “Well, people want fried stuff. We want to make sure that it’s there for them.”

Glyna: That is the perfect example. They should have stuck with that fresh, fresh, fresh because that’s why people were coming there in the first place. And then to go from that to fried foods and then to frozen. Yeah, that’s really stepping away. It took away from their reputation of being the fresh ingredients specialty burger, which is why people came there in the first place. So, again, perfect example. They’re trying to cater to everyone coming into the restaurant instead of maintaining that uniqueness in the first place. So, again, you don’t have to cater to everybody. Let’s really zone in on what’s best for your company.

Sarah: Exactly. Stick to your expertise and know what your expertise is. So, number four, this is another common mishap, is knowing which customers are right for you. So, just like offering too many products and services, businesses can sometimes make the mistake of taking on customers that just don’t make sense for their business. And I think it’s just important to know which customers aren’t a good fit. And just ask yourself as a business owner, do you know when to walk away from a sale? Do you know when it’s like, “All right, I can see that this is just not going to work,” and then be okay walking away from it. And I know you’re laughing.

Glyna: I’m laughing because we’re so guilty of this, even still now.

Sarah: You want to love everybody, right?

Glyna: Yeah. You want to help! And I’ve got to give a shout-out to Christine Sizemore who is teaching me through her sales training of not every person is a qualified customer, even though I want them to be. She said, “If you’re a helper, then it goes totally against your grain.” You want to be able to say, “Well, I know I can help them. I know I can do this and this and this and this.” And that’s just not the best thing for your business. So, you have to know that not every customer is a win and that’s okay. And that’s hard for you and me. We had this discussion yesterday and we won’t get into the specifics, but it’s like, “Gosh, we want to help this person, but we’ve already done this job.” So, anyway, you don’t want to take on customers that drain your time. We hate that because we want, again, want to help everybody. Your resources and your efforts, I mean, you only have so many resources, and a lot of times it may not be worth it. And then you are disregarding the other customers that need you because you’re, again, you’re caught and stuck in the weeds. So, don’t accept businesses out of your expertise. Try to stay in line because in the end it could hinder your reputation and fail for you to meet client expectations as I talked about. You already have all these perfect clients over here. That’s where you need to be spending your time. So, it’s hard.

Sarah: Yeah, it is.

Glyna: It’s hard. Because you and I both are helpers and-

Sarah: Well, and you know what I think? Sometimes too, it’s like knowing what those red flags are. Because like you said, getting in the weeds. Sometimes you’re taking on something and there may be little signs or little things of this may not… but then you’ve already taken it on.

Glyna: I know.

Sarah: And then before you know it, you’re like, “I’m spending so much time on this.” And that’s the thing is, it’s not anything against the client. It’s really against you being able to know, can you serve them best? And if you can’t, you just got to be able to make that decision early on so that it doesn’t get to that point where you’re draining your resources and time and everything.

Glyna: Yeah. And that means there may be a company out there that would fit them better. And you hate to give them to your competition. But anyway, it’s hard. That part is very hard.

Sarah: Yeah. That is a tough one, that’s for sure. Okay. Let’s move on to number five. So, what is your pricing strategy, and does it match your client base?

Glyna: It’s a biggie. It’s the biggest, probably.

Sarah: It is. It is the biggest. So, when you’re thinking about your products and services, don’t neglect who it’s for. Is it matching the demographic and can that demographic afford it? Also, think about how does it compare to the competitors? Because your pricing is really important. You’ve got to make sure that your pricing matches your value and matches your customer.

Glyna: Oh my gosh. That’s a huge, huge lesson. And they may not both be the same thing. Do you know what I’m saying?

Sarah: Mm-hmm.

Glyna: So, if your pricing is higher, do your customers see the value in that higher price point? Do they feel like they’re getting what they’re paying for? But if it’s lower, sometimes this can be just as bad because people are like, “Well, gosh, I looked at all these other companies and they’re this price, and why are you so low? Maybe you don’t really know what you’re doing.” Because it’s always like, “If it sounds too good, then maybe it is.” So, finally again, as you mentioned, does your pricing match your client base? Are they willing to pay that price? Do they see the value? Because you can’t price yourself out of a market. It’s just pricing is hard. Again, these are all hard things that seem surface level, but they aren’t. These are the nuts and bolts of your business. You really have to nail this down.

Sarah: And it really just goes back to, I think all of these questions just coincide with each other. Because again, it’s that whole thing of, what are you known for? Who is your customer? All these things. Because if you know those things, if you know, “Hey, here’s my brand reputation. Here’s what I’m known for. Here’s who my customer is,” then the pricing element should become a little bit easier. But again, you just have to make sure that your customer sees the value in your price, and that it’s not priced either way out of the market.

Glyna: Yep, exactly. Pricing could be a whole show.

Sarah: It could! Oh gosh. Okay. Number six. So, how do you keep your current customers happy? I love this one because there is so much out there, that mentality of just keep filling the wagon. Like, got to get more sales, got to get more sales. I always think about that old Dunkin’ Donuts, like, “Got to make the donuts. Got to make the donuts.”

Glyna:  Over and over and over.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s like you’re focusing on, “I got to get new revenue in. I got to generate more sales.” Which you do. I mean, that’s just a simple fact. But if you’re spending so much time on that, that you’re not focusing on your customers, you could really lose, essentially, a big part of your bread and butter. You have to keep your current customers happy. And think about this. Your current customers, they’re the ones that you’re most likely to add on additional products and services and upsell them. They’ve already seen the value so you’ve got a good bit to work with. That’s why you don’t want to neglect them.

Glyna: Yeah. What is that saying that they always say? It’s easier to keep a current customer happy than try to go out and find new customers. And anybody who has to prospect, you know that that’s really, really true. So, your current customers too, these are your loyal people that love your brand and know what you already stand for. They’re your brand ambassadors. I guess you can say that. They’re so much more likely to refer business to you and help you with positive reviews to help promote your reputation. So, happy existing customers are key. So, you want to definitely remind them why they are with you in the first place. Keep reminding them of the value and benefits, and also remind them how important they are to you. It’s not just one-sided. They have to feel valued as well.

Sarah: Yes. And one way to do that is that constant reinforcement. You can send them emails. You could touch monthly reviews, things where it’s like, “Hey, let’s take a look at where things are. Things are looking great.” Just giving them those reminders of, “Love having you as a client. Here’s how things are going,” to just reinforce why they chose you to begin with. So, again, that’s where that email marketing can come in or the monthly reviews, as we talked about. So, making that effort to acknowledge your current customers on a consistent basis, keeps them happy and keeps them loyal.

Glyna: Well, yeah. And we love our current customers and having that good relationship going both ways. So, the next thing. Don’t neglect the groundwork. And we have a great example of this. I’m sure a lot of people have kind of heard this principle, but maybe not heard it in this way. It’s called the Iceberg Principle in marketing.

Sarah: Yes. Let’s pull that up.


Important Marketing Questions


Glyna:  … let’s talk about this. Imagine you’re floating on the Titanic. Maybe that’s a bad example. No. On the Titanic and about to hit that iceberg. You look at it and you’re like, “It doesn’t really seem that big. And maybe it’s just half the size of the boat, so it should be no big deal. So, I think it’s not an issue.” But what happens?

Sarah:  Yeah. You don’t realize that it’s so much larger underneath. So, let’s give us a visual. So, this is the thing. The iceberg. So, you see an iceberg. You’re like, “You know what, though? Our boat’s so much bigger. If we hit this, it’s not going to do as much damage because our boat is that much bigger.” But as you said, what people neglect to realize is that you can only see what’s on the surface. 90% below that iceberg is what’s going to determine the impact. So, the visual part of the iceberg really only makes up 10%. The other 90% is underneath the water, and that’s what almost gets unseen or neglected or whatever it is. It’s this whole principle of don’t neglect your groundwork because it is a huge part of what people end up seeing at the very tip of that iceberg.

Glyna: Yeah. And it’s always the same thing. Nobody knows the effort that you’re putting in. So, you have to set this groundwork upfront. Your customer only sees the output, yet what happens underneath the surface plays a huge factor in the longevity of your success. In other words, build that right framework in your business from the beginning. If underneath there’s no alignment, no strategy, or those processes are broken, you’re going to have unhappy employees. You’ll never sustain or grow. So, you have to think about everything, customer, employees, all this stuff. It’s not just the surface. It’s what has built the business underneath, too.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s what’s going to sustain you. So, what is that 90%? That’s your customer, company culture, your values, your processes, your marketing efforts, your sales strategy. These are all those groundwork things that if you keep them solid and in place, then that tactical work is if it’s maintained, then hey, that top 10% that everybody is seeing, that superficial part, is going to be like that shiny… it’s like, “Oh, they’ve just got it going on.” And they don’t realize that underneath it is all that groundwork that you have to keep going and it just has to be sustained. So, I just think that’s a really good analogy on how to help maintain that foundation.

Glyna: Well, yeah. And it doesn’t happen overnight, either. I mean, we’ve been in this business 10 years, so success is just not overnight. It’s building that base and building that foundation all along.

Sarah: Okay. So, we’ve got our number eight and final one today.

Glyna:  Number eight. Knowing how to reach your customers. Oh my gosh. We’ve talked about demographics and targeting a lot, but it’s so important. So, think about this. Where do your customers hang out? How are they hearing about your business? How do they prefer to be communicated with? That’s very, very important. Nothing better than a well-timed, well-executed marketing plan that falls right into their hands. So, you have to know all of these things to know how to approach your overall marketing so that you get the most out of it.

Sarah: Oh, that’s so true, Glyna. It’s like, where are your customers? Where do they hang out? How do they want to be communicated with? How you said, how are they hearing about it? Because there’s nothing worse than a saturated marketing plan that is wasting your money and not getting any results because you haven’t defined those things like, how do my potential customers like to be communicated with? Where are they? Where can I find them? So, if you want to market to your customers, you have to understand what makes them tick and what’s going to work for them. And that’s the beauty of online marketing too, is you have analytics that you can look at, at your fingertips, to help you make those kinds of decisions and learn about your customers. So, use them. Use them to do them.

Glyna: So, I know this was an overview, but these are really things for you to think about before you even start any of your other marketing. So, again, as always, if you need any help with these things or anything digital marketing, we love to offer a free consultation and talk to you about what you need, and brainstorm with you.

Sarah: So, here’s a wrap. So, talking about, these are Marketing Questions Every Business Should Be Able To Answer. 1. What is your business known for? 2. What is your money maker? 3. What do you want to focus on? Don’t focus on too many things. Stay with your expertise. 4. Knowing which customers aren’t right for you and knowing when to walk away from the sale. 5. What is your pricing strategy and does it match your client base? 6. How do you keep your current customers happy? This is a big one. 7. Don’t neglect your groundwork. This is the foundation of your business that keeps it strong and growing. And 8. Knowing how to reach your customers through marketing efforts. It’s a very important one.

Glyna: Perfect. Yeah. I’m glad you went through that one more time. So, now that’s a wrap, I believe. I think maybe Kelsi and Sarah are back next week. We’ll just see how that goes. We’re working on something that will be really awesome. So, I hope you all have a great day, and thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you then.