The Fundamentals of Marketing

YLAI Fellow speaks on stage.

After you have launched your organization, one of the biggest challenges is attracting customers and clients. You may be offering a product or service that will change your community, your country or your world for the better, but the impact of your project or organization depends on people knowing about it.

This is where you need a marketing plan, a guide for how to attract clients and investors.

Award-winning entrepreneur Franziska Iseli recommends starting with a one-page marketing plan in her article for Octane Magazine. To begin, you will need to define three things:

  1. Your WHY – What is your purpose? Why did you develop this product? What need does your service address?
  2. Your WHO – Who is the audience for your product or service? There is probably a specific demographic that you have in mind. For example, if you make children’s clothes, your audience is probably parents; people with no children will be less likely to purchase your products, so it will be more productive to focus on those with a need for what you offer.
  3. Your UNIQUENESS – How are you different from your competitors? Do you offer higher quality? Do you offer better prices? Do you offer something that no one else has? What makes you different could be what makes you stand out.

Another way to get started with your marketing plan is to use the ABCDE method, which can help you plan concrete steps for your marketing plan.

  1. Audience – Who are the people you most want to reach? How old are they? Does your audience work in a particular sector? Do they live in a specific area? How do they get their information? Define your primary audience as closely as you can.
  2. Behavior – What action or behavior do you want to influence? Do you want people to purchase something? Are you raising awareness about a community concern? Do you want people to contact the local government on a specific issue? Know what you want the outcome of your marketing to be.
  3. Content – What does your audience need to know? Will you be telling them about your product? Will you telling them about an important problem in the community? Will you be sharing potential solutions to a social issue? Clarify what new information your audience should understand.
  4. Delivery – How will you inform your primary audience of your content? Does your primary audience listen to the radio? Is there a community center where you can post information? Meet your audience in the places they already frequent.
  5. Evaluation – How will you measure whether your marketing has been effective? Will you measure your success based on sales or sign-ups? How will you measure the change in behavior of your audience? By establishing these evaluation measures early, you can track whether your marketing is successful.

Whichever method works best for you, make sure you have a plan for increasing awareness and inspiring action for your mission.