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Why do you do what you do (wdydwyd)?

June 20, 2011

This question, this “meme”, is written about in Wired Magazine, Blogged about at http://wdydwyd.com and is a fascinating twitter hashtag at #wdydwyd.  And why do you what you do is a one of the four pillars of strategy in the small business marketing world we live in everyday.

Now, Simon Sinek owns the phrase that people don’t care what you do until they know why you do it (video).  So one of our core questions to our client is the why do you do it?  What is your marketing purpose?  Why do you run a business beyond the basics of making a living, making money.  When you started your business, you probably had a purpose.  Have you lost it or did you never really document it well.  For whatever the reason, if your marketing is feeling lost, I am willing to bet that your purpose is bit cloudy.

The second pillar of a sound marketing strategy is market focus.  Who is your ideal customer?  No, it is not anyone with money.  Your ideal customer is someone that values the why in the paragraph above.  They also should be profitable and vocal in referring you.  If they benefit from your marketing purpose, they are going to value your products and services and the rest is usually easy.

The third pillar for your small business marketing plan should be around your remarkable difference.  Why are you different than everyone else that is offer your range of products and services?  If I look at the text on your website and your closest competitors, could I really tell you apart?  If you say it is service or your great staff, can I really see a difference the first or second time I talk with you?  Your difference doesn’t have to be earth-shattering.  It just has to be meaningful to your ideal customer. It may be as simple as the lawyer who promises to call back within 24 hours and actually does.

The first 3 pillars above are straight out of Duct Tape Marketing.  The small business marketing methodology we support and use with our clients.  It works because it is based on sound, time tested principles.  The fourth pillar is ours, and we added it because we work with a lot of clients who, on the surface, look like they do the same thing, but really don’t.

The fourth pillar in our small business marketing approach is that you must talk about the problems you solve, not the products you sell. We are all so busy today that we aren’t looking for products (unless you are a 12 year old looking for a specific brand of shoes), we are looking for solutions to the problems we have.  The internet has changed the way we shop and most of believe (quite correctly) that the answers to all of life’s issues can be found on line.  So as a merchant, a small business owner or a professional – whatever you choose to call yourself – be sure you are talking about the problems you solve.

So to summarize, it is about why do you what you do….

  • Why are you in business? What is it besides making money that gets you out of bed everyday?
  • Who is the ideal customer that will benefit from your marketing purpose?
  • How are you different; really different, from everyone else doing something similar?
  • What are the problems you solve for your customers or clients.

So if any of this is baffling or confusing, take advantage of our free 45 minute marketing evaluation.  Anyone with “marketing” in their title can try and talk tactics.  But strategy is what makes a tactic work.  Why do you do what you do?  Tell us.

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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