The right questions are the foundation of any solid work. The quality of a solution rests on the right understanding of the problem. This is no less true when it comes to digital marketing and design.
The first step in any project should be to ask questions and listen. Digital marketing and design never have a one size fits all solution. Each business has different markets and people that they serve, different products they sell, and different ways they communicate. For example, a tech company, a dentist, and a restaurant are all going to use digital marketing in different ways. One may want to reach a nationwide audience but only serve particular types of people and occupations. Another might serve almost anyone but only in a local geographical area. The bottom line is that cookie cutter solutions, whether they come from a blogger, an ebook, or by observing other brands, aren’t always going to work. It’s important to ask the right questions (and many of them) before you start trying to provide the right answers.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” ― Albert Einstein
What are some of the right questions to begin with?
I’m sure you’re asking, “What good is it if I say that you have to ask the right questions if you don’t tell us what those questions are?”. You’re right so here they are.
Right Question #1: Who are you as a company?
If you don’t know who you are, it will be hard to define any of the other questions. What is your area of focus? Do you make a particular product? Provide a unique service?
Right Question #2: Who is my ideal customer?
Once you’ve answered the first question, it will be easier to answer this question. Who are you targeting? Are you using analysis to define your ideal customer or your gut? Why?
Right Question #2: How am I uniquely suited to serving my ideal customer?
What can you do that others in your space can’t? What separates you from the competition? What will allow you to stand out from your competitors in your space?
Right Question #3: Where does my ideal customer live, work, shop, etc?
Once you know who you are, who you’re looking for, and what unique value you bring to them, you need to figure out how you reach them? Will you need a website? Online advertising? Social media marketing? a billboard?
Right Question #4: Where do I want my business to be in six months?
Knowing how much money you need/want to bring in in the next six months will help you focus on the key areas you need to invest in to get there? Focus will help you find the key levers that will allow you to grow and begin moving those levers.
Right Question #5: What triggers my ideal customer to think of me?
Is there a particular problem that causes your ideal customer to think of you? What brings you to the top-of-mind for them? Is it an email? A social media post? A physical punch-card in their wallet?
Right Question #6: How much time and money am I prepared to invest into the solution?
This is the key question that comes after all the previous questions. Once you know about yourself, your ideal customers, how to reach them, how to get their attention, and where you want to be in six months, you can make a sound decision about how much you can wisely invest into your methods to ensure you still get a reasonable return on investment.
Where are you at?
I’ve outlined a summarized some of the key questions you need to start with. How would you begin to answer some of these questions? Would a worksheet help you determine this better?