The 5Ws of marketing. Sort of.

By Ron

5wsI had this great idea. I’m working on ways to promote my freelance business (obligatory link here), so it got me thinking about the basics of marketing.

So, I figured I’d write it down. Maybe it would help me focus. My great idea was to make it the 5Ws of marketing, like the 5Ws of journalism, only different. I couldn’t make it work. I ended up with What, Who, Why, How, What, How and How instead of Who, What, When, Where and Why. Doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it makes a heck of a lot more sense.

What are you selling? Sure, you might not strictly be selling something, but you’re still trying to get people to buy into something – a product, a service, an idea, that kind of thing.

Who wants what you’re selling? There’s no point trying to sell to someone who doesn’t want it. It just doesn’t make sense.

Why do they want what you’re selling? Benefits. You have to tell them how your product or service will make their lives better.

How do you communicate with them? You’ve got all these reasons why they need your services and now you have to tell them about it. What do they read? What do they watch? Should you use direct mail? If you’re trying to reach senior citizens, a banner ad on a music download site is probably not the answer.

What steps do they have to take to buy what you’re selling? Maybe they need to pick up the phone and call you. Or go to your web site. Or go to the store. When they call you, what next? If they’re on your site, how do they buy?

How do you get them to take those steps? Each step has to lead to the next one. Someone sees your ad in the paper. What they see has to make them want to call you, go to your store or visit your web site, depending on your product or service. Once in your store, let’s say, they have to be enticed to buy. That could mean a great storefront, a comfortable interior, well-displayed, attractive merchandise or all of the above. Everything you do has to make them want to take that next step toward buying.

How do you follow up? In this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, you must follow up, in some cases whether they’re purchased or not. Develop a mailing list (snail or e, depends on your audience), send a newsletter, create special offers or simply run more ads. If you make a good first impression and you keep reminding them how wonderful you are, chances are you’ll have repeat customers.

So, how does this relate to my business (obligatory link here)? I’ll get back to you on that.

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