As marketers, we can construct dozens of ideas on how to market a brand or product, especially those we are knowledgeable about. But what happens when an opportunity presents itself and you know nothing about the industry or how the product works? Maybe the lingo is too complicated? Maybe the business is too niche for you to understand? Are you going to pass on it and move on to the next client or are you going to do everything you can to learn? Here are some ways you can research and market a product or business you know nothing about:
Review the Company Website
Your first step before interviewing your client is to actually read through their website and get a solid understanding about their business and products. You may notice:
- Missing Content – Bring up new content ideas during the meeting based on what you think is missing from their website.
- Unfamiliar Terms – Take the time to search the definitions of unfamiliar or technical terms to help you understand their lingo.
- Products and Services – Familiarize yourself with the company products and services. See how they present their products and determine if the process to buy is easy or complicated. Even if your marketing strategy is perfect, poor website structure can affect sales and should be discussed in a meeting.
Interview Your Client
This might seem like a no brainer, but talking to your client about what they want is mandatory. Whether you’re marketing their product or their company, you want to make sure you ask the right questions. For example:
- Who is your ideal customer or buyer persona?
- What are you trying to solve for your customer?
- Who are your competitors?
- What is your Unique Value Proposition?
- What target keywords do you want to rank for in Google?
- What is your cost to acquire a new customer?
- What content goals do you want to achieve?
These are just a few questions you could ask and I’m certain you can come up with more. Getting your questions right the first time relieves any worries about your ability to get the job done. Additionally, you can always bother them with questions via email, but try not to ask them something that should have already been asked during the first meeting. The last thing you want is for your client to worry if you’re “doing it right.”
Here are three sources that have more questions you could ask a potential client:
- 41 Questions Marketing Consultants Should Ask Potential Clients
- 71 Questions Every Marketer Should Be Asking (And How to Test Them)
- 13 Questions That Will Lead You To Your Perfect Marketing Strategy
Last but not least, Google will become your best friend during the entire process. Search for anything that can help you gain a competitive edge in marketing for your client. You can search for:
- Competitors – View competitor products, blogs, social media, reviews and marketing tactics, then improve upon them within your own marketing strategy. See what they do right and wrong to gain the upper hand.
- Products – Search how the products are being portrayed on the internet. Look up blogs that explain the technical aspects in Layman’s Terms. This can help you articulate how the product can benefit the customer.
- Blog Ideas – Search for popular blogs within your clients industry, make a list of popular blog titles, pick one and improve on the blog in your own words. You can add more details, add a list, create an infographic and/or make the topic easier to comprehend. Once you’ve improved on the topic, you have a better chance of reaching the top spot on Google.
- Newsletter Ideas – Research popular newsletter layouts in your clients industry and see what design fits best with the company identity. Use the layouts as examples and create a custom newsletter. This shouldn’t be too difficult since most email marketing applications today provide drag & drop builders with customizable templates.
- Reviews – Read competitor reviews to see what their customers are saying. You can utilize both good and bad reviews to better market a business or product.
Overall, do your research! You can market anything as long as you take the time to research. Make sure you completely understand your clients’ business goals, values, and products before you begin your marketing process. The list above should point you in the right direction to start marketing a product or business you know nothing about. Good luck!