Successful Marketing Fundamentals: Back to Basics

When you keep the basics and principles of marketing in mind, marketing becomes much simpler and you will see better results.

There are many different approaches to marketing but they all involve the same basic elements. I often see people get distracted from the basic fundamentals of marketing, and it’s not surprising with all the new technologies available to us on a regular basis. It’s quite easy to fall victim to shiny new object syndrome. But, when you keep the basics and principles of marketing in mind, marketing becomes much simpler and you will see better results.


Step 1: Find your target market

It all starts with your target market. Knowing your audience is the first (and most important) step to successful marketing. Without a defined target market, you can’t fine tune your messaging to speak to and engage them. This is a common reason marketing seems to be all over the place and not always successful for many businesses. Often a business owner will start with a product or offer and then try to find the market for it. This could be considered somewhat of a backward approach.

You need to identify your market first and there are many ways to do this. If you are already in business, take a quick look at your current customer list, what do they have in common? You can also look at your competition’s customer base as well here. If you are starting out and already know, or at least have an idea of your niche or product, look at the audience for that niche to find your target market. What are they buying? The internet is a treasure trove of data when it comes to research – where are these people hanging out online? What forums, groups, and social media sites are they using?

Step 2: Know your audience

After you get to know your market it is much easier to get an idea of what they want and need and the best way to get it in front of them. All you need to do is listen. It is most likely you will be able to hear the problems your target market is facing and use your product to fill that need.

With a hungry audience and a product or service they want, the next challenge is getting it in front of them, online and offline. Offline means you need to meet your audience face-to-face and clearly communicate your offer to them. Online means your product or service lives on your website and this is where you need to communicate your offer through your copy. Make sure you focus on the benefits and how it helps your audience solve a problem.

Of course, before making your offer, you need to know a few things first. Let’s start with the best price for your offer. This is sometimes the most difficult for May of us, as new business owner, many of us easily undervalue our product or service, especially if the value is outside our comfort zone.

There are a couple of ways to look at this. The first method is to look at the cost of producing and delivering your product first and then add your desired profit of margin. For example, if it costs you $25 to product a product and you want to make $25 from each sale, you would price your product at $50. A second method is to determine what you want your return on investment (ROI) to be and price your product so you meet that goal with a specific timeframe. You also want to consider the pricing offered by your competition as well as the perceived value your offer will have to your market.

Step 3: Promoting

Up to this point, we’ve covered your marketing basics which are common. For the next step of promotion you have an endless amount of choices. For some, this is where it can get confusing.

Again, our two main options are offline and online. Offline marketing methods include print advertising, like a newspaper or magazine, television, trade shows, hosting events, sponsoring events, local networking events, even direct mail. There are many offline options for marketing but you want to choose the best method for your audience.

Next, we want to think about online marketing, which is equally if not even more confusing. Most people will start with SEO (search engine optimization) and work on building their brand using social media, blogging, an email list and other similar options. With social media, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with so many options. I recommend picking the top places you will find your target audience and building from there.

Step 4: Mindset

Most importantly, keep it focused and keep it simple. Focus on your audience, start with what they need or want and work back to your offer. Be sure to feature the benefits and how your offer solves their problem. If you know your audience, present them with the solution to their pain where they are, success is yours.

I can’t wait to hear from you below with any questions you might have.


  1. Great information, Angela! A lot of time people get set in a routine, and don’t stop to check that their message is attracting the right audience. It’s helpful to be reminded of these basics, no matter what stage we’re at.

  2. Angela, how often should I be reviewing my target market? and how should I do it? I know that I need to make a change, since lately we are attaching “not quite” our ideal clients.

    • Angela on at

      Great question Janet! I would review it yearly or more specifically anytime you feel a shift in your business where you get the “not quite” a fit feeling from prospective clients. I would look your current client base and determine the best or favourite client and describe who they are, what makes them great, why do you enjoy working with them, where do they live, hangout, and how old they are. Here’s a short post I wrote awhile ago about determining your target market –

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