Getting Started Online Step Two: Targeting Segmentation and Positioning.

18 Dec

You’ve done your research. Found some cool sites, found some nightmares and probably have a whole new list of ideas and things you would like to do. What’s next? The next step is to get clear on your target market and how you will position yourself in this market. This is not a six month consultancy driven stage. It’s just a couple of thought processes that will help keep you on track when the lure of twitter or some snazzy web design begin to pull you away from what you started out to accomplish.

Let’s keep this process simple:

1. Open up whichever memory aide works for you. It could be Microsoft Word, a Mind Mapping tool or even a pen and paper and note down your thoughts on the following.

2. Consider which market you will target, then with in this which specific segments will you direct your efforts towards. Is it a broad market, all men in the world aged over 40. Or a narrow one, all stamp collectors in the Channel Islands.

3. Once you have some ideas of your target market and its segments think about how you will position yourself within this market. It’s unlikely that you can be all things to all men, women and children. So think about what your company will stand for and offer to this market. Consider Tiffany’s. This company  knows its target market and manages all marketing to position itself within this market. Then consider GAP, a great company but one that tries to appeal to everyone and now has to offer 60% off everything 10 days before Christmas.

The point here is just to have a few statements about who your online business will appeal to. From here you can shape your marketing efforts and also give yourself a buffer against the desire to appeal to everyone and in doing so appeal to no one.


3 Free and Easy Research Tools

17 Dec

There are many free and easy to use online tools that can help you research your market and competitors.

Here’s three of the best.

1. Google: Simple and speedy. Pretty much everything that is great about Google is widely covered already. Billions of URLs listed, on-going analysis of a pages relevance, etc etc.

2. Alexa: A wealth of tools and information. Analyse your the outcome of your own work as well as take a snoop at other sites.

3. Twitter: A great way to find people and topics that are relevant. Search engines are great but sometimes all you get back is the most SEO’d page rather than what you need. A quick twitter search often yields some interesting results.


Getting Started Online Step One: Research.

11 Dec

So you want to get started online? What’s the first step? I wish it was glamorous and exciting but I’m afraid the first step is simply ‘Do your research’. This does not mean procrastinate, read volumes of books, listen to every guru and never actually get round to doing anything. No, it simply means take some time to look at what other people are doing. Understand what tools are available. Get and idea of what you like and what you don’t like. Then use all of this to get clear on what you plan to do and what you plan to accomplish.