We interrupt this important message on marketing to discuss what’s on most people’s minds – March Madness. From coffee shops to offices, this is the crazy time of year when college basketball fans are filling out brackets trying to predict which team will be crowned the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division 1 champion. A single elimination tournament where the Cinderella team has been known to defeat the Goliath, the excitement begins on March 18 with 68 teams.

What’s even crazy then the madness of this tournament is how people pick their tournament teams for the bracket. Answers vary from they pick the team with the best mascot or cheerleaders. Some people pick teams based on loyalty to the college and some pick a team because it has a history of making it to the Final Four year-after-year or some people decide their favorite team because of the coach or a player.

On a basketball team, there is a coach, an assistant coach and 12 players. Add the band, cheerleaders and mascot helping to provide the hype for a team. And then there is the strategy – where a coach decides who to play based on the opponent. A coach may play his best five defensive players or he may play the players who can make 3-point shots.

Now, think of marketing as the team. Just as the team has various facets to it, so does marketing.

Marketing consists of advertising, public relations, media planning, sales strategy, customer support, market research, community involvement, product pricing and distribution.

Just like a coach devises a game plan, a business owner must create a marketing plan. How do you want your company to be known? How are you going to share that message? Who is your target audience?

A coach and his staff spend hours reviewing the opponent’s game film so when they go into the game they know what to expect. The same is true with a marketing plan – it is an important investment to make sure you are targeting your customers. It provides your company with a clear idea of where you want to go and what you want to do. To reach your target audience – what is the best method of advertising – print, billboards, TV, radio, the internet or a combination? How will you do community outreach – a public relations strategy or sponsoring an event? To make your business a success you need a strong marketing strategy.

At Oregon Marketing Group, we work with business owners to create a marketing plan and to implement it. We help you make sure the money you invest on marketing garners you sales. Too often, businesses spread themselves too thin – trying to do a little bit of everything without reaching their target audience. Oregon Marketing Group specializes in helping you get noticed by your target audience.

As a business owner, think of marketing as your team – with each member on the team ready to help you achieve your goal and make sales.

Then think of Oregon Marketing Group as a part of your team helping you succeed.

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