The Most Important Part of Your Marketing Plan: Your Product

It goes without saying that your product is the most important part of your marketing plan. Maybe not so much in the short term, but long term to be sure, at least when you are marketing a retail product.

I work in an engineering office in Jacksonville where it matters short term as well. Our service is civil consulting and engineering. Our product is a set of civil construction plans. Lots of eyeballs see those plans. Our clients, city/county/state review personnel, surveyors, other engineers and drafters, print houses, even courier drivers. I want any plans I draft to look as good as they can; clean and clear so the reviewers don’t go cross-eyed looking at them. I have seen plans get denied several times by reviewers by and large because they simply weren’t clear. They were messy and convoluted; sloppy. In my early days I did my best, but I didn’t realize the importance of a clean set of construction plans until I actually did a subdivision where I really put my heart into them. I made sure everything was as aesthetically pleasing as possible. That set of plans got approved “as noted” in one submittal and my outlook on the work I do was forever changed. (Unfortunately, we later found that the client had cleared their land without a permit which caused a major hiccup with the project, especially since they counted a portion of it as wetlands. BIG NO NO. We still got things fixed.)

If you are a draftsman like me (or another type of drafter; architectural, mechanical, survey…) remember this. People see the plans you draft. Lots of people. It speaks volumes not only for the company you represent, but also for you personally, to do the best you can on the plans you put together. Straighten up those crooked leaders and be sure to spell check every note. Be sure your company logo is on every sheet you’re responsible for. Make it look good. Don’t forget, clean and clear; concise and to the point. Leave no room for questions. You will make the reviewers happy which in turn will make your boss happy.

For others always bear in mind that the product (or service) you offer must be the best you can provide. If it’s not you’re doing the wrong thing. Get out now and find a product you will put 100% of your heart into. You should always seek to improve your product to the best of your abilities. With my cad drafting and my photography I’m always learning new things. My product improves steadily over time. I admit I still have those days where my heart is just not in it. No biggie. I sit out for a few plays and wait for my heart to kick back into gear. I get back up and hit it hard. Perseverance is key for those times when you are in a slump.

No matter what you offer, make it good.

Another aspect of marketing that is of vital importance: customer service. How do you deal with your customers? Do you always approach them with a positive attitude? Even when they are being a $#@!? That brings me to another topic I’ll cover in the near future. Professionalism.

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