“It’s not what you think it is,” I commented. My client had just re-visited a chronic issue that has plagued their company for years. In fact it’s become the Achilles heel of their business.
The challenge I’m referring to is consistently driving more business to their door; in other words, marketing effectively. Most of the business owners I work with, regardless of the industry, struggle with this same problem to some degree.
The good news is that changing the way you think about your prospective customers, and exactly how your business goes about interfacing with them purposefully, can produce dramatically different results on your bottom line.
Marketing a business is likely not what you think it is either. To think about marketing, consider how people hear about you and in turn, are compelled to reach out to learn more about your product or service. That defines your marketing objective!
Marketing is collectively: the activities you perform on a regular basis that accomplish that objective over and over again – ideally until you have a steady stream of prospects in your pipeline (which defines a successful marketing campaign by the way).
Another sure sign of marketing success is new prospects finding their way to you in droves from referrals or repeat business. But most businesses either aren’t experiencing that or have had, at best, only partial or inconsistent success.
Reasons Why Good Customers Aren’t Funneling In:
1) Our business model sucks.
That is, we’re trying to sell a product or service that no one needs or wants. Sorry, but sometimes that’s true and we need to face reality and think very hard from our customers’ perspective, about what it is they want and need vs. what we want or need to sell them.
As simplistic as it sounds, the best way to find the answer is to ask your customers. You may be amazed at some of the honest and transparent feedback customers will give you. Try sending out a simple 4 – 6 questions customer satisfaction survey (try www.surveymonkey.com) with a place at the end inviting constructive criticism.
As hard as reading the results may seem at first, be assured that the feedback you receive will be some of the most valuable information you will ever have for developing your long-term marketing and sales success.
Occasionally, it’s clear that a business model needs to be radically changed or abandoned completely, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. When it comes to marketing your product or service, the only thing that counts is what your prospective customer wants or needs – that’s it – nothing else matters.
Are you delivering that with your marketing message?
2. No Marketing Plan
The second reason why marketing efforts and campaigns don’t work so well (the one most often responsible for our frustration and stress) is because marketing plans aren’t plans at all. Instead, they’re random efforts that amount to shotgun campaigns with no specific target, no consistency, no strategy and no measurement.
Start by asking yourself this question; “if I want to hit a target, should I close my eyes and start shooting – at anything?” The answer is obvious. So why does that describe most marketing efforts, and likely yours as well?
Here are some concrete steps you can take today to get on purpose and on target with your marketing plan and get results. And by results I mean to attract prospective customers’ attention to the point they are compelled to reach out to you to learn more. That’s success in marketing.
Steps to Success:
1. Write out what benefits customers receive by purchasing your product or service.
Think of a benefit as a solution to a customer’s problem or challenge. Put another way, how does your product or service ease their proverbial pain?
According to studies, most people make a purchase to decrease pain – that is, to solve a problem. So what is the solution your product or service provides – exactly? Remember, benefits, when correctly defined, simply and succinctly answer the customer’s question: “What’s in it for me?”
Remember, people don’t care about what you have or what it does (or even if you exist for that matter) unless it solves their problem. You’re in the solutions business first and foremost, and if the solution is not crystal clear to your prospective customer, most will fire you before they’ve even met you!
2. Review all of your current marketing materials to determine if the benefits described above are clearly stated and understandable to anyone seeking what you’re offering.
Your benefits must come across loud and clear. Be bold with this step. I don’t mean offensive and invasive.
If you can’t clearly convey the value of your product or service to the buying public then your marketing is just guesswork. Problem solving language is the only language that a prospective customer understands and relates to!
Make sure your message reaches out and touches a prospective buyer’s emotions and resonates with their wants and needs. In your brochure, website, business card, print advertising, billboards, tradeshow display, company vehicles or others, make it consistent and make it bold. “Here’s the problem our product or service solves for you!” “Here’s how our product or service relieves your pain”.
3. Craft a marketing plan, commit to the daily discipline of following it, and then rigorously and regularly measure the results. Without a plan and the commitment to see it through to completion, nothing will ever change.
For your marketing plan to succeed, you’ll need to define where and how you’re most likely to intersect with that target client, and then create and follow a strategy to reach them.
I’ll leave you with this thought: business success isn’t random, so your marketing efforts shouldn’t be either.
To get a jumpstart on your marketing plan, feel free to send me an email and I’ll get a copy of my marketing plan template out to you right away >> CONTACT US TODAY
In the meantime, stay encouraged and always know that Legacy Business Leaders is committed to your best success in business and in life – whether you need business coaching services in Ohio or around the globe.