Sometimes, it seems that businesses out there thrive because of how great their product or service is. Word catches on and it flies!
We’ve seen this with Facebook’s success. With Apple’s product launches. With the latest best selling novels.
Or so it seems…
But in truth, to make this happen, Marketing has been heavily invested in. Whilst it feels like what they offer has been the real reason behind their success… it’s the marketing holding hands with those offerings that has been the difference between success of failure.
Because unless we really CALL OUT and TALK DIRECTLY TO our potential customers, they simply won’t know we exist. This is true of any company: large global companies, small businesses and self-employed one-man-bands.
And It’s true of any industry or sector: professional services, high street shops, the local butcher of hairdresser, and tradesmen.
Marketing is the success of failure of your growth ambitions.
And I’d like to run through a few core requirements of setting your Marketing up to succeed. Don’t start spending money without this!
Marketing isn’t just the creative stuff. It’s not just advertising, it’s not having a logo and a fancy website. These are certainly a small part of it… but overall, it’s all about what your prospects and customers experience when they interact with your product or service. And it’s about driving traffic into your business. Because the more traffic we have, the more changes of getting customers we have. Simple.
So here’s some key things to think about, and some 60-minute Marketing tasks to complete if you really want your Marketing to succeed.
1. YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE POSITIONING
The point of your product needs to be two-fold.
It needs to meet a real customer need by showing them how it serves it’s purpose in their world. And it needs to meet your business objectives; usually financially linked.
As we identified above, its no surprise to us that some of the big brands do so well; and customers go back time and time again. They know the quality of what they are buying. It suits their need. They desire it. But it’s not always the obvious need that we should play to when it comes to our customers.
For example, let’s look at Next. They sell clothes, yes. But they advertise heavily that you can order by midnight for next day delivery. They know that’s a customer need. A pain point… I need that item TOMORROW! It’s changed their sales figures dramatically.
Your 60-minute Product or Service Marketing Task
What really counts to your customer?
If you don’t already have it documented, draw up an overview of your product or service. What does it do? What are the features of it? Now, let’s flip this, and work out what purpose it serves to your customer… what are the key customer pain points that it meets?
If you can’t work this out, ask a selection of your customers and prospects (a little customer research) and find out the answers.
If you are not meeting a genuine customer need, and in the process helping to stabilise and grow your business profitably, then a re-think of the proposition you are offering is needed.
2. HOW MUCH DO YOU SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE FOR?
It’s really important to work out what your pricing strategy is. If you offer a commodity product, then competitive pricing is going to be a your challenge.
However, this is a dangerous game to play, so we need to ask ourselves the question: where is the value in what we do?
When you start to add other factors in, like the amazing service you offer, the expertise of the staff, or added value services, this is when you start to stand out from competitors and the cheapest price is no longer the deciding factor. Your customers want to do business with you because of the value you offer to them.
Your 60-minute Pricing Strategy Marketing Task
Work out your pricing strategy.
Think about the above points and work out where you add value to the customer and whether your pricing reflects that.
Do a little market research so you know how you compare to the competition in where the value lies, and their pricing.
3. HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH CUSTOMERS?
Wow, this is a biggie, and I could write a series of textbooks on this, so I am going to keep this short and sweet.
Firstly, when you communicate with your customers, it really needs to play to their pain points, as highlighted in point 1. Show them you understand their needs and respond with the solution you have. That’s how to truly resonate with them and convince them to buy.
Secondly, remember that the more ‘doors’ you open, the more likely you are to let people see what you have to offer. Activating as many ‘relevant’ marketing channels as possible is so important. You need to let them know you exist, remember.
Thirdly, it takes between 7 and 15 times for someone to be faced with your brand before they are willing to consider buying from you. So don’t give up and think you failed. You need to communicate, communicate and communicate some more. It’s about building a relationship.
Lastly, remember that whilst words are astoundingly important, it’s the way you present them is too. From packaging on a shelf, your social media pages, your website or an advert in a magazine. The combination of images, words and colour need to SING to your STAR CUSTOMER.
Your 60-minute Marketing Communications Task
Audit your communications.
How do you talk to your customer? Is it all about you, or are you identifying their issues and challenges and showing them your solutions? Look at your website, your brochures, your email marketing, your social media posts. Be honest.
Map out what Marketing activity you are using to communicate with your prospective customers. What is working and what is not? Have you really got enough doors open? Are you trying things more than once before giving up?
Is your Marketing visually appealing? Is the colour, imagery and wording connecting?