As Webster Dictionary’s definition suggests, marketing expertise is base on obtaining objective knowledge and using it to develop methodologies and principles. It all begins with gathering, managing, analyzing and systematizing information.
Marketing is far more than tactics. A sound marketing strategy begins with analysis. Therefore the word ‘science’ aptly reminds us that first-rate marketers do their homework by researching the marketplace, competition and customer preferences, just to name a few. The goal is to take a crap shoot and turn it into an informed decision. Is there still risk? Absolutely, but it’s greatly reduced.
There are a number of textbooks devoted solely to the types, validity, merits, descriptions, etc. of various marketing research methods. Some are quite complicated, while others less so. Since research and analysis are particular interests of mine, I’m tempted to provide you with specific details on each type. But you’re in luck… I will resist the …
If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll never ‘find the time’
If the idea of marketing and selling your services leaves you with a yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach, then let me assure you, you’ll never ‘find time’. As long as you feel like this, there will always be a more attractive activity pulling your attention. Even if your fairy godmother gifted you with two whole weeks, you’d still find ways to avoid marketing and selling. It’s called ‘Creative Avoidance’.
Is your problem is really a ‘lack of time’ or are you creatively avoiding marketing and selling?
If your business isn’t structured properly, you’ll never find the time
If meeting your revenue goals is dependent upon you working with clients 4-5 days a week, then it’s going to be really hard to find time for marketing. You may need to take a closer look at your pricing structures …
One key discipline of successful direct marketing has been to test marketing communications tactics to continually improve results. There is now an alarming trend according to a recent survey that we conducted among business-to-business marketers who are readers of Sales Lead Report.
Only 24% of the marketing professionals surveyed said they usually or always test their marketing communications tactics before rolling them out.
The survey was completed by 280 of 940 subscribers who received and read a special edition of the enewsletter Sales Lead Report.
When asked if they test marketing communications tactics before rolling them out:
- Less than 5% (4.5%) said they always test;
- Less than 20% (19.5%) said they usually test;
- 27% reported they occasionally test;
- Nearly 34% (33.7%) said they seldom test;
- 15% (15.2%) said they never test.
In other words, nearly half of the survey participants (48.9%) said that they seldom or never test marketing communications …
People really don’t care about hearing about you. You must make them see how you can benefit them. Remember WIIFM – What’s in it for me?
You really need to sneak your way into your customers’ head and speak to their needs, their wants, their wishes, their dreams, their fears, their desires.
You must then offer them benefits, and show them how your products and services can help solve their problems, achieve results they only dreamt about, take away pain that they might have been feeling in a particular area.
Another problem in most advertising is that people are selling the wrong things when they should be selling benefits.
Most people simply talk about features of their products and services, eg. Comes in an elegant box, Has 100 moving parts, Handmade by craftsmen. All these features do very little to sell.
You really have to show your customers how all …
Adapt to Your Customers and Become a Specialist
As you work with a lot of customers and prospects in a narrowly defined market, you gain special insight into how they think and what they need. You will be able to communicate with them as in “insider” using their own special vocabulary and style.
Prospects and customers will think of you as being “one of us” …a specialist who caters to their unique needs. They will want to do business with you because you understand their special situation and know exactly what they need.
As a specialist you also eliminate much of your competition …even if their prices are lower. Most customers will pay a little more to buy from a specialist so they can avoid the risk of doing business with a competitor who has little or no understanding of their special needs.
Bonus: When you deliver results as a …
Now let’s look at other organizations you, your business and, of course, your community can benefit from by your involvement, but not in that order.
Service Clubs: There are three major service clubs that come to mind, and I’m sure you are familiar with them to some degree already: Rotary International, Kiwanis International and Lions International.
However, don’t just run off and join the largest club in your area just because it’s the one that gets the most media coverage. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t be joining a service club at all for the sole purposes of promoting your business. You should be joining because it is the right thing to do. The benefits, and there will be benefits, will come indirectly.
Each of the above mentioned organizations have a main charity or area of interest as a national or worldwide project. Lions International for example is recognized …
Another aspect of marketing is knowing how to continually reach and increase your market in the most cost effective manner possible. One way to increase reach and do so cost effectively is to find other businesses who share a similar market. These can be complimentary businesses and even competitors. What better way to get your foot in the door of a new market than with the endorsement that comes from a joint venture?
Solo marketing efforts are no longer as effective as they were in the past. True strength lies in utilizing the power of joint ventures. It is probably one of the most compelling marketing strategies you can implement. With so many people competing in any given industry, an appropriate joint venture can stretch your marketing dollars and increase your market reach. And do so in a way that people want to do business with you. That is the …
This is why a lot of successful companies nowadays just love using the loyalty marketing concept as a key strategy for them to be able to keep afloat in today’s highly competitive market. The loyalty marketing strategy is actually just based on a really simple premise which is to develop a stronger relationship with each and every one of the company’s best customers, make sure that they are always happy and satisfied with the company’s products and services because they are the ones who will most likely stick with you for the longest time. Once you have already built a solid relationship with your best clients you will now be ensured of more profitable years ahead for the company.
Highly dependent on whichever type of market place situation is the type of loyalty marketing objective that you should infuse.
For your company’s loyalty marketing objectives, here is a good start:…
Management does not know specifically what it costs to recruit a new customer. Plus, there are no accurate statistics on the average customer lifetime value.
Without this knowledge, it is impossible to make sound decisions. You cannot determine how much to invest in marketing. If you spend more to gain a customer than their lifetime value, ultimately you will go broke. In the absence of this information, many businesses can and often do fail. To make matters worse, few of the casualties understand why they failed.
Solution: Before you invest large sums on marketing, determine the average lifetime value of a customer. An excellent book that I highly recommend on this topic is The Loyalty Factor by Frederick Reicheld.
Management makes no attempt to build a customer database. This is especially so with most retailers, restaurateurs and department store owners. However, I’ve seen this in many other businesses.
Solution: A …