The First Step To Marketing Success
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
You are reading a guest blog post by Chris Spaulding.
Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, is frequently quoted as saying “the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
I could not agree more.
Day in and day out I speak to business owners who do not realize how important marketing is. They spend so much time focused on non-revenue generating activities and then wonder why they are not getting the growth they want.
If you want your business to flourish, you need to learn how to create effective marketing campaigns that find, educate and pre-sell your ideal prospects so you can position your business as the only viable option in your marketplace.
If you cannot generate a steady, predictable flow of qualified leads, who are predisposed to do business with you, scaling your business is an uphill battle.
Many businesses rely on word-of-mouth or referrals to generate new clients, customers, or patients.
Referrals are great. They are the second easiest sale to close (right behind your current clients).
They have less price resistance, fewer objections and concerns, and a shorter sales cycle.
However, if your only means to generate new business is referrals, your growth is severely limited (especially if you do not have formalized referral systems in place).
You need to learn how to find, engage and convert qualified prospects into clients. If you cannot, you are at the mercy of those who refer your business, and when the referrals slow down or dry up, you are in trouble.
Marketing guru Jay Abraham compares businesses that rely on one source of client generation to a diving board because they are not stable.
Your goal should be to build a multi-pillar marketing program that constantly pulls new, qualified prospects to you.
When you have multiple sources of lead generation, your business is stable. If one slows down or stops working, the others can pick up the slack and keep your business going strong.
When you can generate a steady flow of interested, qualified prospects, you do not have to worry where your next sale is going to come from.
Moreover, since the lifeblood of business is cash flow, effective marketing is the heart that keeps the blood of your business pumping.
What we are going to talk about today is the most critical step you must take if you want your marketing to succeed.
I believe it is the most important step, yet it is the one that many marketers and business owners skip.
It should be the first step you take when marketing your business.
When marketing results are poor, often it is because the marketer did not take the time to do what you are about to discover.
There are many types of marketing media for you to choose from:
4) Direct mail
5) Google Adwords
The list goes on and on and continues to grow.
Each media has its strengths and weaknesses.
However, the fundamentals that make them work are the same.
Success in marketing comes from knowing and applying these fundamentals. Unfortunately, many businesses do not know or understand them. They focus on the wrong things.
For example, when I run lead generation campaigns or train businesses on how to make Facebook advertising or Google AdWords work, without fail, they want to learn about the technology.
And, while learning the technological side and becoming comfortable with it is important, ultimately, it is not what makes your marketing successful.
Technology changes constantly, but the marketing and sales fundamentals that make the media effective, remains the same.
These fundamentals apply to traditional media like direct mail or print ads, too.
Almost daily, I am contacted by businesses that need help.
Sometimes it is a start-up looking for assistance with strategy.
Sometimes it is a business with a marketing campaign that isn’t getting results. Sometimes leads have dried up, and the business owner does not know how to generate more. Sometimes the business needs immediate cash flow to stay afloat.
There are many reasons.
In most cases, effective marketing can solve the problems facing these businesses.
The first step toward marketing success.
If you want to give your marketing the best chance of success from the start, you need to get crystal-clear on the specific person you want to attract.
As behavioral expert Wyatt Woodsmall said, “if you can explain someone’s problem to them better than they can describe it themselves, they will naturally assume you have the solution.”
Stop. Think about that for a minute.
If your prospects feel you understand them, they will likely believe you can give them what they want.
So, whether it is a problem they need to be solved, a transformation they want to achieve, a pleasure they want to move toward, or pain they want to move away from, the more you understand who they are, what they want and why they want it, the better.
You need to know this person better than they know themselves.
Remember, your clients do not choose to do business with you because they understand what you do. They choose you because they feel understood.
When you understand your prospects, specifically, you can find them, you can create compelling offers that get their attention, and you can craft persuasive marketing messages that get them to take the action you want them to take.
So how do you get this deep understanding of your prospects?
First, you have to build a detailed marketing profile (sometimes called avatar) of your ideal prospect. This is not a 10-minute exercise, but the time you put into it will pay healthy dividends later.
Don’t assume you know them. Don’t assume you understand them. Assumptions are marketing poison.
When I work with clients, whether it is helping them with marketing strategy or creating and managing lead generation campaigns, my first step is to spend three-to-four hours, and sometimes more, interviewing them about their prospects so I can gather the information I need to be successful.
Who are they? What do they want? What do they need? What are their desires, fears, frustrations, etc.? The more details, the better.
Go through a similar process to gather information about your ideal prospects.
How do you use this information?
First, use it to find your prospects.
For example, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users. Your prospects are there. It also offers incredibly powerful targeting features, but if you do not know and understand your prospects intimately, you will not be able to use these features to get your messages and offers in front of the right people.
That can mean lots of wasted money.
The same applies to any media.
If you are buying lists for direct mail campaigns, selecting keywords for Google Adwords, or deciding what publications to advertise in, you need to make sure you get your business in front of the people with the highest likelihood of acting on your offer.
To do that, you need to know them intimately.
Take the time to go through a thorough process so you understand your prospect.
Another way to do this is to interview or survey your current clients.
You can also use sites like Alexa or Similar Web to gather information on your prospect.
If you know what sites they search online, you can use these free tools to collect valuable data from your competitors or other influential sites in your niche.
This gives you real data you can use as you create your marketing profile.
Here’s some of the information you should gather. Use it as the basis for your marketing profile (or avatar):
1) How old are they?
2) Are they men or women?
3) What do they do for a living?
4) Are they married, single, divorced?
5) How much money do they make?
6) Do they own their homes or do they rent?
7) What TV shows do they watch?
8) What do they read?
9) What interests them?
10) What do they do for fun?
11) What are their problems or challenges (as it relates to your product or service)?
12) What are they trying to accomplish?
This information will also help you construct compelling offers that get your prospects to take action. (I do not have time in this post to go into the components of an irresistible offer, so if you are having trouble coming up with one or having trouble coming up with one that works, download my free Ultimate Offer Blueprint. Refer to it whenever you create offers.)
You only have seconds to grab your prospects attention.
The marketing opportunities available for your business are unlike anything we’ve ever seen, yet it is the fundamental principles that have always been true that have the biggest impact on your success.
When you get this right, you will shorten your sales cycle, increase profits, generate new clients every week, you will not have to worry and stress where clients are going to come from, and you will be able to scale your business and give yourself the life you want.
About the writer of this guest blog post: Chris Spaulding specializes in revenue generation. His company, Business Marketing Solutions provides strategic marketing consulting and coaching, “on-demand” lead generation, copywriting, sales and marketing training.
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