I recently created this graphic to illustrate the main components of marketing, as I see it.
There are 3 components to it, these include
- Winning or buying ATTENTION.
- Brand building
- Selling – transacting
Let’s have a closer look at each of these.
Winning or buying ATTENTION
Winning attention requires being present, wherever your prospective customers are hanging out, and where they are more easily targeted.
Most people are online these days, in some capacity, so having an online strategy makes good business sense. This might be via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin to name just a few. As I write this post, there are literally dozens of social channels to target.
To be able to effectively target your prospects, you must know and understand who they are, what they want, and how to best engage with them. Without this understanding you’re fumbling around in the dark.
Being in the right place is the first part of the equation, but then you have to stand out in some way, from your competitors, who are also trying to convert your prospects.
There are a number of strategies here, depending on where you’re actually marketing. If you’re able to use visuals (images and graphics), they should allow you to stand out from your competitors enough to draw attention, but not so much that they look out of place.
Your headlines should encourage prospects to stop and consider what you have to say. You can do this by inducing curiosity, or saying something that resonates with your prospects.
Test your approaches to see what works best on the various platforms, either by split-testing or just testing various approaches.
Once you have the attention of your prospects, you have two options, you can either try to sell to them straight away, or you can look to build brand.
Selling directly is okay for those actively searching for your solution at this very moment, but the difficulty you have is building confidence and trust enough for them to risk engaging with you or buying from you, without knowing much about you previously. Reviews and testimonials are good trust builders, because prospects can see how you have serviced previous customers. Case studies, name dropping well known past customers can also help out in this respect.
There will be a large number of prospects that are not looking to buy just now, but will in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. This provides an opportunity for you to build your brand with them, so that when they come to wanting to buy, you have already build up some goodwill.
To do this you have to provide some value up-front. This might be in the form of free advice, information, entertainment, insight or access. It needs to be value that is relevant to what you’re selling, otherwise it won’t make sense to the prospect and won’t be deemed relevant to what you’re actually selling and you won’t get that associative goodwill you require to get the sale.
Selling – transacting
Hopefully your brand building activities have built up some trust and liking in the minds of your prospects. This will make it easier to get the sale, because you’ve already proved yourself to be a trustworthy and generous supplier.
If you’ve not had the opportunity to build brand, you need to use reviews and testimonials and other 3rd party endorsements to help you build some trust, quickly.
You must look credible,even expert and able to deliver on your promise. How do you look credible or expert? Well maybe do some “How to ..” video tutorials, so that prospects can see you in action, doing what you do best.
You must look stable, by having a physical address, a shop is more credible than working from home in many prospect’s minds. In the same way a website looks more credible than just having a social media page.
If you’ve got a lot of follows on social media or a good ranking on Google search results, this demonstrates you’ve been around for a while and this will make the prospect more confident in you.
For prospects to buy they have to WANT or NEED some form of CHANGE. They have to have a REASON to move from the status quo, to being willing to part with their hard earned cash in exchange for what you are offering.
Most purchases are done emotionally, but justified rationally. So helping them to justify why buying is a good thing, is your job as a marketer. How will your solution solve their problem? How will your solution make their life better? What’s the benefit of what you are offering?
Lastly you MUST deliver on your promise. Don’t over promise and under deliver, because this will result in bad reviews. It is your job to manage expectations to avoid disappointment. It’s much better to under promise and over deliver over the long term.