After creating and implementing hundreds of marketing campaigns for clients in just about every industry imaginable, a handful of elements kept coming up as essential. That is, when we ignored one, we paid the price.
Learn from my experience:
1. Your message isn’t customer-driven
What you’re saying about your product is important to you, is understandable to you. But not to your customer. It doesn’t matter what’s important to you. What’s important is what’s important to your customer. They buy for their reasons, not yours. Make sure your message is important to them. How? Ask them.
2. Your marketing methods aren’t customer-driven
You keep going to trade shows, but the decision-makers inside your customers’ companies stopped going two years ago. You keep advertising in that trade magazine because it’s the best and biggest in the industry, but the decision-makers inside your customers’ companies stopped paying much attention to it two years ago. Hummm. How do your customers expect to learn about new vendors like your company? How do they prefer being contacted? Ask them! Align your methods with your customers’ expectations and preferences.
3. Incomplete marketing support (not a campaign)
I see it all the time. A company sends one mailing, not much happens and they go about the task of figuring out why their marketing isn’t working. Or they place one ad or go to one trade show. No follow up.
Things change. A prospect may not be open to your message this month, but might be next month. Think marketing campaign: multiple contacts executed a variety of ways (ads, direct mail, Internet, trade show, etc.). One ad or one mailing or one trade show does not a campaign make.
4. No testing/quit before you succeed
“We tried direct mail but it didn’t work.” Tried it one time, did ya, and it didn’t work-well then, forget direct mail! Sounds silly, but too many owners give up on a marketing method before they give it a chance to succeed. Make small affordable tests. If customers tell you newspaper is how they learn about firms like yours, test in a newspaper where a quarter page ad is $400, not $4,000. Learn, change the headline. Change the offer. Change the price. Add a picture. Test. Rarely is something that “fails” 100% wrong. Testing helps you eliminate the bad and keep the good. Don’t quit before you give yourself a chance to succeed.
5. Too much “me-too”
Great food, fast, friendly service and reasonable prices. Wonderful, but why should I eat in your restaurant? Knowledgeable, experienced staff, made in America quality and fast shipping. Great, but why should I buy from you?
Are all those wonderful things you’re saying about your product really differentiating you, or do they sound like everybody else? My best antidote to too much “me too” is two things:
Make sure you’re giving people reasons to buy that are their reasons, not yours (a previous topic).
Be specific. Quality, service and price are so overused they have no impact. What does quality mean? “Our superior manufacturing techniques allow us to warranty our gizmo for 10 years, DOUBLE the industry standard.” “We have two owners and two superintendents in the field checking every job. No other contractor our size can say that. No other contractor cares more about quality than we do.”
6. You don’t contact enough people
At its most basic, marketing is still a game of odds. The more people you contact, the higher the odds your message gets to people who want your product at that time.
7. You don’t contact people often enough
Same as above. Get the odds in your favor. I may not need or want your product today, but I may next month.
Any of this sound familiar? There’s a reason why you’re still reading this far into this page and my site. . . Email me.