Photo by Edubirdie
Marketing in business is one of those things that is quite often very difficult for a lot of people because there’s just so much out there.It’s hard to decide what marketing channels that you should use. You get bombarded with offers from companies that are really good at sales and marketing. So what do they do? They sell you stuff that may not necessarily be the best marketing for you.
So how do you know what’s good and what’s not? Well, the best way is to actually sit down and work on your marketing plan. Just like any part of your business, you really need to have a solid plan for what it is you’re going to do to achieve the results that you want. So you've got to think about, okay, first of all, what do I want to achieve out of my marketing? Is it new clients? Is it getting old clients to come back? Is it getting existing clients to spend more? What is the purpose of the marketing plan you’re putting together. That’s step number one. Now just say you’re thought about that and you've gone, “You know what? I want to get some new customers to buy from me.” I’m going to give you five steps that you should go through to make sure that your marketing plan is going to succeed.
#1. Who is your Ideal Client?
The first thing to work out is, “Who is my ideal client?” Have a look at all of your top clients, because what they say is that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients. And 80% of your problems will be come from 20% of your clients. It’s the old 80/20 rule. Work out who your top clients are, and they are going to be probably your ideal clients. If you go, “You know what, if they’re my most profitable, they’re the easiest to deal with, they’re the ones that I enjoy talking to, that never whinge, pay on time, and don't argue about the price.” Whatever it might be. You've got to decide what that particular client looks like.
#2. Where will I find my ideal clients?
Once you know who your ideal client is, you can then go to stage two of your marketing plan, and say where will I find them in their highest concentration. Once you know who they are you can go, “Okay, I know that that’s who they are. I think I'll find them here.” And that’s where you can market. For example, say you’re a newborn baby photographer. You go, “Who’s my ideal target market?” It’s not going to be people with 16 year old kids because you like shooting newborns, right? So your ideal client is a new parent. Somebody who’s just had a baby. You go, “Alright, well where am I going to find them in their highest concentration?” So you’re going to start to list that out and go, “You know what I'm going to find them in hospitals, I'm going to find them in mother’s clubs, chemists, I'm going to find them in baby centres.” So you can start to really hone down on where it is you’re going to find them.
That is vitally important to the success of any marketing campaign is to identify who your target market is and then where they are. Those of you that are marketing just with this broad blanket approach are asking for trouble. This is because you want to be nice and specific. Because as soon as you send one big net out there hoping to catch your ideal client, you’re going to catch a whole bunch of stuff you don’t really want. You are going to need to be very, very clear. Now, you know I've said before your ideal client could be somebody who paid quickly or your ideal client could be the opposite. I've worked with businesses, for example, that will provide finance for people that have a bad credit rating. So maybe they don't pay their bills, maybe they make an ideal client. But you get the picture, right? Who is my ideal client, where will I find them in their highest concentration.
#3. What am I going to offer them?
The next step is then to go, “Okay, what is it that I'm going to offer them?” We've got WHO, we've got WHERE, we’re not onto WHAT. What am I going to offer this person when I find them? Your offer has to be compelling. I see a lot of offers out there on the marketplace that just aren't compelling and I'm not talking about discounting. I'm a great believer that most business owners learn how to discount before they learn how to count. And I think that’s kind of dangerous. I'm talking about good, solid value ad offers.
The way that I like to think about an offer is that’s it’s got to be of a soft dollar cost and a hard dollar value. What that means is… just say you were going to buy a, let’s go back to that newborn baby photography. If I said to you, “Okay, I'm a newborn baby photographer, you have just had a baby and you want to get some photos taken,” I've got to make you an offer that compels you to ring me. So the offer could be buy one print and get the same print sent for free to the baby’s grandparents, or something like that. Now I'm adding value and that’s valued at $99 when it might only cost me $15 to do.
That’s where we’ve got to weigh up the hard dollar cost value with soft dollar cost. We want it to not cost us a lot of money but be perceived as a high dollar value. So that’s what an offer should look like. Your offer should be compelling! When you come up with your offer as much as it might excite you, I'm going to challenge you to go and ask as many people as you can about how they feel around your offer. Say to them, “Does this offer excite you? And if you were the potential customer, would it make you want to deal with me?”
#4. Why would they buy from you?
That leads me to the next part of the marketing plan. We’ve done WHO, we’ve done WHERE, we’ve done WHAT, we’re now going to do WHY. That’s why would they buy from you? You see most businesses compete on one thing and one thing only, and you've got it, it’s price. If all you do’s compete on price, you’re probably going to go broke. That’s the reality!
Competing on price is a mug’s game. What you need to do is work out how you can make yourself different to the competition. So when you ask the question, “Why will they buy from me?,” you have a very distinct and succinct answer as to why they'll buy from you over your competitors. What is it that’s going to compel them to buy from you? It can’t just be your great offer, it’s got to be your uniqueness. You've got to come up with something that makes you different to your competition. Otherwise all you’re going to do is compete on price.
#5. How am I going to communicate my offer?
Now the final part of the puzzle then is in the HOW, which is, “how am I going to communicate my offer to my target market.” There are so many different mediums out there, it’s no good just having one. For example, say you had a website and that website had great search engine optimization. You use Google AdWords to pump traffic through your website and that was your core source of getting business. Imagine that your website went down. Imagine if Google went bust tomorrow and could no longer provide you with all these leads. I know it’s probably unlikely, but it is possible.
The idea is to make sure you've got as many marketing strategies as you can. When we think about HOW we’re going to communicate our offer to our target market, you have got to think about many different forms of marketing and mediums. Online is definitely a great way to reach your target market, but what about things like magazines, direct mail. What about cold calling? What about networking events, strategic alliances, going through people that deal with the same target market. Think about as many different ways you can communicate your message to your target market and your marketing campaign is more likely to be successful.
To wrap it up
So let’s have a look at those five things again… WHO is your ideal client? WHERE am I going to find them in their highest concentration? It’s no good advertising bungee jumping in the Nursing Home Weekly magazine. They’re just not likely to take up the offer. Once I've worked out who they are and where they are, I can start to think about WHAT am I going to offer them and then WHY are they going to buy from me? And then finally HOW am I going to communicate my offer?
So there you go... There’s my five step process to make sure that you know how to build a killer marketing campaign!
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.