Nothing mystifies CEOs and business leaders more than marketing. There are some very good reasons for this. Marketing continues to be a collision of business, science, art, and what I call “strategic patience.”
But the main reason is in their approach and mindset toward what marketing is. In my opinion, marketing is getting someone (target market), who has a need (problem or desire), to become aware of you and then trust you enough to buy.
Awareness and trust are it for the real world businesses and unless you’ve got unlimited cash laying around to buy unlimited ads on a million channels, you better get down in the trenches and map out how to generate awareness, educate, build trust and convert.
Below are five questions that must be answered and in some combination put to use to boost your marketing efforts. No matter if you run a marketing department tasked with generating leads or you’re an individual sales person trying fill the lead gap, these are your questions toward boosting your efforts.
1. How will people become aware of our business and brand?
The reality is, your marketing won’t pick up real momentum and grow until you’ve mastered the “awareness” factor.
The key here is to research what your target market and ideal prospect reads, listens to, where they hang out and spend their time online and off. It’s also useful to identify any triggers caused by some type of life cycle change, calendar event, budget refresh, office relocation, etc. (Hint: focusing on identifying what these triggers are with your current clients is the best way to immediately grow share of awareness.) The first impression of your business or brand can come through many ways today: website, ads, direct mail, content, networking, public relations, referrals, social media.
Successful awareness always comes from narrowly defining your ideal customer and then choosing the right communication channels that has their attention: eyes and ears.
2. How will people trust our business and brand?
Trust is the single most important business element and is always at the heart of every transaction and is always on trial, everyday.
How can you demonstrate that your business or brand is competent, credible, and trustworthy?
Demonstrating and building trust can be done through many tactics but here are a few:
- Be visible. Be consistent. Use the same profile picture across social networks. Because familiarity breeds trust.
- Develop a sales process. Simply having a process for when someone calls, emails, completes an online form or requests a consulation is a start.
- Create and share content that solves your readers’ problems.
- Develop case studies and success stories, because your business or brand track record will shape their opinion.
- Ask questions. Answer queries. Say thank you.
- Admit freely if you don’t know an answer. Nobody expects you to know everything.
3. How do people sample our business and brands brilliance?
This is a marketing question that many neglect. Although you may have created the perfect solution there are times when people need a date before committing to the entire purchase.
It’s essential that you find ways for people to sample your products or expertise. You can do this by creating a try before your buy option, creating an unheard of guarantee, a low cost version, creating a free or low cost experience of your knowledge or expertise through an 30-minute consultation, audit or evaluation or presenting educational seminars.
Building trust is such an essential element of business success and getting your foot in the door with low barrier entry offers is one of the keys to moving people into full fledged customers.
4. How do people get more out of our service or product?
For this question the focus is on keeping the experience high. Think about how you onboard new customers, show them new ways to use your solution and even give them the keys to success.
If you aren’t creating processes, content and tools that show customers how to get more out of what they just bought, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to educate at a higher level, build on trust and increase customer loyalty.
5. How do we intentionally generate referrals?
If you’re not focused on creating referral motivation, one that gives you a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace, your business won’t survive long in the marketing world as we know it today.
Generating referral can happen intentionally, if you formalize the process or put a process in place to make them happen. Generating referrals today can be easy, viral, organized, automatic and profitable.
- create a team and introduce them to your customers,
- sponsor a non-profit event and incorporate your customers,
- create educational information or gift certificates
- feature your success stories in your marketing materials,
- hold customer appreciation events,
Every time you enter a new market or develop new product or service you can use this framework as a way to make sure your organization is on the path to success