I've been asked this question twice in a week. It's always preceded by "I'm currently doing A and B and C and D marketing activities..." and the assumption in the question is that if the current marketing activities aren't delivering the sales the business owner needs, the only answer is to add another marketing activity.
The problem with this assumption is it means that, by working on adding another marketing activity, they'll miss the potential goldmine of opportunity they could unlock by improving the marketing activities they're already doing.
This is why an engineering approach needs to be taken.
When an engineer starts to design something, the first concept idea is rarely the best. Unless the Design Engineer is extremely skilled and experienced, there's always a period of prototyping, testing and improvement that has to be done before the product is ready to be launched.
What many business owners do, in comparison, is they design their marketing machine, build it and then decide it doesn't work as well as they'd hoped so they scrap it and try something completely different.
Engineers look at the components of their design to work out which bits are working well and which need improvement. This is what marketers need to do too. If you're "doing LinkedIn", for example, but it isn't generating leads, that doesn't necessarily mean that LinkedIn is the wrong tactic, it could be that the way you're doing it can be improved. A tactic like LinkedIn isn't one "thing". Its success depends on many things including what you're posting, how often you're posting, what images you're using, how you're growing your connections, how you're using Inmails to reach out to prospects... I could go on.
The same goes for any marketing activity, whether it's advertising, social media, PR, SEO, or anything else.
If you're looking at your marketing thinking "This isn't working as well as I need it to" ... stop.
Before you scrap it and start doing something else entirely, break down the components of the activity into as many elements as you can. Consider the strategy, the headlines, the messaging, the imagery, the schedule, the frequency, and anything else you can think of. Then plan how you can test the effectiveness of each of those elements so you can improve them.
Most of the time, the biggest impact I make to a business is not by finding one big problem that needs to be fixed. The impact is from many many small improvements to every marketing activity, which all add up to a big increase in sales. I wrote a blog on this a few years ago about the marginal gains that led Team GB to cycling gold and how the same approach is crucial in marketing.
Need more help?
I explain this concept in more detail in a video in my free Facebook group. Pop in there to watch it and ask me any questions you may have about this.
If you need to get clarity on your own marketing activities and whether they can be improved on, book a Discovery Call with me today. I look forward to hearing from you.
In my blog last month I explained why we need content marketing. Today I'm going to show you what great content marketing means.
Content marketing needs to empower our buyers to make informed decisions. This means you need to demonstrate the full extent of your product or service and your expertise in a way that is convenient and easy to consume.
Because content marketing is all about education and trust-building, it supports our most risk-averse buyers who need to deeply understand and trust something before they're happy buying. Selling to fast-paced risk-takers might be much easier, but if you can convince the slow-paced risk-avoiders then your sales will skyrocket.
To explain the purpose of marketing content, first I need to explain something about buyer behaviour and why businesses didn't need marketing content years ago when they do now.
Over the 16 years I've worked in marketing, I've noticed a significant change in buyer behaviour. And with everything that's happened in 2020, this has only accelerated.
So how do we buy now compared to 16 years ago
I disagree with a lot of marketers on this question. I don't believe a business necessarily needs to spend weeks (or even months) creating a strategy.
Don't get me wrong, if you're running a huge corporation with a marketing budget of millions then it'll take time. You'll definitely need to spend a while getting your strategy right before you start implementing it.
But I work with small businesses who want to see results as quickly as possible. Do they need to take weeks out of their business before they can start taking action?
I say 'no'.
We don’t know when it’ll happen (maybe it’s already happening for you) but sooner or later, your customers will emerge from lockdown and need what you offer. Your marketing needs to be ready for this. Here are the steps to get ahead of your competitors in the post-lockdown period.
We can probably all agree that the last month has changed the world forever. So if the world has changed then chances are your market's needs have changed.
The essence of business boils down to solving problems in exchange for money. Whether you're a restaurant or a personal trainer or a software developer or a manufacturer, you all solve problems for your customers.
Over the last month, many new problems have been created and many problems we used to have are no longer important or relevant.
This is another question I've been asked recently because of the pandemic and I can understand why. Everyone, it seems, from Joe Wicks to David Walliams is giving away free stuff.
So if everyone else is doing it, does that mean you should?
Here are the things to consider.
I've have a few conversations with people this past week about discounting. I've also seen a lot of businesses discounting their products and services. So if a lot of people are doing it, does that mean it's a good idea?
Well, it might be a good idea for your business, but it might not. Here are the things to consider.
A value proposition is your answer to the question, “what value do you deliver to your customers?”
A strong value proposition is not necessarily the messaging you’ll use in your marketing. Rather it’s a tool for you to use internally to create powerful messaging that will resonate with your buyers.
A lot of people know exactly what they do, but they don’t articulate the real value to their buyer. If your buyer has to work out the value for themselves then that makes it harder for them to buy from you.
My definition of marketing is simply making it as easy as possible for people to buy from you. So if your customers have to work out for themselves what value they’re going to get from buying your product or service then you’re not making it easy for them.
It’s important to tell your customers not just WHAT you deliver but also HOW you deliver it and WHY it is important.
So how do you create a value proposition?
In my last two blogs I’ve been taking you through the buyer’s journey, looking at how excellent marketing needs to support our buyers at every step.
If you missed part 1 and part 2, read them here:
Encouraging the first purchase
To reduce the perceived risk at this point in the buyer journey, your customer needs to feel what it’s like to be a customer before they buy.
A product ladder is a series of offers and products that lead from one to the next so people can build a relationship with you and get a sense for what it’d be like to be a customer before they commit to something big. It’s all about reducing perceived risk.
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