Last month I posted about how to do your own strategic marketing. It's not an easy process which is why most ambitious business owners get a consultant in.
I've worked with a lot of businesses who have worked with a consultant before me. But many tell me they've not been very impressed with the results. The reason is invariably because the consultant was thinking tactically and not strategically. For example, they were focusing only their area of expertise such as social media or PR.
Unless you know what to look for, this can be difficult to spot. The impact might not be felt until it's too late, when a lot time and money has been spent.
I'm writing this list in the hope that my clients will keep me accountable to it. If I'm doing one of these things then my standards are slipping and I don't want that to happen. So hold me to it!
Here are the signs to look for:
For most businesses, customers don't buy in isolation.
There are other people involved who also have to be persuaded for the sale to go ahead. There are referrers who might recommend people towards your organisation.
Who those people are will vary greatly depending on what you sell and to whom. It might be a partner or spouse, a business partner, a boss, a Company Director (the FD is a common one), a team of users, or even our own inner critic.
If all these stakeholders aren't persuaded and nurtured then you're probably missing out on sales and profit. So what should you do about it?
I've pulled together my favourite blogs from Watertight Marketing on the subject, along with an excellent case study where this was a big issue for the business.
"I need to work out what my 'killer message' is".
The myth of the "one killer message" still runs deep across a lot of business advice, especially online. And if you sells something that would be considered an impulse purchase, then it might be true that you could create one emotive message that would compel people to buy on a whim.
However, most of the businesses I work with do not sell impulse buys. In fact, more often than not, they sell things at the other end of the buying spectrum: "considered purchases". If your customers will take their time to think about their decision before they buy then you sell a considered purchase. And your customers will therefore need a number of different messages to convince them to buy.
That's not to say that marketing messages are no important - on the contrary! Creating and honing marketing messages is always a valuable strategic marketing exercise. That's why I've picked out a few of my favourite blogs on the subject from my archive and from the Watertight Marketing blog.
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