Most people who aren't marketers think of marketing as "getting your name out there". That if you want more customers, then you just need to tell more people about your product or service.
This assumes two things:
1. That as soon as people hear about you, they'll just "get it" and immediately understand the benefits of your product.
2. That the decision to buy is an easy one that doesn't involve too much thought.
If you sell an impulse-buy, like cupcakes, chocolate bars or jewellery, those assumptions are probably correct. So a marketing strategy that focuses on promotion (or "getting your name out there") is probably correct.
However, for most businesses I work with, at least one of these assumptions is wrong.
Assumption 1: customers will just "get it"
First, it might be difficult or even impossible to sum up the benefits of your product or service in one so-called "killer message". Your offering might have a whole range of different benefits that will be more or less important to the buyer depending on their circumstances. It'd be impossible, in that situation, to craft one "killer message" that explains everything.
Therefore you need your marketing to have a conversation with prospective customers. You need to spend time understanding their circumstances and explaining the benefits to them.
Assumption 2: the buying decision is an easy one
Second, your customers might need to take their time over the decision. They might want to weigh up the amount of money it costs with the value. They might need to consider - or even consult - other people. The might need to work out whether your product or service will fit all their different requirements.
This will naturally slow them down in their decision.
If you've been designing your marketing working on these two assumptions, you have been assuming that your buyers make their decision quickly.
However, if one or both of these assumptions are incorrect then your buyers are not buying on impulse but are making a more "considered purchase". And if they're making a considered purchase then you need to support your customers through their buying process.
What other assumptions are you making in your marketing?
When you start thinking about it, there are loads of assumptions we make in marketing that might actually not be correct. Here are a few that I see most often:
Know your assumptions and check they're valid
Making assumptions is an essential aspect of business success. We can never know for absolute certain what your customers think: even to get to 90+% confidence will probably cost a lot of money in marketing research. We have to make assumptions.
We make assumptions and we use those assumptions to plan our marketing activity. If all our assumptions are correct then our marketing activity will succeed.
However, if a marketing activity fails to achieve it's objectives then you must go back and re-examine your assumptions. Chances are, one of them is wrong. if you're unaware of the assumptions you're making then you can't do this essential part of the process. You'll continue working from an incorrect assumption and your marketing activities will keep failing.
So make sure you critically examine and record all the assumptions you make in your marketing. Then when an activity fails you will have a much better chance of knowing why.
Let me know what assumptions you make in your marketing in the comments below or drop me an email, tweet or message.
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This blog draws on key concepts, frameworks and illustrations that form part of the Watertight Marketing™ methodology. These remain the intellectual property of Watertight Marketing Ltd and are used with permission and under license.
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