I’m often asked, “what can I do to speed up my customers in their buying decision?”
With very considered purchases, it might be 6 months or more between someone first hearing about you and them actually making that first purchase. In a small business, these months can be excruciating as you wait patiently for a call or email telling you they’re ready to take that next step in their buying journey.
It’s tempting to want to try and speed them up, because you know they’ll get so much value from what you have to offer. However, it’s important your customer is allowed to make their decision in their own time.
This is a question that not enough business owners are asking themselves before diving head first into their marketing…
A lot of business owners know they need help and assume they need a consultant. But do they really? Or do they need a coach?
So what’s the difference between the two?
Strategic marketing planning takes time.
And, if like me, you’re running a business, time is probably in short supply...
It’s easy to think that it’s better to just get on and do some marketing, even if it’s not as effective as it could be, and work on improving it incrementally using an agile or ‘test and learn’ methodology. Taking time out of your business to plan can feel excruciatingly wasteful. After all, once you’ve spent all that time planning, you’ve then got a long list of marketing activities to do and even less time to do them than you had before.
So can’t all this planning be skipped? Can’t I just work out my marketing strategy as I go along?
Well… let’s explore that with an analogy.
Can you have a strategic not-for-profit?
I’ve recently been working with a couple of not-for-profit’s that have been looking to increase the uptake of their services. Since the business isn’t actually “selling” anything, we’ve been looking at how the buyer journey can be applied to help them achieve their marketing objectives.
So, can the buyer journey model be applied when your customers aren’t technically buying from you?
Do you want to learn the 6 step process I use to create a robust marketing strategy with my clients? If you implement all the steps outlined in this blog then you won’t need to spend a penny on a marketing coach or consultant. Simple.
But why on earth would I do this? Am I trying to put myself out of business? Far from it!
I’m prepared to bet that the kind of ambitious business owner I’d like to work with will take one look at this and say, “That’s an awful lot of work Ros, I don’t have the time and besides, I need an outside perspective to do this effectively. Why don’t we talk?”
But let’s start with the basics. What is a marketing strategy and why do I need one?
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 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.
Get strategic advice, tips and ideas straight into your inbox every fortnight.