If your product or service is a fairly considered purchase then don’t expect to put one piece of marketing in front of your customers (such as an advert, email, brochure or exhibition stand) and immediately close the sale. This is the dating equivalent of proposing marriage on a first date – oh dear no.
Many people mistakenly think that the purpose of marketing is to speed people up in their buying decision. But it isn’t.
The role of marketing is to make it really easy for people to buy from you when they are ready to. If they don't feel rushed into it, customers will be much happier with their buying decision and will be more likely to stay loyal. And we all know that loyal customers are the most profitable kind.
If your customers are going to need to think carefully before they buy from you then you need to let them. Your marketing needs to facilitate that slow, careful consideration to help them buy comfortably in their own time.
To do this, you need to think through the whole buying process from your customer’s point of view.
Content marketing is all about selling your value NOT your products or services. It’s about creating and sharing relevant content that supports your ideal customers through their decision-making process.
In B2B businesses, this can sometimes be tricky as you may have quite a long buyer journey. A B2B buyer journey often involves more than one person in the decision-making process and the implications for your buyer if they make the wrong decision could be big. Depending on the purchase, a B2B buyer may be concerned the wrong choice could affect their relationship with their boss, their promotion prospects or even put their job at risk.
If you’re finding your B2B marketing isn’t as effective as it could be, check you aren’t making any of these 4 mistakes…
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?
How often do you check the reviews before you buy something? Reviews are so common now that we expect to be able to read other’s opinions on a product before we buy.
So how can we get those great testimonials and reviews?
Any marketer will tell you how important a good testimonial can be for your business. To feel confident enough to buy, we need to trust that our investment is going to deliver whatever value it promises. Ideally, we’d get a recommendation from a trusted friend but, if that’s not possible, a review from someone else who has bought is the next best option.
The purpose of marketing is to make it easy for people to buy from you and become raving fans. So you also want to make it easy for them to refer or review you. How can you do that in your business?
Here are some ideas…
I had a conversation this week with a fellow business owner about those offer deadlines and red flashing countdown timers, that pressurise customers into buying. If you’ve been on the internet in the last 5 years, I’m sure you’ve seen the ones I mean.
There's no denying that tactics like this work in the short term, but does that mean it's a good idea? Does a quick sale lead to more profits in the long term?
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.
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.
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