Every new product, software, system or process must have a purpose. It must solve a problem or else it has no value and no one will buy it. By deeply understanding the problem your product solves for your customers, you can stay focused on what features will deliver the most value.
For example, if I was designing a new computer keyboard, I would need to consider...
Likewise, you must always stay focused on your marketing's purpose.
Who's it for?
The first step is to make sure you know exactly who it is you want to attract to your business.
Your business needs customers who are going to:
That's why one of the first questions I ask a new client is 'who is your ideal customer'?
If you spend a bit of time thinking about exactly the kind of person you want to attract, then you'll find that a lot of your marketing questions become much easier to answer. You'll know where to advertise, which events to go to and whether to be on social media, because you'll simply have to ask whether your ideal customer persona will be there.
You might find this checklist helpful when creating your own ideal customer persona.
Why do i need marketing?
Many people think that the purpose of marketing is to "get your name out there" and create leads, but that's not the whole picture.
The purpose of marketing is to drive sales and profit. Generating leads is one way of increasing revenue, but it's not the only way and it's by no means guaranteed that more leads = more sales.
If the aim of marketing is to increase sales and profit then we need to understand how real people actually buy things.
How do people buy things?
A few decades ago Philip Kotler described the way people buy in a model that many people now call the “Sales Funnel”. You might already be familiar with it. Here's the version of the sales funnel I use.
Stop putting fuel in an inefficient machine
The Sales Funnel is so called because, if you put numbers in, you find you have a lot of people at the top and fewer and fewer as you go down.
It LOOKS like a funnel. But it doesn’t FUNCTION like a funnel.
The problem with calling it a “funnel” is that it's tempting to focus on simply adding more at the top - make more people aware of you. If you're spending money promoting your business (i.e. generating awareness) but your marketing machine is not converting many of those people before they have bought in and are loyal, then you are wasting money on marketing.
The purpose of your marketing
The purpose of good, effective marketing is to support your customers at every stage of the sales process. Your marketing should help your customers make their way through the funnel in their own time and in such a way that when they do finally buy, they know they have made the right choice and they feel good about the decision they have just made.
If you are supporting your customers effectively at every stage in the sales funnel then, when you spend money on generating awareness, you will be confident that it is money well spent.
What's the point of marketing?
A lot of people think that marketing is about speeding people up in their buying decision – it's not. It's about understanding how people want to buy from you and supporting their buying decision in their own time.
If your marketing isn't working for your business, please get in touch. I'd love to hear from you and see if I can help.
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