Marketing: How to Get the Most
Bang for Your Buck

by Karim A. Jaude

Most professionals misfire when it comes to marketing. Two myths play havoc with the way they look at marketing.

The Myths

Myth one. "If I advertise, they will come. So, let's have an event." I call this the "Special of the Week Mentality". Here, the marketer approaches their customers with a special event or single reason "sale" expecting it to produce maximum results. The problem with this approach is that marketing is a process, not a one-time-shot.

Myth two. The second myth is that we believe people respond to our message the first time they see it. The fact is no reputable advertising agency would place a one-time-shot advertisement for a client who is trying to build their business. In sales, all the research tells us that people buy between the fifth to the seventh time that they come into contact with the product or service.

The Reality

Marketing is relationship building. Running an ad here or there or doing a mailing from time-to-time just won't cut it.

You need to stake out some space in the minds of those you want to become prospects and customers. This means over time you will build up a sense of loyalty with a prospect that has never done business with you before. You have experienced this first hand if you have ever had the thought, "If I ever need a I am going to go to that person (or business) to get it".

If you plant that kind of first-in-mind predisposition in your market, when the need arises they will come to you. Not because you are having an "event" but because you have a solution.

Marketing will move your image to the forefront of your prospect's mind. The really exciting part is that this will allow you to make promises your competition would not dare to make.

All of this suggests that what works is a plan and a campaign. Let's explore how you can do both.

Planning Your Marketing Approach

Planning means giving your thought process a roadmap for guidance. Here are some things to think about.

Address these questions first:

  1. What is my vision?
  2. Where do I want to go? How can this business get me there?
  3. What kind of customers are the most fun and most profitable to work with?
  4. Where I can find those customers?

A few minutes with a scratch pad is not enough for this part of the process. Spend some time to really articulate and clarify your answers to these questions.

Customers First

The customer comes first. Your business must be focused on a very specific market for a specific reason in a specific way to get the specific results you want. And this starts with the customer. Once you identify your ideal customer/prospect it becomes easier to focus on their needs and wants.

Who do you want as a customer, and what are the benefits that they will get out of your product or service?

Two of the best ways to help you identify your ideal customer is to pick a specific niche or market arena or, create a specific benefit and let people come to you.

One of my coaching clients, a real estate broker near San Diego, recognized that many of his customers were families in the service needing off-post housing. What he did to tap into this potential marketing resource was to send out monthly mailings to everyone he had met in that situation, including the families that had left San Diego. Why? Referrals. This brings us to the next question.

What are the best ways to market your professional services?

The number one way is Referrals. Here's why:

  1. You expend almost no money, time or energy to get them;
  2. They trust you almost immediately, because they trust the person who referred them;
  3. They are easy to serve because they typically want the results you already know how to deliver.

Friendly/Regular contact. Find a way to contact your prospects regularly. Some people send out regular correspondence such as mailing or newsletters. I send out an E-Mail newsletter because I want my audience to think of me when the time comes for working with a Business Coach. In the meantime I try to serve by sharing some of what I know that might help you on your way to becoming the success you would like to be.

Ads. Radio, TV, and print media ads all vary in effectiveness. If you decide to explore this route, go to a pro.

Your Marketing Message

Your marketing message may well establish the best way to touch your market. Your marketing message should lead to the ultimate in perception about your business and its product or service. Perception causes the emotional attachment.

Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) as a way to describe or explain how you match up with your competition. Your USP can be based on anything from positioning, price, or your particular approach to the work you do. Your USP addresses the question a prospect has on his or her mind. "Why should I do business with you versus any of the options that are available to me?

Talk about the benefits of your product or service to the customer, not its features. Here's the difference. Don't talk about the horsepower of the engine. Talk about the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, and how quickly you will get out of harms way if need be. When you focus on services you emphasize the feeling of well being, safety, or personal profit that results from your product and thus appeal to what matters most to your customers/prospects.

People buy things and services that solve a problem, relieve a hurt, or make them feel better in some way. Focus you marketing message on those things. Your marketing audience will always be focused on the WIIFM, "What's in it for me?" Get and stay focused from the customer's perspective.


Karim A. Jaude (The Coach) is the founder of "BusinessCoach1"; a business and professional coaching service. For over six years he has been coaching entrepreneurs, executives and professionals to develop their skills, promote and grow their business, their teams and themselves; and to achieve peak performance while have fun in the process. He coaches by phone or in person. He practices in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. Karim can be reached at 310-471-4185. E-mail: coachu@businesscoach1.com, website www.businesscoach1.com .

Many more articles in Sales & Marketing in The CEO Refresher Archives

   


Copyright 2003 by Karim A. Jaude. All rights reserved.

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