Archives for January 2010
The other day here in Calgary where I live, I was out walking my dog and noticed a Parking Officer giving my neighbour a fine for having his camping trailer parked on the street. What was the mistake this friend of mine made?
Either he didn’t know the laws around parking a trailer on the street for extended periods of time, or he was ignoring it.
While it only cost him $150 in fines, if you don’t know the rules (or ignore them) in business it’s far costlier. On the other hand, if you stick to the following basic rules of marketing, you’ll avoid losing money, and instead be on the road to success.
Just follow these 7 rules of small business marketing:
1) It’s not your brand or your logo that sells; it’s solving a problem for your customer. Most small businesses invest thousands on their professional “look” without any thought (or investment) in how they can help solve their customers’ problems. If you think about the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) rule for marketing… you can see why a logo means little to your customers.
Help them solve a nagging problem… and you have a friend for life.
2) To get a prospect to become a buyer, use a compelling offer. The first thing you need is an in-depth understanding of what exactly your prospect wants. Guessing doesn’t work in the marketing world. Then make sure the targeted offer is front and center in your promotions.
Headlines are perfect to show them you understand their innermost wants, needs and desires. Next, make sure you cover all the intimate details and benefits they get with their offer. Show them ample amounts of proof that you deliver what you promise, and that others in their shoes got the results you promise.
Give them a solid reason to act right now… and guarantee that your product or service will deliver. The longer the guarantee the more compelling the offer. Make it so compelling that there is literally no risk on their side, you carry the risk and must deliver or they get their money back.
3) Each marketing campaigns you launch needs a minimum of 3 steps to succeed. When communicating with your clients and prospects, you must send at least 3 different pieces to them in order to call it a properly designed campaign. In the day of email spam, deliverability issues, and the sheer volume of competition in your inbox (or mailbox)… you need to be consistent in your communication to get them to read it.
Each of the messages can and should cover one of the main benefits you are offering. Having multiple messages also allows you to cover off multiple objections you get from prospects. Last, people need reassurance and seeing different points of view on your offer if a great way to drop their buyers resistance that can cost you the sale.
4) Avoid cutesy sayings and vague one-liners that say and do nothing that take you closer to goal #1. Again, a cute radio ad is useless if it doesn’t generate you leads or make you money. Sometimes people get lucky and find a great tag line, but that alone won’t make you successful. You must back it up with solid marketing and exposure to those prospects that are most likely to buy.
5) Personal marketing is far more powerful than impersonal marketing. Don’t hide the fact that you are a real live person, like most business owners do. They try and mask the size of their company… pretending to be a big corporate behemoth. Putting your face and personality front and center in all your marketing will do more for your sales than anything else you do.
6) Effective advertising is interruptive. It stops your ideal customer in their tracks and literally forces them to start reading your materials. Be realistic to yourself here… the ads you run, the website you have: do they stop your ideal prospect in their tracks and literally force them to read more on what you are doing?
7) Tracking your advertising campaigns is the only way to know whether it is working, or not. Most business owners do not understand where, exactly, their leads come from. Or at which point in the sales cycle does a prospect typically turn to a buyer. Or which ad version works best… or in which paper, on which site, etc. If you don’t track your marketing effort you have no clue what is working or not… so how can you keep doing what is working and stop doing what isn’t? You can’t! Testing and measuring is the only way.
You know at least 7 rules to keep you safe and avoid expensive mistakes. Use the above 7 marketing rules to keep your business safe and headed where you want to go.
“Turning Your Words Into Wealth”