“I just want to say I’ve learned more about marketing in the last few hours than in the last year of studying the subject for my degree.”
Luckily we were invited back.
It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it.
These rules are powerful if you play them out; they don’t tell you what to do but how to do it.
Rule No.1: The reason why people buy is when they know like and trust the person selling.
Unless you’re a monopoly, in which case they don’t have a choice. For example if you live in Sussex in the South of England there is only one train operator that will take you by rail into central London, called Southern Trains. Do customers know them? Yes – very well. Do customers like and trust Southern Trains? Well because of some very high profile service problems that have stretched over months and years, a large number of customers are not fans of the service. Do they have a choice? No. So they buy tickets anyway. But for the rest of us, customers have to know you, like you and trust you in order for them to consider a purchase.
If you do anything in your marketing that they don’t like, or affects their trust you’ll lose the sale. Conversely, start doing things to accelerate trust and you’ll get more sales. This is why food businesses do free tasters; Sushma’s Snacks in Bolton, UK is doing so well with her food business. She knows if customers taste her homemade Indian food she’ll make sales.
Rule No.2: People are lazy and busy
So you’re the best cake maker in town, your cakes are amazing and your customers rave about your customer service. But it’s not enough to get a new customer! There are people thinking about buying, but they’ve got other stuff on their minds. They never quite get around to calling you in time. So they end up picking up cake from the supermarket instead. Shareholders from giant corporations are profiting from your marketing not being effective enough. That make me lose my appetite.
Our customers need help to decide and help take action. We need to make it easier and faster for people to get what they’re looking for. If it takes five clicks to reach the product or service on our websites, they’ve already gone. When you’re applying rule No.4 have this in mind.
Use the right language to accurately describe your business in the fewest amount of words and the easiest language to comprehend. If it’s too woolly round the edges they’re gone. We get sent lots of emails from people asking us to review their email marketing. If I’m still reading after 45 seconds I send it back.
Rule No.3: The answer to every question you'll ever ask is ‘who is your customer’
Should I use flyers? Do I need a Facebook page? How often should I post? What pictures should I use on the homepage? If you answer these questions with ‘who is your customer?’ then you will make decisions with your customer in mind (See Step 4 – If you try and sell to everybody you’ll end up selling to nobody). Large companies spend millions on getting to know their customers because if they shape their marketing, products and services as closely as they can to what the customer really wants, what do you think happens? Sales go UP!
Rule No. 4: Marketing is a GIFT:
For every piece of marketing you do, from going to a networking meeting, designing a flyer, building your website you MUST apply this acronym!
G – Get Attention
I’m a great fan of subtle, cleverly thought out marketing campaigns but the truth is, unless you have a giant budget you’re wasting your time. We need to work much harder at getting attention.
Advertising legend http://davetrott.co.uk/ (Ariston and on and on, Hello Tosh got a Toshiba) reckons that only 7% of adverts actually get ‘seen.’ So if 100 people have your advert in front of them, ONLY SEVEN people will actually ‘see’ it and then you have to hope that one of those seven are:
b) Trust it enough (see rule 1) and
c) Not be so lazy or too busy enough to take some action.
Shout! Be controversial! Be hilarious! Be bold! Take your marketing ideas and 10x them!
I – Interest
Imagine going on your first date with someone you like the look of. You’re there in the restaurant, smiling across the table and you think to yourself ‘this is beautiful specimen is marriage material, I’m going to go for it.’ So you proceed to tell them your FULL LIFE HISTORY in EVERY detail so they can make an informed decision about whether they like what they hear! Would this entice you to go on a second date? No you’d be looking for the exits.
We have to hook their interest – a picture or some words that make your customers go ‘ooh that looks interesting.’ Save the detail until the second and third date. i.e. if they’re interested they’ll dig for more info.
F – Feel it
We have to make an emotional connection with our customers so they feel like they want to buy what you’re selling. The mistake many of us make is we try and sell the features instead of the benefits. I don’t want to buy what it is I want to buy what it gives me.
List the features of your business idea down the left hand side and write the words WHICH MEANS TO YOUR CUSTOMER in the middle. This will help you get to the benefits – that’s the message which will help your customers to feel it.
Here’s an example for a gardening services business:
T – Take Action
My pet hate is the trades vans that have a website, two mobile numbers, an email address, a landline and a facebook page in small writing. Get my attention, get me interested, make me want what you're selling and make it easy to take action – a memorable website address that I can look up later as I probably won’t remember your three phone numbers later.
Marketing without action is just customer distraction. A very clear call to action – this means your best guess as to what your customers will want to do next…where do you want to send them? Your website? A text? Will they want to call you?
The fewest number of clicks, the fastest and easiest route will help. (see rule 2).