One of the biggest mistakes that I see small business owners make is to spend their money (or time) on marketing or advertising, not get the results they want and then conclude that marketing doesn’t work. Or they keep on spending their money and time on advertising, despite their lack of results and convince themselves that it’s “raising their profile”. (In reality, it’s probably just money down the drain.)
The main reason that their marketing doesn’t produce the results that they want is because they’ve usually missed out or half done one of the ingredients of their “marketing formula” or are doing things in the wrong order. Getting your marketing right is a bit like baking a cake – you need the right ingredients, in the right proportions, added in the right sequence and baked at the right temperature.
What can a good “marketing formula” do for you?
A good marketing formula can help you to:
- raise response to all of your marketing activities so that you have more leads in your pipeline for the same investment
- make your marketing profitable (as it should be!) rather than an expense
- secure more sales from the presentations you do and the appointments you attend
Once you’ve worked out your formula, most of your campaigns will be successes and you can use your formula over and over again to continually reproduce outstanding results.
To illustrate the point, one famous marketer claims to have done a direct mail campaign that got a 100% response! In other words, everyone that he sent his letter to bought his product or service. Now, that is unheard of in a world where a 3% response rate is considered to be good. Another marketer claims to turn 98% of all telephone consultations into business (and 40% is generally considered to be doing OK in her field).
These people have got their marketing formulas highly tuned and working very hard for them. Can you achieve the same results? Well, you may not ever achieve a 100% response to a mailshot, (that was probably an exceptional case) but you can certainly improve the performance of your marketing and start making it pay once you know and understand the ingredients of marketing success.
So what are the ingredients and steps of a good “marketing formula”?
Your marketing formula is comprised of two parts:
This is really the foundation of your marketing – it’s the groundwork that allows whatever marketing activities you undertake to actually work and give you good results. The ingredients are:
- a very clear target market (preferably one that is hungry for what you offer)
- a thorough understanding of your target market – what concerns them, why they would buy your services, what motivates them and how you can identify and locate them
- a good value proposition (the tangible outcome you deliver)
- an irresistible offer
- an understanding of the competitive landscape and where your company fits in (or in other words – your differentiation and your positioning)
- a strong, client-attracting message
You can have brilliantly executed marketing, but if the ingredients are wrong, then you’re either going to attract all the wrong types of people, or attract multitudes less than you are really capable of. Either way, you would be wasting your marketing effort and budget.
These are the steps that you take to implement your marketing, and the sequence you move your potential buyers through en-route to them becoming loyal clients. These include:
- the strategy you use to get your compelling message in front of your target market
- where and how you place your message for maximum impact in the budget you’ve allocated (your message can be delivered verbally or in written form)
- the timing of your message
- the steps your prospects need to be taken through to turn them from strangers into paying clients
A weakness or failure at any of these points will lead to reduced response and lowered conversion rates – and that means weak results and wasted investment. It’s somewhat like a chain – the system fails at the weakest points, so all points have to be as strong as possible.
So if you want your marketing to succeed, you need a good formula – the right ingredients combined in the right steps. Just like baking a cake – if you do things in the wrong order, or miss steps out, you’ll end up with a result you didn’t want – a burnt cake, a cake that’s rock hard or biscuits instead!