This is a guest blog post by Pete Kuehni. Pete is a friend, leader, business owner, mentor, coach, husband, father, granddad and author of the e-book “Becoming a Maverick, 5 Irrefutable Keys to a Thriving Life and Business”. This post is excerpted from one of Pete’s recent articles. We’re grateful he’s let us share it with you here.
What is the most important core activity for your business? If you have a legitimate product or service, plus the track record demonstrating you can deliver on your promise, it will be…
A steady, high-quality stream of ideal prospects and customers continually seeking to buy! All things being equal, no other activity is more important.
Marketing is your #1 priority!
Many small business leaders treat marketing as a mysterious, unexplainable and somewhat distasteful activity. Most see marketing as a necessary evil that is done only when:
- They desperately need business, or
- A marketing sales person persuades them to purchase an ad or promotion package.
Marketing is too important for the lifeblood of your company to be passed off to just anyone or to be squeezed in when, and if, you have time. Effective small business marketing is a system – not an event! It is composed of effective, affordable multi-pronged activities executed consistently over time.
Here are 7 keys to help ensure your marketing produces the necessary results:
1. Keep crystal clear focus!
These two pillars are the foundation of your whole marketing plan:
- Your Unique Value Proposition:
- What is the compelling value you offer that has people coming to buy from you time and time again?
- What is it about you and your business that has you uniquely placed to be the “Purple Cow” in your market?
- What is it about you, your product and service that has people buying from you as opposed to someone else or even doing nothing?
- Your Ideal Customer/Client:
- What do they look like (income, age, demographics)?
- What do they value and where do they hang out?
- What’s their “pain” – the issue, challenge, obstacle that you are uniquely positioned to provide or solve for them?
2. Ensure resonance!
Just like instruments that are in tune and making beautiful music together, all parts of your business must work in harmony together. The sound of a business resonating is one that creates a deep, meaningful story with your ideal client. All parts of the business are aligned for the sole purpose of adding the needed value.
Without resonance in your business, your marketing efforts and investments are diminished. With it, you will be creating a REMARKABLE experience for your ideal customer.
3. Focus on adding value!
Create information that educates – information that adds meaningful value to your ideal prospects and clients while they are deciding to buy. Think of your marketing materials, brochures, web sites, white papers, marketing kits, as ways to educate your customers. These are tools to add value to your customers’ lives. Better educated ideal customers will want to buy from you.
4. Multiple connection points!
Test different approaches and look to build a predictable response.
Getting a response requires:
- Properly targeting your ideal customer
- With the right message and a “time-bound” offer,
- Using the right mediums,
- At the right times.
People learn in different ways. Your lead generation efforts must allow your prospects to experience your company from many different angles and views (e.g., brochures, videos, pictures, testimonials and more), not just one.
5. Step by step!
Nurture your ideal prospects and clients along a logical buying path. There’s a natural way for your prospects to come to the conclusion that you have what they need. Build a system (and look for ways to automate it) to nurture the prospect along the buying and repeat buying path.
“I am not in sales, I am in life… If I can make your life better, let’s talk.”
As a previous boss always said “I am not in sales, I am in life…If I can make your life better, let’s talk.” Therefore, the process is about educating and helping the prospect make good choices for them rather than manipulating or convincing them to buy.
6. Measure it!
As a small business owner I do not have money or time to waste on marketing that does not pay a return. Furthermore, all marketing efforts should be measured, monitored and improved constantly.
7. Think long term!
Resist the temptation and seduction of “flavor-of-the-month” and “spray & pray” marketing. Instead, invest for the long term and focus on a plan. Then work the plan to improve results.