Is your marketing in disguise?

October 25, 2017 by Karen Que

Are you confused about what marketing really is? If you think only it has to do with sales, then the answer is yes.

A lot of business owners think that marketing is all about sales, but really, marketing gives customers an awareness about a business, a brand or both. This is what lead generation is all about. Typically, marketing doesn’t make you any money, because it is an investment in awareness not an actual sale.

Marketing as lead generation is all about building a relationship with the potential customer. It’s creating a relationship with people who are just hearing about you and then nurturing them into a sale and beyond. These are the 5 phases between a potential client and loyal client for life.

  1. Awareness
  • Online ads
  • Publicity on radio or TV
  • Word of mouth
  1. Consideration
  • Potential client is looking for other information about the products or services.
  • Includes looking at websites or reading blogs or reviews
  1. Purchase
  • Can take place on a website, over the phone or in person.
  1. Service
  • Customer begins interacting with customer service. This can be through a call center or online when they need guidance on what they purchased.
  • Business owner follows up with the customer through emails or a phone call to make sure their service or product is working.

 

  1. Loyalty
  • Customers might be following a company’s blog, or they’re excited to receive emails. They also could be subscribed to a newsletter that lets them know about new products.

 

Speeding up the cycle

Every business owner wants potential customers to go through that cycle as fast as possible. The speed of the process really depends on how urgent the need is and what kind of product you have. A financial advisor is going to take longer to earn a customer’s trust than a snack food company.

The most important thing is to have a well-defined profitable avatar. This profile identifies the goals and values of the ideal client. In addition to gender, marital status and level of education, profiles should also include:

  • What sources of information do they follow?
  • What conferences do they attend?
  • Where do they spend their time?
  • What are their greatest challenges?
  • What role do they play in the purchase process?

A business can have more than one ideal profile, depending on how many different types of services or products they offer. Some businesses have three to seven ideal client profiles based on their various revenue streams.

It’s important to only talk to one profile at a time when putting out any marketing material. It doesn’t matter if someone is addressing 500 people or 1 million; it has to be as if they’re having an individual conversation with each person they reach. This allows potential clients to self-identify and go through the process a lot quicker. They need to have a connection with the message you are communicating.

Marketing is about building relationships, and the relationship doesn’t stop at the sale. After the sale, businesses have to deliver on their promises and continue the relationship through good customer service. The best clients are repeat buyers. A business’s marketing may not be the same after the customer has made a purchase, but the relationship requires the same kind of nurturing.

The science behind it can be complicated, but it comes down to whether a business serves its base well. If they do it right, they’re giving everyone a guided tour through this cycle of trust that serves them at each level. It really is about service and not selling. And when a business is serving, it’s building relationships.

When businesses keep their focus on customers or clients and meeting their needs that is sales with integrity, which brings a much higher value and loyalty than businesses that don’t.

How does your company earn your customers’ trust?

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