For me marketing is the very front end of sales, in most cases every sale. In fact consider this serious question; how many businesses can operate effectively with a sales team but no marketing (whatsoever) and how many can operate with good marketing and no sales team?
“But you always need a salesperson to close the deal… don’t you Nial?!”
No, not always. How many sales people does Amazon hire, how many do facebook… eBay, etc. etc…?! Apple’s App Store has supplied over three billion applications to customers making millions of dollars in revenue every month … and not one single salesperson is involved!
And it’s not just the big boys who play this strategy; there are hundreds of thousands of small businesses (mostly online) who generate regular profits every day, week and month by using simple digital marketing tactics.
Sure, knowing how to sell is vital and essential to know how to craft your marketing. For many businesses having people who can sell is crucial but it’s only one part of the bigger picture. All too often I come across new business start-ups who have considered what they want to sell, know (or think) who their customers will be, go ahead, set up and open the doors but have no plan (or budget!) to do anything at all with their marketing!
My point is this, good marketing is all about effective communication and the key here is engagement. Engagement on both sides.
At the very core of good marketing is a deep and thorough understanding of human psychology and how this effects the way people react and respond to stimulus through various media; the written word, images, audio and other channels. It’s all about communication and the ‘Click – Whirr’ effect that Dr Robert Cialdini talks about in his seminal work on Influence and Persuasion.
So why is engagement important? Well, just like in the classic form of sales-based operations, if you want your marketing to find new customers and win you profits, then you need be prepared to get involved with your customers. Thankfully with the growth and expansion of various forms of digital marketing you can now systemise and automate a lot of this but you can still engage with new-found customers and that requires time, effort and focus.
Engagement has THREE GOLDEN RULES:
- Find out as much about your new or prospective customers as you can. Don’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Even if you use data capture in the form of subscriber forms on your website, make sure that everyone has the option to add some free text and encourage them to express what’s important to them and why they want YOU to help them.
- Spend time making a proper introduction; don’t bore your new-found friend (yes, you should treat customers like friends!) with long monologues about how nice you are and what a great business you run… but do give time to expressing what makes you different and what your Essential Sale Argument (ESA) is all about. [Editor’s note: if you want to know more about ESA click here –http://www.nial-adams.com/news/whats-the-deal/ ]
- Get your new customers to engage; make it fun, interactive and rewarding for them to engage with you. You’ve no hope of finding out what they want or what will ‘push their buttons’ if you don’t give them an encouragement to actually do something. Passive leads and prospects are very hard to turn into buying customers. So think of ways you can get them involved. Ask them to complete questionnaires, polls, ‘Like’ your page and share your news with others they know.
If all this has given you cause to stop and think, great, now you need to actually DO SOMETHING about it!
Step back and take a look at your current routes to market and what you’re doing to invite people to engage with you. Consider how you could make it:
- More Simple – don’t beat about the bush, tell them what to do and why
- More Fun – don’t take it too seriously, customers want to enjoy the experience
- More Flexible – accept that different people have different motives, give options
- More Rewarding – use simple tactic to reward them for being engaged with you
…and if you’re still lost to know what to do next, then simply engage – drop me a personal email via firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a dialogue.