OUR CUSTOMERS ARE DIFFERENT
“They don’t respond to the same things other people do,” said my new client Henry. Henry’s firm sells maintenance services to malls and industrial plants. “How are they different?” I asked. “They’re a different breed,” he replied, as if mall managers were misunderstood loners. To be polite, I gave him an understanding nod and said, “I see.”
But after 27 years as a consultant, I can tell you that mall managers, plant managers, doctors, lawyers, first-time moms and even empty-nesters all respond to similar marketing techniques.
The message may be different. The media choices may be different. But there are several key guidelines that are common to all successful marketers. And…what works for them will work for you.
WHAT WORKS; 10 Guidelines
1) Know your audience. Don’t assume you know what they want and need. Ask them on a regular basis. Learn what media they use most, and what made them buy from you. The more you know, the more you’ll grow.
2) Create a strong brand and position. Start by deciding what image you want to have in people’s minds. Then work everything around that — including your company name, logo and tagline. But make sure the customer experience matches the expectation your position promises.
3. Focus on the offer. After your brand is solid, make an offer that’s hard to resist. Ask yourself: would you respond to this offer? Remember, a position tells people why they should always buy from you. The offer tells people why they should buy now.
4. Avoid selling on just price. Instead, show people how much they need your product — even if it’s recreational. Make it ESSENTIAL in people’s minds, and price becomes less important.
5. Make response very easy. Put a “Buy Now,” “Contact,” and “Request a Quote” link on every page of your website. Put your phone number and website address all over every ad, TV spot and company vehicle.
6. Be consistent. Consider the entire campaign, and make sure every piece looks the same and has the same message and offers.
7. Do enough to make an impact. The response from an ad will never justify the investment unless you reach enough prospects several times.
8. Don’t advertise to your competitors. Ads that give your competitors a shot rarely click with consumers. They may make http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifyou feel good, but they don’t generate sales.
9. Keep connected to your customers. Use newsletters, mailing lists, contests, blogs and events. Your best source of new business is existing customers.
10. Use experienced experts. Consultants come in all shapes and sizes, but nothing is more important than actual experience. Make sure they have a track record of success. If they do, they can be a great investment.
Stay Tuned and Stay Smart.