Archive for marketing strategy
What is a ‘customer driven marketing strategy’ you ask?
It is a marketing strategy that keeps your customers squarely in the middle of everything you do… from the beginning stages right through the end… and it’s the only kind of strategy you will want to use for your business.
Here’s a bit about what goes into a customer driven marketing strategy:
Focused On Your Target Market
This means you know as much as you possibly can about who they are, what they want, what they need, what their preferences are and more. You understand all of the demographics and psychographics of your target market (you can read more about those here) that is possible, and you take every opportunity to learn more. Then, you make sure all of your marketing is planned and oriented toward them and what they want… sometimes that means forgetting completely about you and what you want if your market is different than you or varies from you and your wants, needs, and preferences.
Satisfying BIG Wants and Meeting BIG Needs
This means that all of your marketing is focused on helping your current and potential clients understand how what you have or what you do satisfies their most important wants and needs. Oftentimes people are more motivated to take care of their wants than their needs (Example? Most of us would rather buy a new dress, new shoes, or an awesome new smart phone than tires for our car…). Customer driven marketing strategy is all about educating your prospects and clients on how what you’ve got meets what THEY want and what THEY need.
Finding Out What THEY Think
With customer driven marketing strategy you are always interested in your people… so you ask them for feedback ALL THE TIME. You conduct surveys, you talk with them and ask questions, you find out how they are using your product or service, how it’s working for them and how you can make it better. This sounds challenging, but it’s really pretty easy – it’s about having conversations and focusing on collecting information all about THEM. People love to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, so you focus on giving them room to do it and you let that information guide your future product and service development and ALL of your marketing.
The Big Bang For Your Effort
Many things can come from customer driven marketing strategy… just a couple include building tremendous customer loyalty and raving fans. When people feel truly taken care of and understood they share their joy and delight with others, and they keep coming back for more.
How can you look at your marketing efforts and begin to shift them to customer driven marketing strategy?
While I don’t have the exact quote (I will keep looking for it), Earl Nightingale is credited with saying essentially that if you read or study for juts 1 hour a day for 1-3 years you will become a world-class expert in that area of study. There are other versions of this saying out there – another I’ve heard is 20 minutes a day for 3 will make you an expert, and if you continue for 5 years you will be one of the top experts in the world.
So, you say you want to learn how to do marketing for your business? Well, here’s the answer… schedule just 1 single hour a day toward beginning to master the skill of marketing. You can learn in whatever format you want these days too… whether you prefer to read, listen to audios, watch videos and DVDs or go to live seminars and lectures. If you watch TV daily (which, as most statistics tell us, most of us do… I’ll admit, I unwind pretty frequently to funny sitcoms and relaxing movies), imagine taking just one of those hours and devoting it to learning how to do marketing, or sales, or anything else that you find interesting… or perhaps NECESSARY to the success of your business.
Ok… here’s the assignment. Start out by finding just 20 minutes a day. Then decide how you will proceed… do you want to learn how to do marketing by reading blogs like this one or by other marketing minds? Are you disciplined enough not to let them take you off in some other direction? If not, then start with some basic books on marketing – some of the best include the ones by Dan Kennedy or the Guerrilla marketing series by Jay Conrad Levenson. As you begin to dig in to learning how to do marketing, you’ll find that each of the resources points you to more. You won’t run out of options… and if you keep going, you can not only build your business with your new knowledge, you can begin to share it with others as well.
Celebrating a holiday is a standard 101 marketing strategy you say?
Well, you would be right, but I would recommend you get creative with this very ‘standard’ of 101 marketing strategies… either choose a unique or obscure holiday, or even create your own.
I passed a bar a few days ago here in NYC, and when I saw this sign I just couldn’t resist sharing it. It’s a terrific way to create a unique reason to celebrate – and in their case, a unique way to bring in the customers (which is what you should be trying to do too…)
So, if you usually send out Holiday greeting cards in December, wishing people a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year, you might very well be wasting your time. People receive SO many cards they may not even notice who they’ve come from… but, if you send a card for Halloween or even Thanksgiving, your card will stand out because it will be the only one in the mail at that time.
Consider what you can do for a unique communication with your prospects and clients – even if it means creating your own. And, if you are looking for some unusual holidays to consider, here’s where you can find a great list (and if you Google ‘unique holidays’ you’ll find many more): Holiday Insights
Finding Time to Blog is an Essential Internet Marketing Strategy
How do you find the time to blog with all the other activities in Social Media?
To me finding the time for anything, particularly things I know will help me grow my business is just as essential as brushing my teeth and making sure I make time to exercise. You just have to choose to make it a priority. I will say that when I get a question like this one there is usually something else behind it – like perhaps it’s hard to find the time to blog because either you don’t know what to blog about or you don’t really enjoy writing. There are many ways to deal with both. Since blogging is such an essential internet marketing strategy, I choose to make it a priority – and you should too.
Before you figure out WHAT you want to write about you need to figure out WHEN and HOW OFTEN you are going to write. To use your blog as an effective internet marketing strategy, the absolute minimum number of times you can blog is really about once a week. Ideally you want to build up to blogging 2-3 times a week or more, but if it’s a challenge for you, start with once a week and then consider increasing it. One way to add another entry a week is to do a weekly special entry, like motivation Monday or Inspiration Sunday – something like that where your readers will come to expect it from you and you will have a specific type of topic to cover. That works as both an easier topic to generate and keeps you on a schedule, holding your feet to the fire. You can consider doing a weekly review of something, share a video you found interesting, share something funny, something personal, a book review – whatever works for you. The idea is to make it a ‘regular feature’.
Once you decide how often, then schedule writing time for yourself every week – figure out if you are better in the morning or afternoon, and then just set a timer for ½ an hour or an hour and write on one of your topics. Remember, blog posts don’t need to be long to be effective – some people who blog regularly sometimes only write a paragraph or a few sentences on some days. Let the topic guide the length, and if it starts to get long, make it a two-part post. If the topic is a good fit for your keywords and you have a lot to say you can create a 3 part series – or perhaps even more.
Now, if you are looking for topics, one of the best ways is to set aside ½ an hour and brainstorm – make a list of everything you can think of and then start using that list. You can ask a fellow entrepreneur to brainstorm with you, you can look around at other blogs or magazines from your industry and see what people are writing about. When you find a topic you like, put it into a file – either digital or physical – and save the idea for later, that way you are always building a series of ideas – a blog idea folder. When your scheduled writing time comes up, if you aren’t sure exactly what to write about, grab your file and leaf through until something looks interesting, then get started.
The other thing that really seems to keep people from being able to use this internet marketing strategy regularly is that they don’t enjoy writing. If you are someone who doesn’t enjoy it, then don’t force yourself… if you don’t like writing, most likely you do enjoy speaking. In that case you can either do videos on your topic and put them up on YouTube (another GREAT internet marketing strategy) and then post them to your blog with a short write up or even a transcription of the audio.
If you don’t want to do video, you can record yourself speaking into an mp3 recorder or during a teleseminar you host for prospects, then send the audio file to a transcription service and get it transcribed. Then all you need to do is a little editing and post it on your site (many transcriptions services will also edit for an additional fee). You could easily record several blog posts in a ½ hour to 1 hour spoken segment, and then post them on your own schedule.