It may be difficult for you to understand, but “Marketing is a process, not an event”. It can be compared to breathing. You cannot live very long with one breath. It takes many breaths, one after the other. Marketing is the same. You won’t attract, get or keep customers with just one marketing action. You keep breathing to stay alive. You maintain marketing to generate leads, ring the phone, get people to ask for your product, visit you, request more information, or try a test.
To understand how think and approach marketing for your business, it may be helpful to understand my definition of marketing: Marketing is anything you DO or SAY that your ideal customer SEES and HEARS.
Below are the seven essential steps that are intended forthe marketing and sales challenges of the day for organizations and small businesses. I’ve developed these 7 Steps to Creating Marketing Success by working and talking with business owners and CEOs over the years.
1. Develop a vision before the strategy.
Vision and strategy are both important to your marketing success. But there is a priority for them. Vision always comes first. If you develop a clear vision, you will attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want, the how will take care of itself.
Most executives and business owners don’t take the time to ask, “What are my marketing goals and what is my marketing vision?” Devoting time and energy to your planning process is the most important aspect of any successful marketing implementation.
2. Focus on the customer experience.
Nothing matters more to a business than what it makes customers feel. How the customer feels determines whether your business survives or sinks. The secret to growing every business is word of mouth marketing, not page marketing, newspaper, trade publication, television, or other media.
Word of mouth is generated because you made the client experience referenceable. If anyone chooses to recommend your product or service then I call that a “Benchmark experience” because that’s what we share, our experiences with a product or service. (Products include your blog, podcast, newsletter, online radio show, etc.)
3. Become the new media company.
Today, you need to commit to creating content like a publisher would. However, not just any content, you need to create content that works like marketing.
The internet has revolutionized the traditional sales process, allowing prospects to
client or client to start on their own terms via search and social media. This means
savvy business owners or marketing departments need to adapt to the prospect with information in a way that is more like courtesy than selling.
The best way to produce content that works like marketing is to focus it on the issues and wants of prospects and customers. It’s about delivering independent value with content before you attempt to close the sale.
4. Adapt the engagement model.
I say it often, “Your website is for you – one-sided conversation, while your blog is for prospects – two-way conversation. ” (Note: What I’m saying isn’t that you need a blog, but that you need a way to connect with prospects.)
The majority of buying decisions today involved some amount of online research. Your business should be easily accessible online, easily engaged online, and easily communicated online. This requires focusing on:
- Content Marketing,
- SEO and
- Participation in social networks.
The smart way to approach this is to treat content marketing, social media, and search engine results as aspects of a holistic, necessarily content-centric strategy.
Of course, that also means integrating your online presence and activity into every offline business function.
5. Educate to generate and close.
Don’t see yourself as a salesperson, but as an educator and partner of your prospect. This healthy state of mind improves both your perspective and your chances of closing.
Know that you have the opportunity to educate your prospects to achieve whatever they want to be successful. As soon as possible, find out what your prospect wants to achieve, then show how what you’re selling can make that success achievable.
You can educate them through:
- slide shares
6. Develop a sales process.
In the same way that your marketing generates leads, you should also take the same approach when a prospect wants to know more. Have a well-thought-out roadmap that every new prospect walks, a way to build trust and relationships, and a proven process for orienting new customers can positively influence the conversion results you get.
7. Create a marketing calendar.
The only thing that is finite for any business is time. There are always more months than time.
So you need to identify how and when you want to launch your program to market your products and services. By creating monthly projects and themes, weekly action steps, and daily marketing meetings, you keep the focus, enthusiasm and creativity on marketing.
Follow your marketing schedule even if that doesn’t seem to be producing results. Avoid the temptation to change it for at least a few months. Give it time, remember that the process is not an event.
Question: What would happen if you started to think of your marketing like the process described above?