We get to see a lot of marketing in the world, both good and bad.
When on the receiving end, we can detect bad marketing quickly — we all have built-in BS detectors — but as marketers there are some fundamentals that you can check for yourself very easily.
It’s almost like predicting the future, without all the crazy talk.
Get the following three crucial elements right or wrong and you can give your marketing a pass or fail, before it’s even started.
Take a look at these three key fundamentals and fix your marketing now.
Get to know your audience
The first pass or fail element is where your focus is placed.
Yes, profit and revenue are important. But if you focus your attention too much on income, you’ll lose the very people you need to get that income coming into your business.
Your job is to serve a market. The market is not there to funnel cash into your bank account.
Chasing dollars just makes you look desperate and out of touch. It forces you to use heavy-handed techniques that burn out your goodwill, and it ruins any authority you might have had.
Instead, you need to get to know your most-wanted customers in detail. Talk to them, understand their challenges, frustrations, needs, and goals. Get into your customer’s and prospect’s heads so you can describe their problems in your copy, maybe even better than they can articulate themselves.
Take a look at my offer page on Authority Blogger and you will see problem bullets, fascinations and benefits.
What’s probably not immediately obvious is that most of those phrases came directly from coaching calls and answering questions in forums.
People will tell you what is keeping them awake at night — and you can use those insights in your messages.
Customers will also tell you what is working and what is not. A surprise for me was when customers told me one of my best case studies was actually putting people off from buying. The person mentioned was seen as “too successful, too fast.” It seemed unachievable for “normal people.”
Find out what proof your prospects need, and then give it to them in the way they want to consume it.
Overwhelm is a real problem with your potential buyer. You have to work to remove the overwhelm where you can.
And at the same time, your customers are not stupid. You need to craft your copy without making it seem you are promising a “Push Button Magic Silver Bullet Foolproof System.”
I chose the case studies and testimonials on my offer page based on customer and prospect feedback. The people mentioned now are doing well, but not so well that it sets the bar too high and puts people off from buying!
Your audience wants compelling results, but they also want to imagine realistically achieving those results. A delicate balance.
This brings us to the next point …
It’s not about what you do, it’s about what they get
How often do you see messages like these?
- “I’m a coach. Hire me.”
- “I’m a speaker. Book me.”
- “Buy my book, it’s a best-seller!”
People don’t want your thing, they want what it will do for them! Communicate what your product or service does for people.
- What is your true purpose?
- What is the result, outcome or transformation that you deliver?
- How does that connect to what your audience is looking for?
It’s not about features. It’s not even about benefits.
The details are there to support the buying decision, but they are not the whole point.
Sonia and I like to use the example inspired by our flights to Australia for the Melbourne Problogger Workshop.
Very few people want to buy fifteen hours in a metal tube, eating lousy food, and spending many hours waiting in line ups or hanging around in painfully uncomfortable plastic chairs in airports.
What are people really buying when they book a flight? They want the outcome, and that is to be at their chosen destination at a certain time because they have a good reason to be there. Despite having to go through the airline experience.
If we could teleport ourselves everywhere in Star Trek style, we would, no matter which features your airline seat entertainment system provides.
How will your customer’s life or business be different after they take the action you are suggesting?
Get that right and you are well ahead of the pack. The rest of your messages need to support that concept in a way that gets the prospect imagining being happily arrived at their destination.
Design campaigns that drive to your desired result
The final element I have seen over and over is people “doing marketing,” rather than planning and rolling out true campaigns.
What’s the difference?
Your marketing needs to be consistent, congruent, and joined up.
This means choosing a goal, having a strategy that drives towards that goal, choosing the appropriate tactics that fit that strategy, and rolling out your marketing according to your plan while measuring your progress to make sure you are achieving your stated goals.
Next time you are about to “do some marketing,” stop and think. At the most simple level, you need to ask yourself why you are doing the activity? What do you hope to get out of it? How will you know if you have?
The art of listening
A lot of the broken marketing we see is based on serving internal desires, being self-referential, or missing what the market really wants. If you open your ears you will be able to discover where you are missing the mark quite quickly.
If you are not getting many shares, comments, subscribers and sales, you know that you have some listening and fixing to do.
Don’t just do things because that is what you see other people doing, or because you heard a popular speaker say you should. You might be “busy” marketing, but it could be at worst you are working against your goals or at best wasting your time. A lot of what we see in social media is narcissism masquerading as branding and promotion.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments …
About the Author: Chris Garrett is VP of Educational Content for Copyblogger Media, a professional blogger, and the founder of Authority Blogger, a course that teaches you how to become the most trusted advisor in your market by turning your blog into the go-to resource. He also blogs at chrisg.com.