MARKETING POWER – THE ABILITY TO ACHIEVE THE DESIRED RESULTS YOU WANT THROUGH MARKETING.
There is a formula:
Relationships + Audience + Awareness + Technology = Marketing Power
I recognize that relationships are hugely important, simply note that you very rarely accomplish all you want to accomplish leveraging relationships alone. And I bet everyone that is reading this is nodding in agreement.
The better question to ask yourself, “What am I going to do after I talk to everyone I know?
If you don’t have an answer to that question, there is a good chance you are going to run hard into a wall.
Think of this as nothing more than building a pipe. The bigger the pipe, the more you can push through it… in either direction. In building audience, all you are trying to do is ensure that you have a line of communication established with as many people as possible across your target market. This can be in the form of social networks, email subscriptions, industry platforms, the ability to connect via the phone, etc. Today, most marketers rely on email. It is the easiest medium to use to reach the largest number of people involving the least amount of work.
It is a very simple philosophy: the more people you can “communicate” with the greater chance you have of achieving your goal. Why do you think people advertise? It is a core tactic in building audience. And appreciate this isn’t as easy as just buying a database. Anyone who has ever tried to buy and then email a database will understand. There are privacy laws, spam laws, and email gods to deal with.
The trick to building audience is to recognize just that – you are trying to build audience, not sell something. It is not as hard as you think to “connect” with someone if you account for the subtlety above. If you are a “credible entity”, talking to a market that “should” be interested in what you do, have you ever tried reaching out and saying, “Hey, I am not trying to sell anything today. I simply think that our product will really resonate with you, and I am hoping to earn your confidence. Do you mind if I connect with you now and again?” If someone says OK, you have now increased your audience. Get it?
This is where most people drop the ball.
Let’s assume you have built the pipe, you have established that you can communicate with someone. This doesn’t mean that you are on their radar. At this stage, they really don’t have an opinion of you – good or bad. This is where things get tricky. You now need to create a positive impression. There are three things to consider:
- You have to be respectful in how you communicate.
- You need to communicate consistently.
- Establish excellence.
Number one, if you blast the person with communication of little substance, you are dead. If your communication is unprofessional, you are dead. If you immediately start trying to sell something, you are dead. If you send too much information at once, you are dead. (In our world this is akin to sending a marketing deck, and asking if they are interested in investing.)
In short, be considerate and respectful. Don’t overwhelm. Focus on layering information. Would you ever put a whole paragraph on a freeway sign – and expect that people could read it at 60MPH? Video is a great tool. It compacts a lot of information into a very short period of time, and it takes very little effort to absorb. But production value has to be high. Anything less, you look like a hack.
Number two, consistency. You don’t develop awareness overnight. It takes months, check that, years. The market you start dripping into today won’t produce for a few years. Yep, a few years. Starting something is hard, suck it up. Simply put, you will be way further ahead if you communicate consistently into a growing audience. Good chance your competition isn’t doing this and it is now a reality of marketing.
Finally, number three, establishing excellence. In the “new world” people tend not to engage without a pre-established level of comfort with the firm they are making the inquiry into. They will stalk you (and I will come back to this) for a long time before they make a move. In order to build a positive impression, you need to slowly establish yourself as a thought leader. Remember the old adage: give before you receive. If you present sound ideas, good judgment and a professional demeanor, people will start to listen.
If people are listening to you, you have now built awareness.
The sales process has changed. Outside of the direct people you know, who will take your call, you no longer connect with someone once every few months, have a nice chat, and then slide in a “Glengarry Glen Ross” close, and go drink a martini.
Even having the systems in place to communicate on a frequent basis is no longer enough. Watching email open rates is no longer enough. Re-arranging Google Analytics is no longer enough. You have to have the technology in play to be able to know when someone is “stalking” you. And then you need to engage within minutes.
Appreciate that people no longer feel this is obtrusive – it is expected. We now live in a world where every approach is personalized. If you go online looking for a red dress, a damn red dress will very quickly present itself to you. It is a simple as that. This is why you want to have a very robust website. It gives you a better chance of determining who is actually interested in what you do.
Step one: Talk to everyone you know.
Step two: Establish connectivity with everyone you can across your target audience.
Step three: Present thoughtful and useful information in a respectful manner.
Step four: Use technology to profile interest.
That is how you generate marketing power.
By Kyle Dunn