Our service area includes, but is not limited to the following communities:
- Sugar Land
- Clear Lake
- The Woodlands
- College Station
- San Antonio
4 GOALS FOR YOUR MARKETING TO ACHIEVE
Do 4 things:
•Top of mind position
•Create Comfort level
The average person will speak to 3 or 4 competitors before they select one. Their assumption is that all companies are the same, and consumers now buy on differences.
Today’s customers are more knowledgeable and less trusting. Prospects are overloaded with information. They want to know you, like you and trust you. They’re looking for a relationship. An authentic relationship. And contrary to what many may think, customers aren’t necessarily looking for the lowest price. But they do want to know that they’re getting the best value.
So how do you convince them that you have the best value? This is where differentiation comes in.
DIFFERENTIATE yourself from your competition
For example, you need to ask yourself why someone should buy from you rather than one of your competitors. What is the extra value that you bring to the relationship?
And you need to convey that with your marketing efforts.
I recommend that you determine what’s most important to your prospects when purchasing your product or service and make a list of the top 5.
Then make a list of the top five complaints that customers have against companies that do what you do.
For example, in my business, here’s my list:
1. Quoted one price but charged another
2. Take too long to turn projects around
3. Not reliable (not showing up, not paying attention)
4. Poor quality (bad lighting, bad sound)
5. Intimidation – they don’t understand the process and some producers don’t explain or belittle their questions or don’t pay attention to what they want.
So for my company smart marketing would emphasize where I do those things differently.
You’ll also want to make lists of the advantages of doing business with you over your competitors. And then ask yourself the following:
If a friend of mine needed to buy from or hire a company such as mine, what advice would I give them in how to make the best decision in order to get the best deal.
The answers to this question should also form the basis of some of your marketing efforts. For example, one of mine is…
--Make sure that you operate with a script or outline before shooting or editing. Good communication can avoid costly mistakes later in the process.
Because this is so important, I take the opportunity on my website to make sure that my prospects know the importance of having a script prepared beforehand.
All of this soul-searching can take some time, but it will help you focus your marketing efforts to communicate with your customers in a way that differentiates you from the competition. They realize that you understand where they’re coming from. What their concerns are.
Which brings us to the next thing you want your marketing to achieve.
One of the reasons that advertising is so effective is because it’s a shorthand way of building a comfort level very quickly. This is done through repetition of your message.
If you have the type of business that relies upon TV, radio, newspaper or magazine advertising, the best advice to you would be to make sure that you run constantly. In print for example, it’s better to run a smaller display ad and run it in every issue than to run a big ad one time.
In radio and TV, you ideally want to be on the air every single day for a minimum of 3 months.
In addition to creating trust, all this repetition will also help with what Malcom Gladwell calls the stickiness factor. Stickiness is what glues your message to your product or business. And stickiness can come in a variety of ways. It can be created through a logo, a slogan, a catchy jingle. Every years, companies spend millions on commercials for the Super Bowl or the Oscars and they spend just as much to create eye-catching, hells-a-poppin’ spots that everyone will be talking about the next day.
Advertising and marketing experts are dream merchants. We take two ideas and marry them together to create the idea that if you shop here, you’ll have a great time. Or if you buy this, it will improve your life.
That’s fine if your Budweiser and you have a multi-million dollar advertising budget. But what does a smaller company do to create stickiness?
Differentiation. You can create stickiness best by showing how you are better than any of your competitors. Why do we buy? What are we looking for? The best price? The best quality? No. The Best Deal
Create stickiness by showing how you’re offering them the best deal. The perfect amalgam between price and quality. I like to call this the Goldilocks option. Just right.
In addition to stickiness, you want your advertising to have shelf life. Today’s sales cycle is longer than ever before. This is where shelf-life comes in.
I was talking to by aunt recently. She has a small dog-breeding business. Most of her dogs are sold through referral and word of mouth. But as her business has grown, she’s begun to branch out with her advertising. She told me the other day that she likes to advertise in the special high school football insert put out by her small town newspaper. Why? Because it stays around longer. People tend to hold onto it.
Other examples of advertising that buy you shelf life include yellow page advertising, websites, and annual printed journals. Even monthly magazines to a certain extent.
In my business, I produce videos for customers. These also have a very long shelf life. If you give someone a DVD, they just have a hard time throwing it away.
With a DVD, we can make a short 3 minute movie about your business to educate people about who you are and what you do. We can use it to differentiate you from the competition. And we create shelf life because once it’s created, it tends to stay around.
If you were to send one of these out to each one of your existing clients, you could train them to be your sales force. Because what’s the number one best kind of marketing? Word of mouth. Your best clients would actually like to give you referrals, they often just don’t know how. We can create a DVD that educates them on how you stand out from the crowd. So that when they do come across someone needing your business, they can speak with some confidence and authority.
And if you like, we can even encode a version that you can have your webmaster upload directly to your website.
Marketing has moved from product-driven to relationship driven. They buy first emotionally and justify later with logic. How many times have you heard someone tell you about some new thing they bought. “Look at my new phone!” And then they start justifying it. “It was expensive, but I can replace my camera and PDA and ipod with this one gadget. So I think it was worth it.” You’ll hear this with cars, houses, furniture, insurance, etc. They really bought whatever they bought because they felt like it. My two-and-a-half-year-old nephew’s favorite color is red. When I asked him why he likes red so much, his answer? “Um, because I like it so much!” That’s why we buy.
So everyone is business needs to become a dream merchant. Sell the dream. Touch your customers in an emotional way. Become a story-teller. Involve the senses and sell the outcome.
Video is one way to do it. But look at all of your marketing to make sure that you’re doing it everywhere.