The profits of a business are totally dependent on marketing. Otherwise, few, if any, sales will be generated. But, what is marketing anyway?
Marketing is doing what it takes to convince enough customers to pay the necessary price for your products and/or services to produce the desired profits for the business.
Let’s discuss the 8 secrets business owners can use to greatly improve their marketing success.
Secret #1: Give marketing top priority.
The primary reason any customer chooses to buy your products or services is because of effective marketing. The marketing process starts at the very beginning and continues forever! It begins with Product Development, ensuring that the product or service fills a need for potential customers, so they will want to buy it. The next step is Pricing to ensure that the business will achieve profits from sales and that customers will perceive the price to be less than their value of the benefits they receive. Effective Positioning allows potential customers with easy interaction with the business to evaluate the product or service. The final step is Promotion, where the business communicates with its potential customers about the existence and benefits of the products or services to entice them to contact the business to learn more. Marketing culminates in Sales when your customers’ value of their benefits exceed the price of the product or service. You generate successful sales only because you complete positive Product Development, Price, Positioning, and Promotion. In fact, you will want your business to be a marketing business. You will want to focus on marketing at all times, to succeed.
Secret #2: Do not confuse advertising with marketing.
Advertising is only a part of the last marketing step, Promotion, and it occurs late in the game. You will often think advertising is all there is to marketing, so you overlook the other 3 very important earlier marketing steps. Consequently, you will lose the opportunity to control and develop over 75% of all marketing, which must be well done first, to allow advertising to succeed.
Secret #3: Do not base your marketing solely on your own opinions and desires.
Owners believe their power and freedom of choice, as the boss, means that they don’t have to deal with the opinion of others. “I am now my own boss” is only partly true. You are in virtual control of either succeeding or failing to convince – The Customer- to buy your products or services. You want to avoid IMPOSING your opinion on your potential customers. Focus on fulfilling the perceived wants and needs of your customers, from Their Perspective, so you will greatly increase the number of customers that will decide to buy your products and/or services.
Secret #4: Learn all you can about your potential customers.
You want to conduct in-depth research on your chosen potential customers. You will want to learn everything possible about Who your potential customers are, What your potential customers THINK to want to buy, Why they THINK they buy, How they THINK they buy, and When they THINK they buy.
Secret #5: Learn how to screen out undesirable customers.
You have the right and obligation to determine which potential customers you will agree to serve. You should screen out undesirable customers early so you can focus more attention on customers you want to serve. Sadly, you often may not know how to select desirable customers from the pool of potential customers you encounter. As a result, you often spend too much time, money, and energy trying to deal with a handful of hard-to-please customers who frequently demand lower prices at the expense of better customers, who go elsewhere because they were ignored. You should know the key criteria to help you decide which potential customers are acceptable.
Secret #6: Know and appreciate the value of your existing customers.
You may often become so focused on getting new customers you ignore your existing repeat customers. Your business will probably not survive without repeat business. Repeat customers present a wealth of opportunities to you. They frequently provide you excellent feedback; they provide an excellent reference and referral service (read free advertising); they are the least expensive and most likely source of additional business, and their unnecessary departure causes substantial damage. Upset customers will complain to at least 5 to 9 others. Stay close to your existing customers and learn as much as you can from them.
Secret #7: Create a positive identity that is distinct from your competitors.
Most customers compare. They need a good reason to choose your product or service over others. You complete more sales when you understand your competitors extremely well and position your products or services for positive customer comparison.
Secret #8: Consider the overwhelming power
Emotion has on the process of deciding to buy. The entire buying process is governed by emotional forces (some say over 80% of the entire process is emotional). Yet, you probably focus your energies on price and avoid the real emotional reasons customers will buy. You should know and feel the emotional connection your potential customers will attach to your business, your products and/or services, and the way customers interact with your business. You will want your entire marketing program to address the emotional issues to attract and keep the right customers.
The normal human thinking process of deciding to buy almost always starts with an emotional need. The emotional need causes the customer to consider buying something to fill it. The search and evaluation of the possible choices of products and or services are also frequently emotional, and additional emotional forces are often added. The price issue comes in near the end and, in reality, the customer wants to know the price to help justify the emotional decision they have already made. In fact, the request for the price from a normal customer is a very strong buying signal (does the cost allow me to buy what I want and is it fair for what I decided to get?). Business owners succeed when they know how to deal with this emotional process and permit the customer to complete this process through the final payment.
What a wonderful opportunity! You can take charge of learning, succeed in your goals, and have a ball along the way.
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