Too many organizations go hot and cold with their marketing. They’re aggressive or at least active one month or one quarter and then are dormant for months at a time. Or other companies market like crazy when sales are down but when they get busy, marketing falls off the radar.
Or maybe your particular version is that you only deliver the first half of the one/two punch. You drop the direct mail piece but you never follow up with the phone call.
Regardless of how or why — the inconsistency of your marketing hurts you. It turns a warm prospect into a cold one, by the time you get back around to marketing again.
This is one of the most common marketing mistakes that companies big and small make over and over. They try to time their marketing. Much like a day trader who believes you can time the market, knowing exactly when to jump in and out – some business owners and marketing types believe they can guestimate exactly when their marketing message needs to be in front of their consumers.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it’s not necessary. And I would contend, it’s actually detrimental to your long-term success.
Here’s the kernel of truth we don’t like to acknowledge. We can’t know (unless you sell Christmas trees or some other very seasonal product) when our prospects are going to begin their buying process. I’m not talking about when they’re going to buy. The reality is – we need to get to them way before they make that decision.
To be one of the considered choices – you have to on the list to begin with. Marketing is all about getting a prospect to know who you are, like who you are and trust who you are.
Just like in our personal relationships – that doesn’t happen in an instant.
Getting them to know you: We get to know others gradually, through either an extended contact or many quick hits. Marketing works the same way. In most cases, a prospect isn’t going to give you their time and attention for more than a few minutes…so you have to go with the “be present all the time, so when they need/want you – you’re there” model. We call this drip marketing. There are lots of ways to do this and I’ll dig into them next week.
Getting them to like you: This is about being authentic. Will everyone like you? Nope…but you don’t need everyone. You just need enough of the right someones. Here’s the tough part about this phase. They have to like more than what you sell. They also have to like the people selling it. Let them get to know your organization and your people.
Getting them to trust you: The bigger your price tag, the deeper the trust needs to be. But no matter what you sell, trust is the cornerstone of actually making the sale. How do you get a buyer to trust you? In marketing terms, it’s actually pretty straightforward. You are honest (see getting them to like you), you are consistent and you actually follow up when you say you’re going to.
While all of that sounds simple, most businesses fail miserably at it.