The six steps to marketing success

Have you been bogged down with theoretical marketing concepts? In this post we will hit the ground running in setting you up for success and change your game by giving you marketing insights that are straightforward, easy to understand and implement.

At the end of this post you would have learnt the most profitable ways to look at marketing by looking at these six steps to marketing success:

  • discovering where the money is
  • becoming better than everyone else
  • finding enough customers
  • motivating customers to take action
  • communicating on a regular basis and
  • making the sale

These steps can be used to address almost any marketing problem you will encounter in the business world. It provides you with a lot of options to improve business and increase profitability.

Discovering where the money is

The search for money seems elusive if you go about it without a plan. There are lots of profits to be made when you find an underserved customer and provide them with products or services that they need. Let’s take a look at Kodak and how it applied this strategy of finding underserved markets. Kodak   took a different approach with its disposable cameras. It knew from experience that people who went on a short trip were a lucrative target in the film business. But these group of people also could buy all the film (before the digital cameras, photo shots were captured using photographic films) they needed at tourist locations: they were hardly underserved. So Kodak asked the question,”what group of tourists isn’t getting the products it needs?” The answer was people who forgot their cameras! Kodak met this need with a disposable camera that sold for $12, which was cheap enough for people to buy, yet still allowed Kodak a profit.

Become better than everyone else

You do not need to be ‘Jack of all trades. You equally do not need to be better at everything or in every market. Choose one aspect of your business and decide to serve a market with your competence. The truth is that you do not need a large  market to survive. The secret to being better is to have a sustainable advantage .This could be in your quality, status,innovation,a combination of products features, a unique sales strategy or technology.

One company that has consistently shown that it can outperform the competition by being better is the online retail shop that sells shoes and clothing- Zappos.

Zappos has an unmatched customer service in dealing with its customers, and that has endeared them to their customers. Zappos goes the long way of taking customers to other shops to assist them get what they need if they do not have stocks of what the customer needs.

Finding Enough Customers

If you are a small business serving a niche market, it is likely you would have problems finding potential customers in a cost-effective manner. Another challenge you may face is how do customers find you as a small business running on a low advertising budget?

To get around these challenges, you need to have your products or services located in a good distribution channel. And constantly improve on your brands visibility using cost effective marketing strategies like guerrilla marketing, word of mouth advertising or hosting fanfare at your business location or premises to attract attention.

Motivating Customers

If you have the right products,the right market and several features that make you better than your competiton,you may be tempted to think you will have an easy time selling your products or services.But,that is not usually the case.Everyday,customers are bombarded with myriads of marketing messages,there are millions of options and products that they could buy. Figuring out how to motivate your existing customer is key to your business success.

One way to do that is to connect with your customers emotionally and logically too. People have to feel that your business will treat them ‘right’. There has to be that feeling of relatedness between you and your customer. A related attitude reflects your desire to work with and help customers.This is a new trend in marketing,and it replaces an attitude that separates the customer and the company into two separate entities.

Communicating on a Regular Basis

Once you have known how to motivate your target customers, you have to communicate with them often enough to get them to take action (Call them to action,CTA).For smaller purchases this may take only one or two contacts; for larger purchases,you may need to contact customers ten or more times.

Communicating does not necessarily mean advertising.If you are running your business on a shoestring budget, it is recommended that you employ a mix of different tactics to communicate and engage with your customers.Getting your customers’ e-mails is literarily a gold mine nowadays. You can mail them with your new product offerings or keep them updated on trends in your industry or even run a products survey through this medium.

Another avenue of communicating is through your social media handles,it offers a wider customer reach and is cheaper than most traditional means of advertising.Other platforms small businesses can leverage on to communicate include: use of store signs,logos,sales calls,free speeches and webinars,membership in trade associations,phone calls and a host of others to communicate their message.

Finding,motivating and communicating with customers are three distinct tasks,but all of them have to been done well if you are to succeed.

Making the Sale

Knowing how to trigger that final sales decision is a critical marketing tactic. People are usually apprehensive before they make a purchase.A sales person is usually needed to get the customer to make the final decision to buy. Knowing how to handle that customer, that one-on-one contact can make the difference between success and failure.

There are many tactics you can use to get the customer to make a purchase. One way is to figure out the external and internal needs of that customer and guide that customer through a carefully orchestrated sales process that unveils the benefits of your products offerings and what they also stand to lose by not taking advantage of your brands products or offerings.

Let’s assume that you are into house paintings. And a customer walks into your business premises. It is your duty to look beyond the needs he presents to you (external need) and try to figure out why the customer wants to paint his house (his internal need).Is he painting it to appeal to his emotional needs of say–having the best house in his neighbourhood? Or he is painting it to look affluent? Whence you are able to figure these needs out and carefully position your business offerings to meet these needs, it becomes quite easy for that customer to make a purchase.

Do not forget to ask for the order! Nothing happens until you ask the customer to make a purchase.

Cheers.

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