What is marketing? First, it’s about understanding deeply the needs and wants of your customers and providing them with greater value. You must clearly identify the demand in the marketplace. At a minimum, most businesses can improve significantly in this area. However, the real power and leverage of marketing comes from the next level of influence, communicating convincingly your unique and superior value proposition.
Marketing is about communicating with and educating your customers, prospects and referral sources as to why it’s in their best interest to do business with your company. It is about educating the right target audience on the unique and superior advantages, benefits, value and results you can provide and sharing the credible evidence/reasons that support and back-up such promises. In short, marketing is about educating your target market on the advantages of doing business with you and the reasons why they should trust you to deliver on your promises.
Instead of impacting one prospect at a time (i.e. direct selling), marketing allows you to communicate with, educate, and influence many buyers at once. In a sense, marketing is a one-to-many selling system. Marketing allows you to target and influence large groups of customers, prospects, alliances, referral sources, reporters, etc. in a single action.
Unfortunately, most business owners mistakenly try to tackle most goals (i.e. growing sales) with a one-to-one, single weapon, combat mentality. For example, instead of considering the leverage of marketing (i.e. strategic alliances, referral systems, direct mail, telemarketing, etc.) to grow sales, many owners remain in the same comfort zone and deadly rut of using a single weapon like direct selling. They miss the chance to use air support (marketing) to vastly aid their ground war (selling). They fail to consider and try new options, new approaches, and new strategies.
While all businesses have a selling process (converting leads to customers), most do not have a legitimate marketing process (generating qualified leads). As such, they miss out on tremendous leverage and opportunities.
Your goal should be to add an ongoing marketing process to your business. Again, marketing is nothing more than understanding the needs of your customers and then communicating to them the superior advantages/benefits they can derive by doing business with you. Think of marketing as ongoing education. You are educating customers, prospects and referral sources why it’s in their best interest to do business with your company.
There are only 5 ways to grow your business:
1) Keep the customers you have,
2) Bring in more customers,
3) Increase the average transaction size (unit sale),
4) Increase the frequency of purchases and
5) Say “no” to bad customers/prospects.
In short, keep what you have, bring in more customers, sell larger amounts to them, and sell to them more often. Do one of these ways and your business grows. Do two or more of these well, and your business can grow by quantum leaps and bounds, geometric growth instead of mere linear growth.