(Photo by Brent Moore)
Marketing is often viewed as (a sometimes necessary) evil: fear promotion + gullible customers = money. So, you want to be doubly-sure that your company’s marketing is truly making a bottom-line difference.
First: Make sure you have a great offering. It’s all-too-easy to craft a clever marketing campaign that makes what you’re selling sound incredible. But if it isn’t, people will quickly discover your deception. Your short-term sales will turn into a long-term revolt against your business. If you’re not sure what you’re offering is great, test it. Give it away. Have extended free trials. Hire independent auditors to evaluate your product against your competition. Hire secret shoppers to audit the shopping experience. Post your home phone number for people to call you in case they’re unhappy. Ensure what you’ve selling is truly remarkable.
Second: Make sure you develop a fan club. It’s not sufficient to sell one thing to one person. You want to create a domino effect – one sale begets another. When someone purchases from you, ask the question, “How will this purchase fit into your (business) life?” You want to understand that if your software is part of a CRM system they’re developing, how it’s being used (and why). Or, the custom jewelry they’re buying is for a special movie gala they’re attending in the city. The more you know about your client’s needs, the more you can help them succeed. And nothing breeds fans like success.
Third: Share success. Remember, your offering isn’t about you. It’s about them. So, when one of your customers succeeds, get permission to tell their story. You’re not the star – they are. You’re in the supporting cast for their win.
If what you’re offering is poor, don’t waste your time (and your prospective customers’) trying to dress up the “pig”.