Marketing is essential to running a business, however to the uninitiated it can be completely overwhelming. There are so many options and countless ways to get your message out there.
To win at marketing (and win more clients), you need to define your goals and create a strategy. To help you do this, I have created a nine point marketing checklist. This will either help you come up with a marketing plan from scratch or to identify the holes in your current way of doing things.
The 9 points of the checklist walk you through the steps to create awareness of your business and your brand, close the sales deal and build your audience for better repeat business.
If you only ever read one marketing how-to, make it this one!
Phase 1. Attract Prospects (get to know your clients and help them get to know you)
The first phase in your 9 point marketing checklist helps your audience get to know you. They will discover your brand and learn why you are the best choice to solve their problem.
Step 1. Identify market and message
First things first: who are you marketing to and what do you want them to know?
There’s no point attempting a one size fits all solution with your marketing. Come up with one or two personas / avatars and define their problems.
Here’s a very quick example for a hypothetical home air-conditioning business:
By creating personas, this company now has a defined target audience of mid – high income earners who are upgrading a property. They also know their clients are likely to be time poor.
Thus, their marketing message should highlight that they do weekend/after hours callouts and offer a range of options to suit different budgets and spaces.
Not sure where to start with your personas? Talk to some of your customers. Find out what their goals are and you will begin to see a pattern.
Step 2. Generate Leads
Your persona and your message are defined, now you need to draw those people in. Strategies include:
- Localised facebook marketing
- Partnering with similar businesses to generate referrals
- Attending networking events
- Paid advertising on Google
- Online advertising on industry relevant platforms
- Local newspaper advertisements
- Mailbox brochure drop
[This Canberra architect targets people browsing on popular website Houzz]
When generating leads, as much as possible, try to talk to your customer about their problem. For example, rather than saying you take pride in customer service, write about how you install dazzling, functional kitchens or how your clients generate 20% more revenue on an annual basis when they work with you.
Step 3. Capture Interest
Once people know you exist, they must be encouraged them to get in touch or make a purchase. For an air-conditioning business, a 10 percent discount on new units over the colder months may draw customers their way during quiet periods.
Different businesses have different ways of capturing interest. It may be a free e-book on your website or a free gift with purchase. It could be a detailed series of case studies or a smorgasbord of stunning images shared on social media.
[Trove Canberra offers a monthly gift voucher prize as a lead magnet to build their customer base]
If possible, capture interest with a short term offer. Giving people a limited time to make a decision creates a sense of urgency and pushes them down that sales funnel more quickly.
Phase 2. Convert Sales (get your clients to like you)
After taking the first three steps, you should be building a steady crowd of people knocking at your door. They are interested in your business and are considering your product or services as the solution to their problem.
The problem is, there are plenty of other businesses just like yours out there! You need to take action to make sure your potential customers don’t end up turning to the competition.
Step 4. Nurture Prospects
No matter how you do it, you must make every potential client feel important. This goes back to the basics of responding to calls and messages.
An automated email platform with an integrated CRM can come in handy here by generating standard responses to enquiries and notifying you of hot leads. If you have offered your customers a free e-book or pdf via your website, you can continue to contact them via email, reminding them of the benefits of your services.
Your nurture sequence can also be segmented to show different types of content to people who are at different points in your lead funnel, or who have come to you from different areas of your marketing strategy. For example, an abandoned shopping cart email can remind people to come back to you to make a purchase and a follow up offer can be shared with customers who have claimed a lead magnet.
Try to make your nurture sequence around 1.5 times as long as your sales cycle (from the point of first contact to when they make a purchase) in order to improve your ‘stickiness’ with your clients.
Step 5. Manage Opportunities
With customers coming at you from all directions, you need to prioritise. Focus on the hottest / engaged leads and learn how to see spot the tyre kickers before they waste your time. You can doing this by creating a score based on how likely a client is to deliver return on effort.
In many cases, it can take up to five follow ups to convince a potential client to engage your services. This is something a lot of business owners don’t realise; they tend to give up after just one follow up phone call. Again, you can mix up your follow ups with automated emails and even text messages as well as calling your clients.
For those non-sales ready leads, you don’t have to kick them to the curb altogether. Keep engaging with them with newsletters, blog posts, special offers and updates in order to stay top of mind. Share case studies and success stories to demonstrate why you can solve their problem better than your competitors can.
Step 6. Offer and close
Perhaps this is the most important part of your checklist – if you’re not making sales, you won’t be in business for long!
What will get this customer over the line? Is it prompt delivery or is it a money-back guarantee? It could be the promise of results or an added extra with purchase.
This is where your salesperson hat must be firmly in place. Create more than one opportunity for this client to say “yes” to what you have to offer them and remind them why the solution you are offering is the best one for them.
In terms of closing, an up-front deposit or even full payment will help keep your business on track financially.
Phase 3. Keep Your Clients (get them to trust you)
Once you have sold your product or services, your job is not done (newsflash: your job is never done!). The next steps you take will ensure you gain repeat business and earn those all important word of mouth referrals.
Step 7. Deliver
All the marketing in the world won’t make up for a crappy product. In this digital age, word that your business is not up to par will spread quickly through negative online reviews and angry Facebook posts.
Delivering is not only part of your marketing checklist, it is part of your overall business survival checklist. Stay on top of this with quality control checks and by regularly communicating with your customers to gather their feedback on your service or product.
Step 8. Delight
What can you offer that will put a smile on your customer’s face? It can be something as small as showing up on time or sending a text message when you are on your way to their place.
Great sales people go above and beyond with every transaction. They underpromise and over deliver so their customers have an amazing experience worth talking about.
[Adam at Krav Maga Northern Beaches records individual birthday messages for his young students]
To be a success in business, you need to form relationships. Remind your customers that you’re a person just like them and that it’s your goal to make them happy.
Once you have delighted your customer, don’t forget to ask for an online review. Your happiest clients are your best asset, generating testimonials and word of mouth referrals.
Step 9. Upsell and resell
Once ‘Gemma’ has her nice new air conditioning unit installed and has posted a positive review online, this is not the end of the relationship with her suppliers.
She will need regular servicing in order for her air conditioning unit to keep working at its best. A reminder email every year will make her less likely to call another provider. Perhaps she can get 25% off the cost of her service by referring a friend.
Your customers’ journey shouldn’t end with that first sale. Depending on what you have to offer, monthly subscriptions, regular checkups or loyal member discounts can keep them as paying clients.
[Unless they unsubscribe, everyone who makes a purchase from Looma’s Cakes will receive regular deals and offers via email. ]Using the above marketing checklist can give you a clear foundation for your marketing strategy and provide clarity on the specific tactics which will work for your business.
Need help ticking the boxes? Get in touch for a chat about a marketing strategy that will jam your phone lines.
Related Tag: Infusionsoft Consultant Australia