Marketing is cyclical
Not too long ago, marketing was a one-way undertaking. You had a product and you went looking for someone to do your product to. You were the hunter. Your customer was the hunted.
The internet changed all that. Cable television and email and DVRs changed all that. Smart phones and social media and YouTube and Instagram changed all that. Now people have more options to explore and more ways to explore their options.
Now marketing is less like hunting and more like dating. It’s about fostering mutually beneficial relationships.
How marketing planning works
The first step in our work together is to find out what people care about. What they’re trying to get done. What options they’re exploring. Where they look for answers. What influences them. How they decide. What choices they make.
This enables us to…
Look into your inventory to determine how well you are doing in giving people what they want. Not just in terms of products and services, but in the experiences they have with your company. The stories they hear. The voice that greets them on the phone. The information on your web site.
Verifying that you can give people what they want, allows you to…
Aligning your products and services with what people want means that you now have something to…
Convincing people that what they want is what you sell will make them eager for an…
When people trade what they want for what you want, it helps you learn. And you’re back to the beginning of the cycle, but in a stronger place.
Look before you leap
You know what you want to sell. You know what you sell is terrific. You know why people should buy what you’re selling. The thing is, people don’t buy because of what you know. They buy because of what they know. They buy because of what matters to them.
Marketing isn’t about what you want to sell. It’s about what people want to buy.
Marketing communication isn’t rocket science, but it is disciplined — and it’s fueled by equal parts inspiration and information. Marketing is about helping people say yes to you by giving them something they want to say yes to. If you make marketing decisions before you know how people decide, you are likely wasting time, energy, and money on tactics that aren’t helping your customers see that you are selling what they want.
If you make marketing decisions before you know how people decide, you are wasting time, energy, and money on tactics that aren’t helping your customers see that you are selling what they want. Before you jump headfirst into Facebook and Instagram or go hog-wild emblazoning your company’s name on refrigerator magnets, t-shirts, and billboards, take the time to figure out whether any of these tactics is the best means for moving people closer to saying yes.
Marketing doesn’t begin with selling. It begins with listening. It begins with getting to know the person you want to sell to.