Why Marketing, as We Have Practiced It, Doesn’t Work — And THE Answer
Marketing, at least marketing that works, has shifted considerably from the old ways of doing things. People have been numbed to an overload of daily junk mail, and marketing that doesn’t tell them anything they WANT to know.
But, our target market is still looking for answers, but in a different way. Here’s how to become a VERY EFFECTIVE marketer, connecting with more people even when you’d swear that your marketing no longer works.
Old Way of Marketing
Marketing used to be about “outbound marketing” and “interruption” type of marketing while reaching out to others in the middle of their day.
It’s rapidly changing to an “inbound marketing” format. Instead of reaching out by sending things out to break into the middle of what your prospect is doing, it’s shifting toward helping the customer find you on the internet, attracting them to you and your website.
Old marketing and what’s changed: People “tune out” sales and marketing. They’ve been deluged for too long so they have become numb to what they do see or here, or just totally tune out or go when they sense an ad coming along. They are plain upset with the interruptions that don’t seem to contribute anything positive to their day.
To reach these people requires either “getting attention” among a series of ads that everyone tunes out, or to find another approach where your customer is actually actively looking for you.
- Radio/TV – It used to be in creating ads on radio or TV. However, for TV people tune out during the commercials, leave the room, etc. For radio, more people are moving to satellite radio where there are no ads.
- Lead generation activities – mostly were based on “interruption marketing,’ breaking into your life and day to say what they want to say. People tune those interruptions out.
- Cold calling – most people don’t even answer their phones any longer, or they are on a “no call list” or they screen out those they don’t recognize. Many people don’t even answer the phone when friends and relatives call. They pick up their voice mails later and return the calls on their own schedule.
- Email marketing – spam filters are getting good enough to keep out emails that we don’t want to see, or that have certain words in them. Emails that are sent without permission usually don’t get read.
- Direct mail – We receive so much junk mail that we’ve developed our own internal filter of what looks like junk mail. Most advertising gets thrown before it is ever opened. You might be able to slide past some of those internal filters by sending stuff that doesn’t look like all of the others, or to use postcards where your message will at least be seen first. If you message is an attention getter it has a better chance of being read.
The key now is to move from outbound and interruption type of marketing to “inbound permission-based marketing” to get in front of people who have chosen to let you through, or who are actively looking for what you do. Most people use the internet today for “information gathering”, to decide what’s the best solution to their problems, and then who’s the best provider of those solutions.
Our job is to get in front of them on the internet by providing the answers to all of those issues. They go through stages, the first is:
- Problem — Looking for answers to their problem. At this stage they are looking up “the problem”, they don’t know what the solution is. So, we have to be found for “the problem” we solve, and give them some possible solutions. And once found we have to be seen as “the expert” and the one with the answers for this particular problem.
- Solution — Once they have a sense of “the solution” they are researching on the internet to find more information on “the solution” or alternative “solutions.” At this stage we must be found with lots of information on “the solution” and possibly other solutions.” We must be seen as “the expert,” the one that helps them determine which solution is best.
- Product/Service — Once they have “the solution” they start looking for a specific product or service that provides that solution. Hopefully by this time they recognize us as “the expert” but we still might hook some that are just finding us at this stage of search. In this case we have to be found on the internet for the product or service that provides THE SOLUTION, and then our marketing message must convince them that we understand THEIR PROBLEM, and have THE SOLUTION with our specific product or service.
- Who is the Best Provider — Once they have found THE PRODUCT or SERVICE, then they start looking for who is the best provider of that product or service. Of course, if they’ve tracked us all along they should have already determined we have the best solution for their problem, however, if they just now found us as a provider of THE PRODUCT or SERVICE they were looking for we have to convince them that we have the most valuable SOLUTION. Even though they are looking for a provider of a product or service, it isn’t about us, it’s about having the best, most valuable solution.
So, today’s marketing is about providing information, building relationships as “the person with the answers”, and getting that information in front of the people who are looking. Most are looking for answers about THEIR PROBLEM, and a SOLUTION to that problem. Marketing that talks about anything else, someone’s products, services, or about them turn people off because that’s not what they are looking for.
Our new marketing job is to get provide the information they are looking for, about their problem, and a solution to that problem, and to be found as THE EXPERT with the answers as they research that information on the internet.
So, we must be providing answers, helping people find what they are looking for, be seen as THE EXPERT by giving away a taste of what we have to offer. The more we give the more we are recognized as the expert.
What are some good ways to be seen as the expert, and to get that information out there?
- Website – that provides information, answers to their problems, and a valuable solution. Website should gather a list of people who are looking so that we can continue providing more information and build a relationship with the prospect as THE EXPERT who has the answers. We must also stay in front of them so that we are there when they make the decision to buy. They will turn to us when they need “the next step”, hiring us.
- Search Engines – Our website must get a search engine position for keywords that people are looking for so that we get in front of those looking. The keywords are based on the problems that our target market is looking for and the solutions to those that problems.
- Article marketing – writing articles showing that we understand the problems and have a solution to those problems. Use article marketing to feed more traffic to your website where you can collect your list. Articles should be used not only to provide information, but to also be found by search engines (front end, getting the articles found), establishing you as “the expert”; and back end — link building, extra SEO power for your website, and direct traffic.
- Blog marketing – pretty much the same thing as article marketing, providing information, building SEO power for your website. Blog marketing works not only from your own blog writing, but reaching out to comment on other blogs. All of that increases the links back to your website (SEO power, AND increased direct traffic), and establishes you as THE EXPERT.