Marketing — Growing a Business — It Isn’t Business as Usual Anymore

Marketing has changed. The way we do business has changed. But you’ve tried it the way you knew how, didn’t work, and now what?Just think how you look at incoming marketing.

  • Direct Mail — If it looks like, feels like, or smells like “marketing” it gets thrown, usually before it ever gets opened.
  • TV — You leave the room during the commercials, or flip channels.
  • Income Cold Calls — Same as direct mail, it probably takes you 3 seconds or less before you can tell that this is a prerecorded marketing call and you hang up, ANGRY over that darned call. If it looks like, feels like, sounds like a “sales” call you’ll hang up before you even listen to the content.

Our Marketing detector is going full tilt, tune it out, throw it out, hang up on it.

Marketing, the way it’s been done for years, no longer works. It isn’t business as usual anymore.

What’s interesting though, is that some businesses are thriving, even when marketing as WE know it is failing us, and during a recession which makes things worse.

So, what’s the difference for those that are thriving?

Marketing that works has changed. It started back a few years as the internet started out, and has continued to change even more rapidly year after year. So what worked 2 years ago may not work now.

Marketing the old way was called push marketing, or interrupt marketing. That was when we pushed our marketing in front of people, interrupting what they were doing. It was direct mail that we shoved out there and got them to stop what they were doing to read it. It was a radio or TV ad that was shoved under our noses while we were watching the program we wanted to watch (it interrupted our thoughts).

But now we all have been conditioned that if it looks like, sounds like, feels like an ad we tune it out, or throw it away. We don’t even hear or see the message.

But, you know what?

Even with everyone tuning out of anything that looks like an ad, people are still looking for what you do. And as long as you keep doing what you’ve been doing they’ll keep tuning you out and your marketing won’t work. It won’t connect.

Today’s marketing that works is called pull marketing, or attraction marketing. Instead of shoving it under their noses, we have to be where they are looking for their answers, and attract them to us among the other thousands, or even millions of competitors. Just think how you use the internet today. You have a problem you want solved, business or personal. You look up some keyword that represents what you want, naming your problem . . . if you don’t know the solution you are still looking to see what someone proposes as a solution . . . or if you already think you know of a solution then you may be searching for a keyword around that solution.

But, the bottom line is . . . you are out there looking for a solution to your problem on the internet, and yet if a direct mail piece came across your desk with that solution you probably through that mail so fast that you didn’t even see that solution among them.

What this says is, if you provide answers to people’s problems where they can find them, you’ll have all the business you can handle.

For instance, I was talking with a construction company who said that his business has gone to hell in a handbasket when the real estate market had crashed, and that NO ONE is buying. When I showed him that there were 13,000 people right here in Kansas City every month, he couldn’t believe it. And, that was at Christmas when he told me that’s the worst month of this worst recession.

A lawn mowing company was worrying about how to get business for next season, and said that more people are doing their own mowing now, and no one was buying at Christmas time anyway, so how could he grow his business BEFORE next season. I showed him that there were 2,500 people looking for a lawn mowing service right here in Kansas City in December. I even found that hard to believe, but, there really were that many looking. We turned on an ad campaign in January and he filled his summer schedule before Spring came around.

You have to be found where people are looking and asking for help. If you are seen as “an expert” rather than “a salesman” your sales will go up even during the worst recession in your lifetime. People still need what you do, and they are actively looking for it, but they are avoiding marketing as usual.

For your marketing to work, you need to be found for what people are looking, the way they are looking, and to provide what they are looking for. They are looking for help resolving their problems. They are looking for “experts” not someone selling them something.

Develop a marketing message that GRABS Attention around what they are looking for, not what you are selling, and then be sure that you are where they can find you, either at the top of a natural search engine, or an article in an ezine, or a pay per click ad at the top of a search engine. or a local listing, or a directory, or better yet, all of the above.

Try this, go to Google and look up Google Keyword Tool. Type in the keywords you BELIEVE that people would use to find you. Google will come back with data showing how many are searching THAT  WAY, and will also give you other keywords, other ways people are searching for the same thing. You may be surprised that far more are searching in a different way than you would. So, you may have to change how you approach your market if they are looking for you differently than you would.

After all, what’s important here isn’t what you sell, but how they are looking for the soluton to their problem. You have to be found before you have an opportunity to lead them to what you sell. Starting at the wrong end results in very few new customers.

If you do local business versus nationwide business, after discovering the right keywords, then add your local city to the search term and go again. How many are searching for what you do right there in your city?

Now, how many of those end up on your website? How many of those end up calling you, or contacting you in some way?

If you arent’ getting at least 5% in each of those you’re missing out.

When I met a Mary Kay lady back at Christmas I showed her there were 1,000 people a month looking for a Mary Kay lady right here in Kansas City, and told her that should result in about 5%, or 50 people in about a month. Actually, we set up a pay per click ad, and she had 72 within 2 weeks, that’s 140 in a month, almost 3 times what I estimated that ended up as traffic to her Mary Kay website, and about 10 additional sales a week, or 40 new customers a month.

So, are you still playing the old marketing way?

To Your New Marketing Success

Alan Boyer

The $100K Small Business Coach

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