Begin with the definition of marketing: Marketing is getting someone that has a need to know, like and trust you. As they progress through this growing understanding of you, your methodology, your experience and your products and services – they move themselves towards doing business with you.
Therefore your marketing needs to be strategic and developed to assist them on this progressive exploration of you and your offering. (If you are interested in online group coaching for the Duct Tape Marketing Catalyst program, there is a class starting on June 2 There is a system that can assist you in this, that is the core of the Duct Tape Marketing philosophy to which I subscribe, and it consists of 7 steps.
These 7 Steps to Marketing System Success are described below by John Jantsch, marketing consultant, creator of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine.
1. Develop strategy before tactics
Most business owners take the “idea of the week,” tactical approach to marketing when a good strategy is the most important aspect of any successful marketing implementation.
Before you decide on direct mail or Facebook, you must adopt and commit to a marketing strategy. All tactical decisions should be filtered through your strategy to see if they make sense or support the overall marketing strategy.
The concept of a marketing strategy may seem foreign or out of reach, but it’s really little more than determining and narrowly defining your ideal client, and creating and communicating some key points of differentiation.
The challenge comes when business owners realize it means they can’t be all things to all people. Simply offering good services isn’t a differentiator, it’s an expectation.
2. Embrace The Marketing Hourglass concept of prospect awareness
Maybe you’re familiar with the marketing funnel concept: get as many prospects in the top of the funnel and choke a few through the small end.
The Marketing Hourglass suggests that there is a logical path through which each prospect should be led, starting with the large end of a funnel. However, as in an hourglass shape, the prospect goes to work turning new customers into an expanding base of advocates and referral partners.
This approach starts and ends with a significant focus on the customer experience and requires special attention to the creation of systems and processes that move prospects logically along the path of know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer.
3. Adopt the publishing model
Marketers today must commit to producing content, much like a publisher might. Prospects expect to search and find large amounts of useful information on any subject or challenge.
Consistent production of content that builds awareness and trust such as client success stories, testimonials, and content that educates, such as blog posts, e-books and online seminars, are major components of the new marketing system.
4. Create a total web presence
It’s simply not enough to have a website and think you’re really participating online.
The majority of purchase decisions made today involve some amount of research online. Today’s business must be easily found online, easily engaged online and easily communicated with online. This requires a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media participation.
Of course, this also means integrating your online presence and activity into every offline business function.
5. Orchestrate the lead generation trio
With a fully functioning lead generation system in place, a significant portion of your leads can originate from referrals. However by expanding your system with the addition of advertising and public relations, you amplify your efforts in each.
When a prospect comes in contact with your advertising message, reads about your new product in a trade journal and then gets invited to your educational workshop by their accountant, they’ve practically sold themselves.
6. Drive a lead conversion system
Most small businesses view marketing as an exercise in lead generation only, when the true measure of success is lead conversion.
The same systems approach that created a lead must be in place when a prospect wants to learn more. Simply having a well-thought-out path that every new leads walks, a way to nurture and educate leads, and a proven process for orienting new clients can dramatically and positively influence that bottom line conversion.
7. Live by the marketing calendar
The scarcest resource in any business is time. There is always more to do than possibly can be done. Some people deal with this by simply shutting down and doing very little.
Marketing momentum requires consistent work over the long term and is best managed by creating a marketing calendar. The annual marketing calendar is not only a great planning device for campaigns and product launches, but it’s also a great tool to organize and schedule all time sensitive projects.
By creating monthly projects and themes, weekly action steps and daily marketing appointments, you heighten the focus on marketing and the building of your marketing system in full production.