I have been working with clients on marketing strategies lately. It’s a natural time to be thinking about generating demand as the new year is upon us. We can all sense the speed of change. What worked last year has changed because of technology, business environments and failure. Failure is part of the process of learning what works. What works is different for every market and business.
I can often hear the illusion most people are caught up with. They want that guarantee that if they buy a certain program or do a sequence of steps, customers will start flowing in. We were conditioned by the rules of the old economy where advertising reigned. We could throw money at something and demand was proportionally generated from our spending.
Today everyone is a marketer and the cost to access the masses is low. The challenge is standing above the noise. Buyers feel overwhelmed by the options, the spam and the degradation in message quality.
As you are looking at the next year, consider these strategies to position your brand and your offering above the noise:
- Win the few. Ask yourself the question, “How many new customers will I work with in the coming year?” Get concrete. Is it 10? 100? 10,000? Who are these customers? Everyone is not your customer. Only seek to attract and please this number. This may mean less product choices or it may mean more focus on bringing additional value to win them.
- Focus, focus, focus. Look at what costs your business in time, headaches and dollars. If they don’t please the few you are seeking to win, then get rid of it. If your Facebook page is not working, then discard it. If you have several non-selling products, remove them from your offerings. Simplify and it will increase your focus. Take the savings in time and energy and redirect them to the things that are profitable.
- Only the best. You may have tried every new social media platform out there. Or you may have taken on new projects or sold products you don’t support well. GE has a guiding principle that if they are not number 1 or 2 in a market they get out. You can apply the same thinking in the venues and projects you give your time to. If you are not committed to being the best in your new Google+ profile, then discard it. If you are not going to support your blog, then close it down. Be the best you can be or get out.
- Have a marketing process. If your lead generation is only as good as the last campaign you did, then you don’t have a system that produces repeatable business. Commit to building a process built around the buyer step by step. This requires process thinking and diligently studying why people buy. The reward is a predictable result from the hard work of building systems. You will be building an asset.
Everyone’s business has many layers of details that will vary. These strategies can serve as an overarching and actionable way to build something that produces results for higher levels of success.
What are some ways you are approaching marketing that will be different?