Marketing For The Forward Thinkers

It takes a forward thinker to decide on the goals you want accomplish for the year. What do yours look like?
It’s probably safe to assume you want a bigger turnover and a greater profit margin. So what’s the number? Do you have one? Then write it down… now… how are you going to achieve that?

Although you can cut costs and improve operations, chance are, if you want to achieve this goal, you’re going to need to turn your attention to Marketing.

So where do you start? If you want to build a customers you need to understand what it takes for them to make a ‘Buying Decision’.  There is a common unwritten rule that it takes around seven points of contact with a prospect to convert them to a customer (this could change industry to industry).

This is explained perfectly through The Hierarchy of Effects”, a buyer behaviour model dating back to the ’60’s. There are six steps;

Prospect/Potential Customer
Untapped market
1. Awareness – of product/service (advertising)
2. Knowledge – inform and establish customer needs (website, brochure, sales call)

Warm Prospects
Existing awareness, but not driven to purchase
3. Liking – the product/service or not (staff interaction, pre-purchase experience)
4. Preference – build value, quality (test drive, white paper, trial)

Desired Customer Position
5. Conviction – authority marketing (testimonals. Award wins)
6. Purchase – leads to a sale!

The theory behind the buyer behaviour is that the business and/or prospects can’t move forward without having had their needs met at each step.
For example; you may need to touch the prospect a few times with ‘knowledge’ by way of advertising website or sales call at step 2 before they decide they are ready to move to the next step of feeling happy with your business/sales person (liking/step 3)

The big lesson here is that; ‘no’ does not mean ‘no’.
Rather the prospect is saying ‘you haven’t satisfied my need at this level yet. You need to help me make a decision’. Customer conversion is literally a process that will take a few steps, not a single event.

If you want to succeed you need to plan ahead and around the number of touch points depending on what works best for your business.

Make sure you have something at every step to keep moving that person from prospect to paying customer;
To help you put one together, here are some golden rules to consider;

1. Analyse your current situation, How well your business is performing in the sales and marketing? What are your distinctive competitive advantages? How effective have your previous strategies and tactics been? What has been accomplished so far from a communications point of view? For example…

2. Choose a customer base you want to target. New, warm or existing? Which steps are they on?

3. Make it all about your customer; let them know that no matter how big an issue, it will be resolved immediately with the help of your product/service.

4. Always do one thing at a time. Keeps you focused.

5. Try to do new things but always experiment to see if it works.

6. Keep everything consistent. You should always have a central message that runs through every touch point and piece of communication (brochures, media, stories, events, packaging) and every interaction with your business from your signage, website, receptionist, sales staff, invoicing to customer service. Make sure your words; images, tone and materials all ‘say’ the same thing. Sometimes it pays to work with an expert.

7. Always make sure you know what is happening in your market by staying ontop of this you are always aware of changing customer needs and expectations. It will help you stay relevant, modern and unique.

8. Create a customer ritual and stick to it: Ritual cements customer relationships plus, realistically, science tells us that we all find comfort in rituals. Celebrate customer anniversaries (theirs and theirs with you), birthdays, etc. Your rituals might vary form hand written thank you cards, little treats on delivery, super quick service, passionate service staff. Whatever it is – deliver it every time.

9. Test your assumptions and ask for feedback, always ask your customers for feedback on your products and services so you can see through their eyes how well you are going and what you need to improve on if need be.

10. TAKE ACTION. Start now. Carry out the plan with every customer, every time.

Most importantly, have FUN with it. Marketing is something that is a MUST DO within your business if you want to not only stay alive, but hit that yearly turnover goal. Great creative, gain cut-through, but most importantly, keep it up! You” be a full head and shoulder above your competitors marketing if only you remain CONSISTENT with your communication.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.