This is part four in our series on how to start thinking about marketing. Â To see our previous articles, check out:
When anyone is trying to sell something, the buyer has to recognize a reason to pay for it. Â We refer to those reasons as needs. Â For some businesses, the need is always there – it is an established need. Â For others, they have to create the need to get the buyer to purchase. Â Each should be approached differently.
For example, I have a friend who is a seamstress. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a couple items of clothing in a pile waiting to be repaired, hemmed or generally sewn in some way. Â That need is established. Â So her marketing needs to be focused on getting the person to act on that need. Â That is a very different approach than say, someone who needs to hire a recruiter to help them fill a position. Â Recruiters need to be top-of-mind at all times so that when the need arises, they are the ones who get the call and not the person who happens to call that day.
An established need is going to be one that the majority of your customers have before they know about you. Â The good news is you can talk to your current customers to discuss what that need looked like before they came to you, how they felt about it and why they didn’t take action sooner. Â Advertising is good for this type of need because it can trigger an immediate response. Â “Call now” ties in with an established need. Â Understanding as much as you can about your clients before they came to you can help you target your marketing to the right people.
A need that will be in the future means your marketing has to be about creating that top-of-mind awareness. When the need arises, it is highly unlikely the client will have your folder on top of their desk with information easily found. Instead, they need to know who you are and what you do in such a way that calling you is obvious. Â Newsletters, informational tips, in person meetings, etc. are all ways to keep your name in front of someone and remind them of your expert status. Â When they need help, they will want to call in the expert!
Here again it is a good idea to talk about what happened before the client called you. Â Understanding what the thought process was, how they remembered you and what information they pulled to call is critical. Â If you are someone they will call in a crisis, having your number somewhere they can easily find is critical. Â Magnets for a frig or post-it notes can be especially helpful for those clients. Â Being lots of places on the web means if someone can’t find your information in their office, they can easily find you on line. Â Be sure to know how people you like to work with found you so you can put more efforts into those channels.
Each type of need has its own unique challenges and need to be addressed differently. A one-shot small newspaper ad isn’t going to help a future need because the person would have to keep it somewhere they will remember. Â However, if the need already exists, your efforts should be put into channels that will help get people to act on the need.
Next, we will explore how long the sales cycle is for your product or service.