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Small Business Marketing Made Easy – Your Messages

This week I’m going to give you a challenge that will focus your marketing on your ideal customer.

The Logic of Marketing is one of the Six Business Success Factors that I have consistently found – in 40 years’ of working with small businesses – that successful businesses all possess.

Even if you feel you don’t have the skills, or that you are too busy, or that you can’t afford it, you cannot deny that your business needs to market itself to customers.

What stops us is that we think it’s too expensive, or we don’t know how to start because we don’t know enough about it.

So, we “market” by talking about our product, we hang signs on our doors, or we place the odd advertisement on social media or in a newspaper.

What if I were to show you the Logic of Marketing and how easy it is to start?

I say the Logic of Marketing because I believe that marketing is a logical step by step process.

First, you need to understand what your product means to your customer.

People buy with their hearts before they rationalise the purchase with their heads.

People don’t buy a powerful drill – they buy something that will make a hole in the wall faster and more cleanly than something else. They buy a powerful, shiny drill because it makes them feel like they are Master Craftsmen!

In the same way, people don’t buy tax returns – they buy from an accountant who takes their fears away.

They don’t buy a legal agreement from a lawyer – they buy peace of mind.

Once you understand what the product actually means to your customer – not its features like “strong steel” or “legal expertise”, but “pride and ease of use” or “peace of mind” – you can decide who are the customers who would be most attracted to that benefit that your product gives them.

No point advertising your drill to people who want a piece of wood sawn in two!

No point in our lawyer marketing his contract services to other lawyers or accountants who have no fear of contracts!

Then, all you have to do is make sure you communicate the right messages to them in all your marketing material and encounters with potential customers.

Of course, there’s more to it than that – you need to focus on the target customer by ensuring your product, price and placement attracts them and you need to design a targeted and consistent campaign.

But if you’re on marketing training wheels, don’t let that put you off.

Let’s just start with working out what your messaging should be.

So, to do this, I have a five-day challenge for you if you’re game. You only need to commit an hour a day for 5 days, and if you do, you’ll find that you are so much better equipped to talk to potential customers or write paragraphs for your marketing material or website.

Let’s go!

 

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On Day 1, take up to an hour to write down everything that you can think of that your target customer “needs”.

In the example of the drill, your target customer might be home DIY enthusiasts. This might be a list of things they “need” from a drill:-

  • Reliability
  • Hard-wearing
  • Easy to use
  • Fast and powerful
  • Looks good
  • They can talk about it at barbeques!

Write as extensive a list as you can and then rate them in order of importance to your customer.

When you do this, don’t forget that the heart rules the head, so don’t rule out how important “they can talk about it at barbeques” is to your customer!

For the rest of the day, try out these needs as you talk to customers – how do they respond when you mention the different needs you have listed? Do you need to add or delete any?

Do you need to change the ranking?

On Day 2, take an hour to consider how your product meets the needs you listed.

In particular, how well do they meet the high ranked needs?

What about your product meets those needs?

Ask yourself how you could rephrase some of what you know about your product in a way (without lying!) that shows customers how it meets their important needs.

Ask yourself if you could improve how your product meets those needs, perhaps by tweaking a feature or the way you deliver?

Write down some of the ways your product can meet their needs in single sentences.

Again, test this out during the day.

As you meet customers try out those descriptions of meeting needs and gauge their response.

On Day 3, focus on your product.

It’s time to be brutally honest and ask yourself which of the needs do you meet really, really well.

Often, what you do really well can beat your competitors.

It’s your Unique Selling Proposition.

A lawyer who believes they spend extra free time with a client making sure they explain every line of a contract as well as what could go wrong with other contracts but won’t with this, can outshine another lawyer who’s brusque and just says “sign here”!

Their Unique Selling Proposition might be that they meet the customer’s need to feel secure in every way possible.

Then, focusing on the needs that you meet really well, identify which ones are your customer’s Hot Buttons.

“Hot Buttons” are those needs that really affect your customer. They are the needs that the customer is desperate to meet.

If you sell a drill to someone who needs a fast hole in the wall, he could buy that anywhere – but if his hot button is to look good when he brings it out at his next barbeque, then you have identified that your Ferrari Red Music-Playing Turbo Drill Mark IX will really push his Hot Button!

Spend the rest of the day testing your customers suspected Hot Buttons – how do they respond when you bring out your targeted big gun?

Day 4 is when you craft your message.

You can download our free worksheet to help you craft your message by clicking here.

Start by reviewing what you’ve discovered about your target market’s needs and hot buttons, then write your messages about how your product meets their needs, focused on their hot buttons.

You may not need more than a couple of messages, but make sure you write as many as you think you need to press their hot buttons.

Some of these may end up being tag lines and certainly, they should be put into marketing material.

At the end of this exercise, you should have a number of messages you can repeat as you market your product, for example:-

The drill: “This is the latest design that very few others have – you’ll be the first on your block”.

The lawyer: “I guarantee that you will never have to worry about this contract ever again – it will completely protect you.”

A Tax Accountant: “You will never have to speak to the Tax Office again – I’ll always do it for you and protect you.”

A Garage Mechanic: “Your car will be as new and you’ll never have to worry about breaking down.”

A yoga instructor: “You never have to be embarrassed – and you will be supple and enjoy life.”

On Day 5 (and beyond) start your marketing.

It’s time to test your messages.

You’ll see I’ve actually cheated – I’ve said in Day 5 and beyond!

Take the next few days, if not weeks, to align your marketing with the new messages and monitor the effects.

This is the start of your marketing journey – meet the real needs of your customers with benefits and emotional contact, not with the hard features that are the components of your product!

Change the messages if you need and in time, they will become the foundation of how you market, and how your customers see your product.

If you want to know more about the Six Business Success Factors, you can get a free download of my Small Business Owners Growth Guide by going to teikoh.com/Guide.

Go on, take the challenge!

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