“Sales have been stagnating and we’d like to send out a mailing to attract more clients. Can you write a marketing message for us to use?” – Sam from Chicago
I get calls like this every week from people asking me to write their marketing messages. I turn them all down. Wondering why?
Sam is a software specialist who writes and customizes software for small and mid-sized businesses and maintains their computer networks. I asked Sam, “If a client called and asked you to write one line of computer code for a program, what would you tell them?”
Sam instantly understood the point I was making. Computer programs are composed of hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of code. No individual line works without the others. To make your computer run your word processing, accounting, or inventory management program, every line of computer code needs to work together.
A computer program is a complete system designed to achieve a set of objectives. Writing just one line of computer code, however brilliant, wouldn’t achieve anything. It would be a waste of time and money.
The same applies to marketing. The best marketing is a system of elements that work together to grow your business, not a set of isolated parts.
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The first step is to understand which components you need to make up an effective marketing system.
Some of these will be:
– A specific target market or set of target markets,
– A clear understanding of your prospects’ hot buttons, that is, what they want and need,
– A marketing message that explains what you do in terms of your clients’ concerns,
– A no-cost offer that prompts prospects to contact you,
– A cost-effective strategy for generating new leads each month to keep your business growing,
– Multiple ways of exposing your prospects to your offer, including a website,
– Marketing copy that takes over where your marketing message leaves off and gives your prospects a reason to keep reading,
– Reasons for your prospects to respond, to contact you and to buy,
– A follow-up strategy that builds on a prospect’s initial interest and convinces them that they need your product or service, can trust you to deliver, and should buy today,
– Once a prospect is interested in making a purchase, a way to increase the sale by 50% or more by selling them additional items they need,
– A way to keep your customers coming back to buy again,
– A referral strategy that prompts customers to refer their friends and colleagues.
Is your marketing stopping short of getting you the leads and sales you want? If it is, you’re not alone. Most marketing doesn’t deliver or help you grow your business the way it should.
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Are the different parts of your marketing system working together? Take this quick test to find out:
– Are you often disappointed with the response to your ads and mailings?
– Do you wish your website generated more leads and sales?
– Could you use more referrals?
– Would you like to convert more of the people that contact you into clients and repeat clients?
– Do you wish you could grow your business by 30 to 50% annually?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then you’re struggling like most small business owners do to make your marketing work. Don’t keep looking for that one marketing message or one ad that it will magically solve all your marketing problems. A brilliant marketing message or ad is just the key to opening the door to your prospect’s interest, after that you need to have the rest of your marketing system in place to convert their interest into a sale.
You would never ask a computer programmer to solve all your computing problems with one line of code. You’d ask for the complete program. The same applies to your marketing.
If you want to see your sales increase steadily you need a comprehensive marketing system one where the pieces fit together like lines of a well-crafted computer program. What you want is a marketing system that does everything from getting your prospects’ attention to closing the sale.