Getting In Front of Likely Buyers In A Positively Memorable Way
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” – Seth Godin (Author of Purple Cow)
Plain and simple, marketing is about nothing more than getting your product or service in front of likely buyers in a positively memorable way. Although there has been thousands of books written about marketing, that really is all that it’s about. When starting a business or growing your existing business, you must come to grips with the fact that marketing is SUPER IMPORTANT. In fact without effective marketing and a steady stream of customers, nothing else about your business really matters. The fancy LLC you just setup doesn’t matter. The super-detailed “Operating Agreement” doesn’t matter. The S-Corp you formed doesn’t matter and the new office space you just built out doesn’t matter either. Poor marketing makes people poor. Great marketing makes people rich. Mentally marinate on this for a second. Manoj Bhargava’s idea to make a 5-hour energy shot that tasted like cough syrup wouldn’t be worth anything without good marketing. However, because of good marketing this guy went from nothing to something with 6 months. As of today (2012), this Man’s “5-Hour Energy” product is now netting over $300,000,000 per year. Is his product that awesome or is his marketing awesome?
Have you ever found yourself asking questions like, “Why is Meatloaf famous?” “Why were the Kardashian’s making millions?” “Why is that Ronco guy making millions of dollars per year selling food dehydrators?” My friend it all comes down to marketing. You must remember that it is truly not even possible to give away a great idea or product without good marketing. As an example. Years ago I worked with a company that was absolutely determined to begin selling gourmet dessert items to walk-in clients. They wanted to give away samples of their dessert items in a downtown setting to potential future clients. Thousands of giveaway items were produced and people were paid to pass them out to large crowds of people exiting a major sporting event. Despite the great flavor, the large amount of money and time was invested in their creation, and the overall effort of the team these items were rejected by masses of people. Of the 4 people paid to GIVE THESE GOURMET DESSERT ITEMS AWAY, only 1 of them actually was able to successfully give them all away. Why? Poor Marketing. The logos weren’t obvious and the packaging wasn’t consistent. Therefore people didn’t trust that these FREE items were safe. To fans attending this big sporting event it just appeared that 4 men were passing out homemade baked goods. Were they safe? Were they poisonous? People didn’t care, because the marketing was bad.
Poor marketing will deter would-be customers from buying your products and services because the doubt it can inspire. However, excellent marketing has the power to overcome nearly everything, even a poor product. My friend, marketing is nothing more than getting your business, product or service in front of your target audience in a memorable and meaningful way. That is all marketing is. What are your marketing materials saying about your overall level of excellence? If you have excellent marketing materials, are they making it to your target audience? So who is your target audience? Who is not your target audience? As an example, in the wedding industry our clients are potential brides-to-be and their mothers. Grooms-to-be almost never call us to inquire about our services. Frankly, most of the grooms are not even aware of nearly any details pertaining to their wedding. They know their wedding date, and they know they get to have sex at the end of this day. They are excited and confident of only these details. This simple truth took me nearly 5 years to grasp because I did not know what the real definition of marketing was.
Because I didn’t know who my target audience was I spent money advertising on radio stations designed for men. As my wife and I worked 65 hours per week to make ends meet, I used my precious marketing dollars to buy booths in tradeshows attended by men. I built a website designed for men. I named my wedding packages after things that dudes like. I basically spent my marketing dollars on attempting to reach people like me, because I thought that made sense. Don’t be an idiot like I was; take the time to write down the answers to the questions below. Be honest with yourself. If your website is “janky” and does not inspire the level of confidence you want in your “target audience” you must “tame that beast” (fix that website). If you are rocking a mullet as you read this right now, you are going to have to “chop that mop” or your business is going to flop. I used to dress like a member of the “Wu-Tang Clan” (the rap group) when I met with brides and they would never book. I had to change my style in order to get paid. My friend, you might have to “sell out” if you want to ever SELL ANYTHING to your “target audience.” Answer these questions candidly and honestly and your business will BOOM BABY!
1) What gender is your target audience?
2) How old is your target audience?
3) What zip codes does your target audience call home?
4) What neighborhoods does your target audience live in?
5) Where does your target audience shop?
6) How old is your target audience?
7) What search terms does your target audience use to “Google Search” for your products & services?
8) What problem(s) does your product / service solve for your target audience?
9) How educated is your target audience?
10) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) rank your website’s ability to inspire confidence in your target audience:
10) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) rank your website’s search engine optimization level (does your site come up top in “Google Searches”?):
11) On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) rank your logo and brand’s ability to inspire confidence in your target audience:
12) Which of your competition is the most effective at reaching your target audience?
13) Who is the market leader in your industry?
14) What problems does your competition’s service / product solve for your target audience?
15) How can your company solve problems for your target audience more effectively than your competition?
16) Who in your industry has a better looking website than your company?
17) Who in your industry has a better looking logo than your company?
18) Who in your industry has better looking overall marketing material than you?
My friend, unless you are not being honest, or unless you are Howard Schultz (the CEO of Starbucks) it looks like you have some work to do. You must beat your competition starting now. Capitalism is a winner takes all sport. You are going to either dominate or you are going to be dominated. No pressure here, but if you do not get serious about beating your competition, you are going to raise skinny kids on a skinny budget. Remember as Thomas Edison once said, “knowledge without application is meaningless.” When it comes to marketing you must take the advice of Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison, “You have to act, and act now.”
**If you need help with your branding, your social media marketing, your website image, your internet optimization, your print materials and anything related to your overall marketing efforts, we can refer you to America’s top service providers. For more information visit www.MakeYourLifeEpic.com or give us a call today at 918-851-6920 and we will help you do this. For more ideas on how to market effectively to your target audience there are really only three books whose content you need to read and apply, “Guerilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad Levinson, “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill & “Soft Selling In A Hard World” by Jerry Vass.
U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year
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