Small business owners have struggled with marketing since the beginning.
It’s a mystery.
Why does this work? And that doesn’t? How can this work better? Why did this work for someone else, and not for me?
If you’re struggling with marketing in your business and can’t figure out why it isn’t working or getting the results you think it should, stop!
Read this, then implement it, and it will not just save you money, it will save you time and frustration too!
Where This Came From...
When I first got started working with marketing for small businesses, I worked with 500 some odd businesses in the first three years and I got to watch all these guys with the same campaigns going live. For example, I’d get assigned a lawyer and a lawyer and they would both go live with the same package in the same month. And Lawyer A would be killing it and raking in 2 and 3 calls per day, but Lawyer B would trickle in maybe five calls per month.
After watching this happen again and again across industries, I knew there had to be a theme. I realized that the distinguishing differentiators were what I coined the 3 Ms of Marketing.
The Biggest Problem...
Too many small business owners jump straight into working through the methods of distribution. Then they panic because the methods of distribution aren’t working or aren’t producing the results they want. And the business owner hits the eject button and tries another magazine or another firm, and continues throwing money out the window.
The reason this process rarely works is because they’re building the house from the roof down, and complaining that the roof won’t stay suspended in the air. You can’t start with the last of the three Ms and expect to get the same results as someone who built the ground from the foundation up!
Marketing Must Start With the Message
The Marketing Message is the first M. Without a strong marketing message, the rest of the process will never perform as well. First and foremost, you need to know what you’re trying to communicate, and make sure it’s unique to you! If everyone in your industry has the same message, you are going to struggle to stand-out! Not everyone can have the best customer service, you have to figure out what it is about your customer service that stands out!
There is a phenomenal book out there by Seth Godin called All Marketers are Liars where he delves into the reality that every marketer is telling a story, and every person who buys is buying a story. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Start with figuring out what is it that makes you unique. As Mike Michalowicz asks: “What makes you different? Because better isn't better; different is better. Different stands out from the thousands of other messages in the market. If you do provide the best customer service in the industry, then get specific with that! How do you provide the best customer service? Do you provide the most cheerful technicians ever? Do you give them a moment of not having to stress?
Whatever it is, you have to be specific and different with it.
That becomes your marketing message.
The Second M: Target Market
This is the piece that nearly everyone skips. Or at least, they don’t give it the serious attention that it deserves. In the span of 10 days, I had the same conversation four times where I was told: “The target market exercise is too complicated, too difficult, our target market isn’t that specific.”
The problem with that kind of response, is that that is exactly the reason they’re struggling. It’s the reality of business, and life. If someone is struggling to figure out who their target market is, they are going to struggle to get deals in the door because how many of us want to work with someone who will work with anybody? No one! We want to feel special!
I personally am much more inclined to hire someone if it’s their speciality because I know I’ll get better results. Your marketing needs to make people feel special for starters, but a detailed target market also eliminates the guesswork at how to distribute your marketing message to get it in front of your target market quickly!
Most of the time, in order to dig deep into the psyche of a target market, we have to get more detailed than anyone wants to get. I require my clients to pick a 10-year age-range as the primary target market. They are allowed to choose a secondary age range if they want, but this is where business owners push back the hardest. Everyone has a story of working with a client or customer who fell outside the age range that seems most reasonable.
But unless you have an seven or eight-figure marketing budget, you just don’t have the budget to get your message out in front of everyone age 18-65 enough times to create conversions!
So what age ranges make your best customer or makes up the majority of your customers? And do they tend to be men or women? What side of town do they live on? What side of down are their offices? Where do they hangout online? How about offline? Before you know it, once you start compiling data, you’re dealing with a 2+ page target market!
Last But Not Least...
As you figure out your target market, it becomes more and more apparent how to tackle the third M: Methods of Distribution. The old addage that you don’t have to be everywhere, you just have to be everywhere your prospect looks, suddenly becomes possible! You become the only viable option for them, and word of mouth takes over from there!
I was working with a client recently and we realized that their target market demographic and psychographic (and you have to get into that too, because that’s part of getting your target market!) really values time and health: two things that are really hard to balance.
So we arranged to offer them a once a month free meal-kit for them to make a fresh, healthy meal at home in under half an hour! Because the message we were trying to communicate ran along the lines of “We’re here t take care of you!” the gift of a box of food that streamlined and made their life easier was the perfect delivery option!
Because we designed the offer specifically for that client, we were able to walk in to an office that gets a steady stream of sales reps all day, and stand out!
In light of all this, I want to encourage you. If you're doing your marketing right now, I want you to back up and take a minute to really evaluate your marketing.
Are you using the three m's or are you skipping to the third m?
If so, it’s not irreparable!
You can start on the Three Ms Of Marketing today. And because we’ve discovered that the reason most small business owners don’t dig deep into their target market is because they don’t know where to go to get the info, or what to do with it once they have it, we’re putting on a Masterclass just for you! We’re transforming marketing and making the great secrets of marketing available for small business!
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