Information changes everything. Effective marketing strategies are not something set in stone. With recent changes to SEO and the ever-increasing appetite of our government for more of our money, change is speeding up.
There are truths, though, and these truths will help keep you grounded in such a complicate world. Truths, for me, come down to basic character and my values. These things have been fundamental since before Jesus was born, and will continue until the extinction of mankind. The fundamentals of love, family, kindness, patience, understanding, charity, honesty…these things most of us forget from time to time.
So, how does all of this play into effective marketing strategies this year and beyond?
Easy…so, let me lay it out for you.
When you are marketing a product, service, or idea, you want to appeal to a human being. And if you want to appeal to a human being, you must understand them. Us. And to understand us, you first look inward to see what really makes you tick. What makes you get out of bed in the morning, what problems you face, how you deal with problems, what would make your life easier, what would help solve problems for society, etc.
Once you realize this, you can look at what you’re marketing or selling and begin to look at it as an idea instead of a product or service. Look at it in this context…why was this made? What compelled someone to invent this? And once you figure that out, you’ll know what emotions are attached to having it and not having it.
Ok, so now once you’ve established the “heart” of your product or service. The emotion that comes from having it, or not having it, you can begin to promote it.
In the past, I’ve seen many fad marketing strategies come and go. I’ve seen many MLM companies rise and fall, centered around a tool for marketing. I saw everything from automatic sending of greeting cards, to sms texting, video email, auto dialer, email blasting, IM, and more. Remember the Instant Message? I almost forgot about it until, for some reason, Windows Messenger started up on my computer again. I guess I forgot to uninstall it.
Anyway, the point is this. During all of those fad things, that many of you are still thinking are revolutionary, and perhaps still using, I saw the core fundamental methods still being used. Not only did I see “old school” marketing methods being used, I also saw them being used effectively. Maybe this is because everyone else was blowing up the fad methods, I’m not sure.
One thing is for sure. People are fed up with scammy advertising, including the methods of delivery. You don’t see too many cheesy car dealership ads anymore, do you? I remember one had a rap song and all the salesmen performed it on camera. This was in about 2002 and one of the guys looked like he had his sport coat and tinted prescription glasses from the 1970s. He also had a thick mustache, center parted feathered hair style. And I thought, perhaps these guys are recycling this from decades ago. Nope. It was really a current ad. Funny.
People are tired of lies.
People are tired of gimmicks.
People are tired of over-priced junk.
People are tired of poor quality.
People are tired of the government over-spending and asking for more.
See a pattern?
People are sick of anything that isn’t fundamentally of good character and things that don’t exhibit solid core values. Well, most people.
Some people are trying to attack core values, for some reason.
The Boy Scouts of America is currently under attack for their founding core values.
The military is under attack for its traditions.
Heck, we can’t even torture terrorists. What fun is that?
Off track here. Back to my point.
When you go to sell your product in 2013, tell the truth. Here is my list of advice:
1. Tell the truth
2. Keep it simple
3. Speak in layman’s terms, not industry jargon.
4. Don’t sell…Solve a problem
5. Promote the benefits instead of the attributes.
6. Focus on the emotion of having it versus not having it.
7. Spread the word traditionally (primary) use modern methods sparingly.
8. Use a blog to get your feelings and ideas out to the world.
9. Seek to help people first, sell the product second.
10. Create relationships, not email blast lists
The best way to break down your daily, weekly, and monthly methods is this:
At your sales core methods, choose a few things you can do each and every month, without fail. These are things like, Send a postcard to all of your past clients, outlining how you helped a client this month and asking for their referrals. Every month, period!
You should also have at least one membership in a local group, whether it’s a meetup group, rotary club, masonic fraternity, etc. And you should be an active part of it.
Get business cards that clearly state the solutions you provide, not just your name title, cool company logo etc. Use it like a mini brochure..and I mean “MINI”. Use a philosophy adopted by Steve Jobs, who said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
Less is more, when you figure out exactly what you’re trying to achieve.
For instance, “iPhone…Apple reinvents the phone.”
No, I didn’t put the period after the quotes because it was meant to be there. It means “Period”!
I tried to capture that for my company, 1st Choice Family Financial. We have solutions for people saving for, or who are in, retirement. These solutions help people with strategies for a tax free retirement, or at least help them know for a fact that they will not run out of money during their retirement. We take people out of risky stock market positions and place them in safe, secure, and effective positions. So I wanted to capture at least the beginning of this like Apple did.
I wrote, “information changes everything.”
Not quite as descriptive as the iPhone line, so I’ll have to think on it some more. But you get my point.
Finally, keep up the brochures and flyers campaign. But make them high quality, using the psychology of simple sophistication. Use email to announce something big, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want people blacklisting you for overly spamming their inbox. Consider setting up your business facebook page and allowing your posts there to keep your audience informed. Email is way overused for marketing.
Keep it real and you’ll do well.
Don’t forget the elbow grease…….That’s old person talk for “work hard”
God Bless you,
Marketing / Wealth Strategist