Why Marketing? Consider Your Prospect's Dilemma
By Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia Inc.
This column is for marketing skeptics. It explains why “connecting with customers/clients” in subtle ways is so beneficial and suggests steps you can take now to improve new customer acquisition.
Before I get to into the changes you can make now, I want to share two quick thoughts on how a non-believer can “get religion” about marketing.
Ask around. If you have been reluctant to invest, please talk with someone you trust who seems to be achieving success with marketing. I won’t try to convince you myself, because I sell marketing services.
Consider the consumer’s dilemma. Why should a prospect choose your business over a similar looking competitor? It’s their personal decision. You can’t control prospects’ decisions, but you can make your business extremely competitive with a few well-calculated marketing moves.
- Get expert help. There are a lot of different skills involved in marketing: website development, application development, graphic design and copywriting, to name a few. A full-service marketing agency combines top-level strategic planning with the necessary technological and creative skills.
- Lead with a strong message. Develop a solid message about how customers or clients will benefit by choosing you. Make prospects say to themselves, “That’s exactly what I want.” Once you have crystallized the message, put it to work everywhere: in a snappy tagline, and in a succinct paragraph on the website, in brochures, in online business directories, etc. Teach the message to everyone in the company, so they can say to anyone they meet, “You know the best reason to go with us?” and then share your simple message.
- Look sharp. Is there any direct connection between great graphic design and great business performance? No there is not, but consumers and clients are trained, through a lifetime of exposure to sophisticated marketing, to equate professional appearance with top performance. When your company pays attention to details like color scheme, design and typography, you look sharp, and prospects make the inferences that you want them to. Put your faith in professional graphic designers, because DIY design never measures up to expert work.
- Use your website real estate effectively. When a prospect checks your company out online, they will visit your home page virtually every time, which makes it by far your most important customer recruitment tool. A strong home page marries the crisp message and appealing aesthetics discussed above with a deft presentation of your services. The visitor learns within a few seconds that (a) you know what you're doing, and (b) you know how to take care of people like them. As with No. 2 and No. 3, this is the unique expertise that marketing specialists have.
- Choose the Right Channels. A full-service agency can help you maximize ROI by directing you to the marketing tools and media buys that best suit your particular needs. For some companies, it's direct mail. For others, pay-per-click advertising. newsletters, broadcast advertising, etc. It depends on who and where your prospects are.
If you’d like help creating powerfully attractive marketing materials that will make your business more competitive, please give me a call at 800-796-3342 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. PriMedia has all the tools you need, and we’re happy to help.