Before we begin, I want to call your attention to the fact that this is EXACTLY what you signed up for … a lesson in marketing.
It is not a bait and switch fluffy, hype-ridden, catch-their-attention and upsell them a to a room with a view.
It is a 7-Step Marketing Course. And there is one message each day for seven days. Allow ten minutes to read and think about the information I am sharing with you. If you happen to be a slow reader like I am, read it twice. Think about it twice, and then think about it again. It is good “stuff.” You asked for it. READ IT.
Get this straight … early. Marketing is the name of the game. Marketing is where the rubber meets the road. Marketing is where the action is. Marketing is not hard. Marketing should be and can be fun. Marketing is the answer. The answer to any question (and every question) usually has something to do with Marketing. If not the correct answer, it is always a pretty good guess. You and your product are both very cool, but it is Marketing that is going to get you where you want to go.
There are only two types of people you will ever come in contact with.
The first type consists of people you can help.
The second type consists of people you can’t help.
In the next few days, you and I are going to determine how to identify these two types so you can respond accordingly. One type of person is going to make up your database.
If I could sum up a sure-fire marketing program in three steps, here is what they would be:
Step 1: Identify more new business opportunities
Step 2: Make prospects feel comfortable
Step 3: Find reasons for people to want to do business with you
Let us agree that our primary objective is:
To establish relationships with people we are in position to help. Let’s make a few assumptions:
Assumption #1: Not enough people know you are alive.
Assumption #2: People can’t do business with you until they know you exist.
Assumption #3: As soon as they realize you are alive, they will forget that you are alive unless you make it your business to remind them that you are alive.
Your goal now becomes clear. You must tell people (the right people) and remind them you are alive. It really is as simple as that.
“My name is Mike Marchev … I am alive! And I am glad to meet you.”
If nothing else, I want you to remember this:
“There are only two types of people. People you can help … and the other kind.”
Let’s now determine who is qualified to receive your messages.
It is important that you learn to focus on a well-defined target, or group of prospects. This will be referred to as your “target market.” The more clearly you define your audience the better off you will be, and the more money you will make.
Once you effectively determine the people who you want to do business with, you are going to add these names to your database.
Key Point: There has to be a “number” of like-minded people in a given targeted audience to establish the group as a qualified target market. The number 50 is as good as any number to start with. The secret is to build this list with “meaningful names.” This last sentence explains why I am not a fan of “buying” names or email addresses.
Everyone is not going to “buy your act.” Therefore you must concentrate on developing a number of “targets” for which to focus, and subsequently toss your darts. (A “dart” represents a single element of your marketing weaponry.)
You must begin to work diligently at capturing the contact information of each and every person who falls within your targeted parameters. This is known as building your database. If I was asked the single most prevalent reason why businesses fail, I would undoubtedly have to say that it had to do with a complete and utter failure to build a meaningful database … and then consistently “work it.”
What information will you want to capture? The answer to this is “meaningful information.” Of course you will need to capture the obvious:
first and last names
areas of interest
pet ownership (no, I am not kidding here)
where they have been and where they want to go
…. and any other information that you feel will be helpful down the road. You don’t need their shoe size or any other information that can’t be used to further qualify your prospects unless you are selling socks.
Simply capturing this information is not enough. You must then find time to analyze the data. You need to look for commonalities and trends. You need to group similar likes and dislikes so you can offer appropriate venues to groups who would be receptive and interested in the subject matter and specific destinations.
For example: Those indicating an interest in golf might be receptive to learning about the wind-swept link courses in Scotland.
If you build your database carefully, you will benefit in direct proportion. Contrary to popular belief, size really is of no consequence (I’m talking about databases here … focus) as long as the names on your list are accurate. Old names should be purged on a regular basis. New names added regularly.
This particular marketing tool (your database) will prove over and over again to be the most important document in your marketing department. The cleaner it is and the more up-to-date it is, the more valuable it becomes. It then becomes your responsibility to protect your database with your life. Yes, I’m suggesting you back it up and store the “back-up disc” in a different location, other than in a separate file on your same computer.
I will say this again using different words and a different color. Copy it. Put it on a separate computer disc and place the disc in a separate location. I said “location.” If your building goes down, you will be back in business within two hours if you still have a clean, readable copy of this information somewhere. Hardware we can buy. People we can train. But without “targets” and “prospects” and “customers” you have “bubcus” …. no future ….. nada ….no business … squat … zilch.
Adding to your database becomes a life-long endeavor. It never ends.
Everyone in your organization has the responsibility to build this document. This may not have been the case a few years ago when lines of demarcation were strictly adhered to, (accounting people counted; managers managed; and sales people sold.)
Today, all employees are in the marketing game … together. You are all database mavens, enhancers and cultivators. If by chance, you have hired a few individuals who refuse to put on a marketing hat, you might want to consider attending my popular seminar titled, “How To Politely and Expeditiously Inform Your Employees In No Uncertain Terms That It Is Perhaps Time That They Take a Hike.”
(Where was I?)
Remember, you must capture all the contact information you will need for future communication from only those prospects that make sense to you. Not everybody will, does, or should make sense to you. Be disciplined. Know who makes sense to you. And focus your efforts on only those people.
I want you to stop trying to be all things to all people from this sentence on. This mind-set, if you have it, is retarding your future growth. In place of the word “retarding,” you can easily replace it with the word “killing.” The choice is yours.
This brings us to the end of Lesson #1. That was quite a lot of information to internalize in one sitting. I beldieve yoou are up to the task. More is coming your way soon.
Until that time, make every effort to make people you come in contact with happy they know you.