The value of effective marketing

Robert Craven, entrepreneur guru and author of Bright Marketing – Why Should People Bother to Buy From You? explains how marketing can transform your business

Effective marketing can see your business get ahead of its competition and reach its full potential, but many businesses still struggle to stand out.  Firstly, let’s be specific about the main reasons why marketing fails in your business.  The list is simple.

· Lack Of Commitment. If you don’t really believe in your product, or if you are not consistent and regular in the ways that you promote it, then the odds are that you will not succeed.

· Lack Of A Clear Benefit. You must sell something that people want.  So, you have to get close to your customer (or potential customer) and find out what they really want, and examine what it is that you have to offer.

· Poor Positioning. If you look exactly the same as your competitors, and you offer the same benefits at the same price, then why should customers bother to buy from you?  You need clarity about what it is that you offer and why customers should come to you.

· KISS ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’!  Simplicity, clarity, and focus will bring us the profits we seek.

· Paralysis By Analysis Combined With Dull Thinking. This is brought on by attending inappropriate marketing courses and reading too many textbooks aimed at professional marketing departments of large companies (where they can afford to be mediocre)!

Instead, you have to stand out in a world of mediocrity. If there is a choice between being different and being better, then I’d rather be different.  (Ideally, I’d rather be different and the best!)

Look at your business through the eyes of the customer. Why should they buy from you?  It does actually make sense to separate yourself from the masses rather than run with them.

You might stand out as different in the mind of the customer if you have promoted something different. For example, maybe you are seen as a thought leader, or are a published expert. Maybe you have a list of testimonials from recognised characters, or you offer a real guarantee (money back or payment on results only).

And then think about the following ‘rules’:

· Marketing is not a battle of the product, but a battle for the mind of the customer. How will you win it?

· Infect your customers and staff with your passion for your business. They’re your ambassadors!

· Put your prices up. Most people don’t buy on price, despite what you say.

· Select your target customers and focus on them and what they want and need. Ignore the rest.

· Make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you.

· Become the leader rather than the follower in your marketplace.

Robert Craven is an entrepreneur, businessman and author who has run Mastermind Groups and action-centred learning with Warwick Business School, Business Growth Programme and London’s Accelerated Growth Programme among others. His latest book, Grow Your Service Firm, is available now . He is managing director of The Directors’ Centre.




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