The email had a promising headline – “[Insert your name] – are you using these proven marketing techniques?”
I should have known better than to expect it to yield something useful – after all, it’s an email and nothing useful comes in via your email – right?
What followed was a self serving attempt to sell yet another “money making system” which promises to share the “secrets” you need to know to make your business a raving success using such social networking tools as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.
“For only [insert dollar amount here], you too can learn the secrets of the social media superstars and discover how to grow your business in these tough economic times.”
Secrets? Why in the WORLD are proven marketing techniques now classified as “secrets”?
Allow me to save you [insert dollar amount here] …
The only “secret” to creating effective marketing messages is knowing your target audience.
The other day, my family and I drove past a restaurant that recently opened. It was noon and while other restaurants along this busy stretch of road were busy, this particular restaurant was noticeably not busy. My daughter noticed that the restaurant owners had recently painted the exterior a vibrant red – and my son commented, “Oh yeah – because the REASON they’re not busy is because the exterior of the building was the wrong color!”
I’m sure the owners of the restaurant have a hundred excuses why their restaurant is a sea of calm during the lunch rush along a busy stretch of highway. While I’ve never been inside this restaurant, I can tell you without stepping foot inside that the problem is:
- The food is awful
- The service is lousy
No amount of exterior paint is going to replace the “bad buzz” that this restaurant has already earned.
When readers of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results contact me to hire me to work with their business, they often reference the “success story” shared in the book of Ida Mae’s.
Ida Mae’s was a tiny bakery located in the worst location in North America. They were located in the basement of a former office building in a deterioating downtown. They had no signage – no parking and no foot traffic, yet we were able to achieve an amazing level of success by simply using proven marketing techniques.
Here’s the kicker – here’s what no one wants to hear when they say to me, “I want to achieve success like Ida Mae’s”… those two women worked their ever loving asses off to achieve that success. During the months of November and December, they were literally working 20 hour days keeping up with the demand of the holidays.
See, all our “proven marketing techniques” could do for Ida Mae’s was to INTRODUCE the business to new customers. Those same “proven marketing techniques” also served to remind current customers that Ida Mae’s was still there. However, the KEY ELEMENT of Ida Mae’s success lay not in the “proven marketing techniques” but rather in the customer service provided by the owners and employees.
See, those “proven marketing techniques” could have just as easily destroyed Ida Mae’s had those two hard working women not given their all to make sure every customer was delighted by their product.
One day, when a customer drove 15 miles out of their way to visit Ida Mae’s because they heard a radio ad, the owners could have scoffed when that customer asked if they made flower bouquets. But they didn’t scoff – they answered, “Not yet!” and offered that customer a free taste of what they did have which lead to yet another sale.
There are lots of people who want you to believe that proven marketing techniques are somehow a closely held “secret.” There is no secret… when Ida Mae’s achieved success it was because:
- The food was great
- The service was outstanding
Because Ida Mae’s “hit” on those two essential elements, we were able to achieve “marketing magic”. Every new customer gained through using proven marketing techniques became a loyal brand enthusiast – who enthusiastically shared with their friends and family the fantastic new business in town.
It’s really, really simple…. figure out WHO your target customer is… help them to achieve a goal, satisfy a desire or solve a problem. Then, get your marketing message in FRONT of those people and let them know how you can help them achieve their goals, satisfy their desires or solve their problems.
Never take your eyes off your target customer. Make it your goal to delight them…. that my friends is no secret but is truly the foundation of every “proven marketing technique” known to man!