I’ve been sharing here some tales of my own struggles with implementing marketing strategies for my small business. In The Kiss of Death for Your Small Business Marketing I shared how not knowing the answer to the question, “Who is your customer” is the kiss of death for any small business marketing strategy.
Of course, who is your customer is just the first of many questions you need to answer as you craft your marketing strategy. (Read more about the difference between Marketing Tactics vs Marketing Strategy here.) The next question you must answer is WHY… why is your customer spending their hard earned money with you.
I must admit that I am STUNNED at the pushback I get from small business owners with whom I consult on the issue of WHY would someone do business with you.
Once you know WHO your customer is – then it seems relatively easy to figure out WHY they’re spending money with you.
Your customers are spending money with you to:
- achieve a goal (G)
- quench a desire (D)
- solve a problem (P)
So why oh why do small business owners begin to squirm when faced with these three options?
A client of mine recently struggled with just such an issue in our work together and she helped me to recognize a serious disconnect she and other small business owners have when it comes to marketing and advertising.
After weeks of struggle, over this issue – my client asked me to craft a follow up email to convert more of her free trial members into paying customers. Her offering, a truly revolutionary assessment that reveals how you view the world – and how that view is either hindering you or paving the way to your success.
The free trial had been set up prior to us working together and quite honestly- the offer was so generic – the net was cast so wide – there was no way to round up this rag tag bunch of free trial and encircle them with a cohesive “GDP”.
It turned out that many of her free trial offers were picked up by curiosity seekers and competitors wanting to sample her wares. They took advantage of the free offer without the need or even desire to put this powerful tool to work in their own businesses.
Her plea to me though revealed that she thought that there was some kind of “magic” to be made with her marketing and advertising efforts. She seriously thought that the “right” wording in the follow up to the free trial would compel her free trial customers to become paying customers.
There is no “marketing magic” that will compel people to buy something they don’t want or don’t feel they need.
That’s why it’s so important to get inside your prospective customer’s heads to craft a compelling and selling marketing message.
Int he case of my client, the problem was in the original free trial offer. Because the offer wasn’t constructed correctly – there was no way to know WHY they participated in the free trial. Without knowing their GDP – there was no way to create a compelling way to convert those free trial customers into paying customers.
The free trial was set up without a target customer or their GDP in mind. The answer to the question “Who is your customer?” was in essence “Anyone who will download our free trial.”
Fortunately, I was able to send not one – but two “secret shoppers” to this client’s web site. Both took advantage of the free trial.
Without any prompting from me, one contacted my client for more information – while the other didn’t.
The initial report from this assessment gives a top line overview of the findings of the assessment. The individual’s personal results are shared in broad strokes. This assessment is designed to be offered “for free” with the full report going to my client so she can schedule a future paid appointment time for further debriefing.
It should come as no surprise that the secret shopper who responded to the follow up had a report that showed some areas of distress. The report actually contained concise insight into a major problem the secret shopper was having in her business. That secret shopper couldn’t WAIT to schedule a time to further discuss ways she could solve this problem – pinpointed by this assessment.
Meanwhile, the 2nd secret shopper’s report came back with no major areas of distress. She was happily engaged in a career of her own design which perfectly suited her innate gifts, abilities and talents. I explained to my client that there were no words to move the 2nd secret shopper into a paying customer. Because she wasn’t suffering any “pain” – she didn’t feel the need to invest further time or energy in the assessment.
Fortunately for my work with this client, this was the evidence she needed to really begin focusing upon her target audience. Only then was I able to convince her that we HAD to identify a target audience and once we identified that target audience, what their GDP was that her business could serve.
Even though this client came to me as a result of reading my book, Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results – we still had to break through that wall of denial which is common in many small businesses quest for successful marketing strategies. It’s not about you – Mr./Ms. Business Owner – it’s all about your customers. The difference between a successful small business marketing strategy and an unsuccessful one is failing to recognize WHY customers are buying from you.