Effective Marketing Defined

"So, what do you do?"

It's a question I get asked quite frequently, whether in social circles or by potential clients.  Marketing can be an elusive concept for many people (even those in Marketing).

The "Google" definition of what I do would be freelance marketing services, supporting my clients with branding and go-to-market strategies.  Yawn.

The way I like to answer the question is this: "I help my clients secure prime real estate in their customers' brains."  That usually gets them scratching their heads a bit, and PRESTO!... marketing in action.

Effective Marketing 101
Marketing is a chain-reaction process.  The primary objective is to create a positive client experience, and an increase in sales is the reaction you are trying to achieve.  If your efforts are solely focused on sales, you are missing the key ingredient in your Marketing process.  Annoying telemarketers are the perfect example of this malpractice.

The process starts with effective communication.  Branding your company with the right image, the right message and through the right channels is crucial to your business.  You want to get your potential customer's attention (the elusive cerebral real estate) and make an impact that sticks.  By planting yourself firmly in their conscious awareness and sparking their curiosity, you have set yourself up for the next step in the process.

Relationships Are The Key
Once you have connected with the customer's brain, it is time to connect with their heart.  By describing the benefits that you offer on an emotional level, you can personalize your business and begin to build a relationship with the customer.  Leave the technical details for later, when the questions of "how" become important.  For now, just focus on what the customer will experience by entering into a business relationship with you.

For example, I don't build websites for my clients; I build customer relationships for my clients.  I don't produce brochures; I provide confidence and direction.  The reaction I get from my emotional benefits is sevenfold stronger than the reaction I get from my service menu.  By approaching them emotionally, I become a partner, a coach and a collaborator to my clients and that relationship is what drives my success.

Perpetual Growth
Many operations people that I deal with consider Marketing to be a project with a completion date.  Marketing certainly does not stop with the sale or the end of a campaign, and it is not reserved for securing new customers.  Fostering the relationships you have built is essential to your continued growth.  Client appreciation, market analysis, client communication and social media are all important Marketing tools to growing the customer relationship and expanding their account.  You can easily be evicted from your place in their minds if your property maintenance is neglected, so ensure that your Marketing efforts are perpetual.

This is obviously just a brief definition of what effective Marketing entails.  Watch for further articles on the finer points of effective Marketing strategies.

Thank you for flying sevenfold...