Marketing is dead, long live new marketing.
Medical Scientists all over the world are in a frantic race every year to develop new more powerful antibiotics to beat the latest mutated bacterial infections creeping into populations globally.
Due to our overuse of this past miracle of medicine, bacteria are ever increasingly becoming resistant - through genetic mutation, to the most powerful antibiotics doctors have in their medical arsenal.
There is a real fear creeping into medicine that soon antibiotics will no longer be effective to stave off these ‘super bugs’ (already in existence in most hospitals) and we once again will see people dying from simple bacterial infections taking us back 100 years in medical thinking.
So what has this to do with Marketing? Everything. This powerful analogy allows us as marketers to compare this dilemma to what is going on in modern business.
Marketing practice has been over used and abused -much like antibiotics- that consumers much like the bacteria in our analogy -are becoming increasingly resistant and less responsive to ordinary and unskilled marketing efforts. Like the race medical scientists find themselves in so as marketers we are also in a race to keep one step ahead of consumers and produce marketing campaigns and programs that are cost effective and work.
Unfortunately for many including most SME’s with small budgets, limited marketing experience and up to date knowledge and skill, this race is all but lost.
The internet has made this effort all the more complex, costly and confusing and the rate of change has increase 100 fold. Like medicine, marketing concepts that worked 6 months ago or even 6 weeks ago fade fast.
What’s the answer?
The answer to this consumer evolution is that we need to get back to basics; much like the answer for science is the use of fewer antibiotics and not more.
According to Siimon Reynolds, co founder of the Photon Group, a start-up marketing company he built into a $500-million dollar organisation and later became the 15th largest marketing-services company in the world, there are seven key ways to ensure your marketing is more effective:
1. Spend more time on Product development.
Developing a product that is not only good but also superior. Steve Jobs showed us how with the Apple iPhone and iPad. These products were so innovative that they not only revolutionised Apple as a company but changed the way people behave forever. Follow this example. Start with your product and ask yourself does this product sell itself it’s so good? If not then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Poor products are the number one reason businesses find marketing them so difficult. Sounds obvious but look around and 99% of companies fail in this arena.
2. Make innovation your core strategy.
Basic, I know but do you do this? You cannot afford to miss this. Apple knows within months that their competition will be copying their product innovations, so they innovate fast and have the Apple iPhone 5,6, and 7 well underway by the time they have launched the Apple iPhone 4. If Apple knows this and they are a multi-billion dollar company then there is a reason for it and you should too.
3. Always, always answer the basic consumer question…Why Should I buy from you?
Consumers don’t care about you, your company, your dream or your profits or lack of them. They are about what you can do for them to make their lives better, easier or richer in some way. So answer this question why should they buy from you? And if your answer is’ better quality’ or ‘better service’, you are in serious trouble. The world does not need just another doctor. The world needs a doctor who can cure cancer, treat Alzheimer’s and reverse strokes. Not a doctor who offers only better service but offers no answers or nothing special at all. The world does not need another lawyer or plumber. It needs a lawyer who will guarantee to win your case, or a plumber who arrives on time or you don’t pay. Get the picture?
4. Don’t sell.
Consumers hate being sold to. They have seen it all and have an internal alarm to run from anyone who tries any of those old worn out sales and advertising techniques. People hate to be sold to but love to buy. The only thing they love to do more than buy is buying from someone they like and trust. So develop all your marketing strategies around creating the preconditions for building systems that make it so a consumer gravitates toward you and your business naturally. Not only employing the above strategies but also focus on not making selling your prime goal, but relationship building your priority and build systems to automate this, so sales happen effortlessly. The best companies in the world do this without you even being aware of it.
5. Build a funnel of products or services
Never build your business around a single transaction or single product. If you do this then business long success becomes impossible. Think about natural consumer behaviour. Normally one purchase leads to another, are you ready to help your customer with the next natural purchase. How many times have you been in a business when you say to yourself, these people should also offer xx or yy? It’s obvious but many businesses miss this completely and lose multiple profit opportunities.
6. Test everything
Often I get asked will this work. Answer = no one knows but a small test will do amazing things. It allows you, with complete freedom, to try some new things, take some risks and succeed or fail fast and learn from it. Its through failure we find success. This is even truer in marketing. It’s a legitimate scientific approach to finding marketing breakthroughs. Whatever marketing decision you are contemplating, test them and those that fail discard, those that work expand rapidly and then innovate and test again.
Athletes should be our role models. As progressive business people we should learn from them but unfortunately I still see businesses struggling alone with no guidance. No professional athlete would contemplate going it alone. Never. A coach has practical experience and strategies that are priceless. Athletes have known this for ages, and business people are starting to see this value as well. In my years of coaching at The Fortune Institute, I have noticed that business owners are finally becoming more aware of the intense competition across the business landscapes and are looking for guidance.
To get maximum performance and thus improved results you need to do two things; model perfect systems and also be held accountable to your goals. As a business mentor, I do this daily for my clients and it is one of the driving reasons behind my Strategic Entrepreneur Summit series.
These are just some of the keys to achieving success in your next marketing campaign. Each element has many dimensions and mindset distinctions, which if followed correctly will increase your rate of success the next time you promote a product or service.
Siimon Reynolds will be touring the country in March speaking on business growth and strategy as part of his Strategic Entrepreneur live events.