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Marketing is Service: Educating and Nurturing Your Prospects

Marketing is Service

You must educate your prospects like no one else to build loyalty and trust.

Have you ever noticed that most ads just “shout” their company name, “shout” that they are the best (what the hell does ‘best’ mean anyway), “shout” that you should Buy Now! It is like they are going right from the first date to the alter!  No romancing, no dating, no first kiss, no trial period, no testing the waters.  Nope just BAM! Call me NOW!

I recently received an email from a company requesting that I attend a conference in Boston.  Now mind you, I have only ever received ONE other communication from them…  This “conference” was advertised as a 2-day event and had a “price” of $1700 bucks.  With travel, meals and hotel I would have shelled out another 1000 bucks, easily.  So just for giggles let’s say the whole trip and conference was $3000.

Their “ad” to me was a mere 7 sentences.  SEVEN!  And I am supposed to spend $3 grand???

“Want your organization to become more customer-centric?  Sign up for  X Group’s workshop, X Reality: Learn, Experience, Blah, blah Transform in Boston on July 30th and 31st.  We’ve had rave reviews on this workshop in the past as it combines hand’s on exercises with insights about leading-edge practices. You’ll tap into insights from our ongoing research and work with companies.  Attendees will leave the workshop with a practical toolkit to use in their own organizations. And, what’s better than a spending couple of summer days in Boston?!?  If you want to improve your organization’s customer experience efforts, sign up for this highly interactive two-day X workshop. The price is only $1,695 per person”

Yep, that was it.  And if you looked online at the 2-day agenda, there was only about 8 hours of content.  The rest of the time was breaks, meals and free time.  The event also ended at noon on the second day.  So for $3000 I will get:

  • To tap into insights: Really?? What does that mean?  I do not want an insight, I want facts, information and useful, concrete plans.  And ‘tapping’ sounds like I am only going to the ‘lite’ version.  I want to take a giant sledgehammer bash the crap out of the insights and see what I get.
  • Get a practical toolkit: You could just mail me the thing with a DVD and that should suffice
  • Spend a couple days in Boston: This is not even close to a compelling reason.  For $3 large I could have a great time in Boston and skip the conference all together.

To be fair, they seem like a good company with good products, but lousy marketing.  Oh, did I mention that they are also a marketing company??  Yea, I just let that one go for now.

Add Romance To Your Marketing

AS I said earlier, you can’t go from the first date to the alter in one fell swoop.  You need to romance and educate your prospects.  remember when you were first dating…  You had to attract the other person’s attention, motivate them to go out with you, Stop them from looking at other people, prove to them you are their one true love, somehow create a sense of urgency and sift, sort and filter out all the weirdos, cheapskates and ax murderers.  Now let’s add this to our business marketing.

Attract Attention: Your marketing and advertising needs to be different.  If you do the same thing as your competitors, your results will be poor.  Here is a challenge: Go look in the phone book under your industry.  See how all of your competitors ads look the same.  Now go do the opposite of what they are doing.  Stand out from the crowd.

Motivate them: In dating you motivate your prospect with the promise of a great meal, movie and a great time.  What will you do to motivate your prospects to call you?

Stop them from looking at other companies  until you have had a chance to  speak or present to them.  What will stop them dead in their tracks and make them call you and no one else?

Prove that you are the right choice.  Educate your prospects about your industry with free reports, books and white papers.

Create a sense of urgency: I wished there was an easy way to have an expiration on dating “If you don’t go out with me by June 10th, I will not invite you again”.  At least in business, you can have an expiration date, limited time offer or anything that will cause them to think that the demand for your service is greater than your supply.

Sift, Sort and Screen:  Just like a good personal’s ad (remember those?) perfect prospect.  And just in case you “don’t remember” or “have never answered a personal ad…

Divorced white male seeks outgoing energetic female single or
divorced 25-35.  Likes Pina Colada’s and walks in the rain.  Gourmets
and world travelers please reply.  Please no smokers, drinkers or
drug users.”

See how this happens?  Start with what makes YOU unique then create a message that “speaks” to the prospects who match that uniqueness.  You also add disqualifiers to sift, sort and screen out people.

Remember: You Won’t Profit Unless You Implement

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