A recession (or rough economy) is actually a good foundation for growth… provided you are focusing your business in a structured and targeted way.
But it does mean that it is ESSENTIAL to be able to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors in the eyes of the prospective customer, and critical that you remain (or get) client-focused.
However, concentrating on customer care and client satisfaction is only part of the battle, once you have got the clients to buy from you in the first place…
You may have noticed there are literally thousands of marketing messages out there which you have to compete against for attention, from your direct competitors, and everyone else who is looking for a piece of your prospects budget!
Everyone is being more careful how and where they spend their money. It doesn’t mean they have stopped spending; just that they are being more choosy about who and what they spend it on and what is going to bring in the biggest benefit.
To get over this marketing “noise” your marketing communications need to really grab the prospect’s attention… and then keep it.
If you can’t keep their attention, then the chances are that you will lose them to one of your competitors who are doing a better job.
Most people’s attention span is generally short, but with all of the options available and the incessant torrent of marketing messages from all directions, your job is just that little bit harder.
For example, I remember reading a story to my son when he was 5 years old. It was his favourite story – “The Gruffalo” (if you have young children and haven’t read this one it’s great!) – and we sat down together and I started to read…
… I was only part way through (where the mouse sees off the snake!) and Robbie hopped down and picked up a toy tractor and started playing with it. So I asked him if he wanted to read the rest of the story with me, to which he replied he wanted to watch the television…
Reading, toy tractor, television – all within a short space of time.
This is how we all are deep down – like kids in a toy shop trying to make a decision of what to buy. It doesn’t take much to divert our attention, but it quite often means we end up either not doing anything or we simply go with the last thing we saw because we can’t be bothered to go through it all again.
If you don’t get and hold your potential clients attention, there is no way you are going to get them to take the next – and most crucial – step, which is to actually buy from you!
So, how do you make your marketing have stickability?
If you incorporate the following 5 things as part of your marketing strategy it will help you to focus your prospective client as to what you are wanting to say to get them to buy. Each of these marketing strategies should be used regardless of the method of delivery you are using – website, advert or direct mail piece – the principles are the same.
- Grab their attention with a powerful headline – USE A HEADLINE. This is STILL the most under-utilised part of any marketing. It is proven that the headline can be responsible for as much as 80% of the response you get from a campaign. Without a headline you are immediately excluding 4 out of 5 of the people who might otherwise have responded but don’t, simply because your message doesn’t grab them by the throat and get their attention.
- Keep them focused – Don’t ALLOW them to get diverted in your message. Keep focused on the single action you want them to take once they have read what you have to say and then build your message and marketing piece around this action. Websites are a classic example of where there can be a “lot going on,” with off-page links (sometimes included in the running text), menus, moving images or video etc. If you use too much, it offers a whole sweetshop of distraction to the potential customer.
- Keep it simple – Make it VERY CLEAR what action you want the potential client to take. If you want them to call you then give them your phone number and TELL them to call you. If you want them to email you then give them your email address and TELL them to email you. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to include every way possible for people to contact you in every piece of marketing you do – it just gets confusing and increases the chance they will take NO action at all!
- Keep it organised – If you want to keep your prospect’s attention focused, then design your marketing piece with structure. Remember playing treasure hunt when you were a kid? Where you have a series of clues hidden and each clue leads you top the next one, and so on until the final clue leads you to the prize? This is the same principle, but without the clues… You LEAD the prospect through your message, in the right sequence to give them all of the information they need to make the decision to buy. If it is clearly structured, people will read it. If it is confusing, they won’t.
- Include compelling reasons to keep them reading – Make your marketing piece COMPELLING. There is no such thing as a marketing message which is too long, only one which is too boring. Your message must interest them. It must hit their “hot buttons” and get them fired up. You can build on their curiosity as to why they should buy from you, but make sure that you keep everything relevant to the message you are giving. If you attract someone “under false pretences” they can feel “cheated” and then not buy from you.
If you work these 5 points into every marketing piece you create, you WILL increase the response you get, but you will also attract new business because the chances are that your competitors are not!
If you would like to share any of your personal experiences, observations or the results you’ve achieved using these or similar tips, please leave your comments and/or thoughts below. I always love to hear from you: