Successful entrepreneurs are often very “Right Brain” functioning (read Daniel Pink’s, A Whole New Mind for an understanding of this concept) which makes them more creative, inventive, and intuitive. Daniel Pink talks about this in his book as; the world no longer belongs to those that have the information, but those that know how it fits into the big picture. When it comes to marketing, understanding the big picture is more important than understanding exactly what your product is going to be.
When asking a successful entrepreneur about their marketing there is one marketing vehicle that takes the lead over all others. Let’s have a look at how they know this and why it works so well.
The Big Picture
Marketing is not about your product, it is not about your customer support, it is not about features, it is about what your customer emotionally needs. Your entire offering should be based on what your customer emotionally needs and wants. To do this you really need to know your customer well. So what is the big picture here? Your company brand, the language you use and the way you approach your potential clients is not all you should be focusing on.
Brand, Language and Approach
When viewed by your potential clients your brand should make them say, “I relate to that. That company gets me.” The language you use should directly answer the needs of your clients and your approach should be through a connection of trust. This connection is where your best clients are found.
In an enlightening article called How Great Entrepreneurs Think, by Leigh Buchanan [Inc. magazine; February 2011 www.inc.com], Buchanan covers a research project and interviews some great entrepreneurs to find how they think and describes this to us [the reader]. I loved this article and especially some quotes that really made me think about what is important in a great business.
In a conversation with Bruce Flohr about market research he says, “We did do market research, because we needed the validation of “experts” to raise money. But personally, I didn’t need it. I knew this was a good idea.”
Market research is one of the first things you are taught, along with SWOT analysis when getting training for running a business. So if they don’t need market research to know they have a market what did they need?
What do they have?
For the successful entrepreneurs I know, what they have is an unshakable mindset of success that lends to the knowledge that the product or service they are providing is needed by someone. In this global market that can be enough. So what is this one marketing vehicle that pays-out better then ads, brochures, and list building campaigns? It’s being connected, and in particular, being well connected to their current customer.
In that same article in Inc. Magazine, Buchanan mentions a quote from the research stating “People chase investors, but your best investor is your first real customer. And your customers are also your best salesmen.” We have all heard that it cost significantly less to market to your current clients then it does to find new clients. Now we are hearing this from the most successful entrepreneurs and it makes complete sense.
So what should you do about this? Build a bigger piece of your marketing plan around your best clients. Let them know what you are up to. Get testimonials. Ask for referrals. Be proactive to help them. Find out what they need and then give it to them.
Your secondary focus should be on the people around your business that know you best. Your trusted networks, colleagues, peers, mastermind partners, association members, etc.
Focusing your marketing dollars around the people that you already know and who already know, like, and trust you is a much more effective way to spend your money – demonstrated by the most successful!