Before they can do business with you, potential buyers of your offerings have to first know you exist. No one likes taking a risk with a company they’re unfamiliar with. It seems like a simple concept, but confident purchasing decisions cannot be made if you’re unknown.
Being known in the market and having top-of-mind positioning with your buyers is key. This requires consistent market visibility and demonstration of credible reasons why you have the best choice out of all the options available in the market. By demonstrating your credibility, you will develop trust, which mitigates risk. When you’re unknown or unfamiliar to a buyer, you represent a higher risk to them — even if it’s just perceived risk. Your goal is to occupy the “sweet spot” of a buyer’s decision-making process, which means being the go-to, reliable and dependable solution with the least amount of risk to them.
Bridge the gaps
Getting to that sweet spot requires effort. You have to identify the connecting points that bridge the gap between your offerings and your intended buying market. The gap is often bridged through strategically and effectively implemented communication vehicles. Information about your product, service and offerings needs to be conveyed to a prospect so that they have a clear understanding of your solution and how it will work for their needs.
The communication vehicles will include a balanced mix of public relations efforts, email marketing campaigns, cultivating prospect relationships, coordinating social media, maintaining a dynamic web presence and similar marketing activity. Specific marketing tools may include digital brochures, videos, testimonials, printed materials, presentations and more. These tools often mean leveraging the power of success stories, customer profiles, solution overviews, white papers and similar collateral that effectively communicates how your solutions solve buyer challenges.
In some situations, you may want to customize your materials for a particular vertical market or for a specific solution you offer. All of these are tools that can be developed by your marketing resources and put to good use by your sales team so that they are equipped with a powerful marketing toolkit.
Tools with a purpose
Knowing what type of tools to include and how to develop them requires a strategic marketing approach based on the type of offering you have and your buying market. Your strategic approach includes a profile of who buys from you, why, when, where and how. It also includes the tactical execution components necessary to reach your market. This is key so that you can determine which marketing tools are necessary for your toolkit. The fully outfitted marketing toolkit should be viewed as an instrument designed to accomplish your business objectives as effectively and intelligently as possible.
To do that, consider these 10 points:
- Determine the purpose of each communication tool and what you want them to help you accomplish.
- Focus on the intended audience and how to best connect with them.
- Develop and design formats based on how your audience prefers their information to be presented.
- Create a logical flow to your communication content that unfolds your story.
- Use language that relates well with your audience and demonstrates your knowledge for addressing their needs and solving their challenges.
- Keep your content benefit-rich and results-oriented rather than over-baked with hype.
- Leverage the power of client testimonials, quotes and endorsements that offer “proof” of your marketing claims.
- Provide enough information to convey a strong message, but not so much that the piece does all the selling for you.
- Use visually appealing graphics, illustrations and images that relate well to your prospects.
- Be consistent with your company’s brand strengths and reputation in all communication tools.
Occupy the sweet spot, commit and be consistent
Over time, your marketing toolkit will require updates to adapt to changing technology, competitive pressure, new marketing opportunities and enhancements to your own solution offerings. Your prevailing goal is to be known in your market by occupying your buyer’s sweet spot and always being the preferred choice during the buying decision process. Communicate your solution offering with clear messages that connect well with your market. Commit to the process and be consistent by having the right tools in your marketing toolkit that raise your market visibility and increase your credibility. Creating these connection points will make your marketing more effective and increase the revenue-generating potential for your business.
THE MARKETING ISSUE
- The golden age of email marketing is dawning
- Beacon marketing targets customers where they are
- Q&A with Spartanburg CVB’s Chris Jennings
- Guest column: Finding your marketing “sweet spot”