The Marketing Line
With all the tools you have nowadays to generate prospects for your business there really is no need to talk to anyone who hasn’t already at least heard about you in some way.
Most of my recent speaking engagements have been to deliver my “Mobile Marketing Secrets” talk. But there was a time a short while back when one of my main topics was called… “Magic Words that Bring You Clients & Customers.” The talk focused on the skill of crafting messages. Those messages were designed to move people through the “Marketing Line” of your business.
The marketing line is when you take someone from suspect to prospect, to new customer/client to regular client/customer. I was even brutally honest with my audience members by making them aware that the next to last spot on the line was the “past customer/client” stop.
In the days of cold calling the “ground and pound” marketing plan was to simply acquire a list of suspects and then attack with cold calls. Most of the time this innitiive would produce a “Y” in the road effect. Either, the suspect became a prospect and gave you another chance to talk to them, or they told you to take a hike and were crossed off the list. Of course, the best business folks also had a system in place to keep in touch with suspects in hopes they eventually would become prospects.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many companies that still use the model of “go attack the suspects” marketing. “Daily Deals” sites and companies that sell certain services to business owners come to mind. Heck, many charities still use this model. So this model is still very much alive.
It is so much more productive to get your suspect/prospect to take the first step toward you. Let’s briefly touch on a few ways you can do that…
With the right Search Engine Marketing program in place you can scoop up those suspects that are in the process of gathering information. Google recently referred to this step as the “Zero Moment of Truth.” It’s the moment when someone begins “information gathering.”
You can reach people at this moment with organic SEO or with Pay Per Click Marketing. But next you need something real important…
Conversion is key. Once your site is found, what sort of offer do you have to help your suspect become a prospect? More importantly, how many steps have you set up in your marketing sequence to gently nudge them along the marketing line? Not everyone is ready to move down the line at the same speed.
Other ways to target suspects…
Facebook is now a pretty good way to target your suspects. Time will tell of course. Facebook allows you to target their users by geography, likes & interests (and some other demographic querries). But once again the question of “what are you going to do to move them down the line?” comes up.
Good old-fashioned direct mail works well to target suspects. It’s not intrusive and annoying like a phone call. Plus, the numerous ways you can call them to action make it more likely you’ll hit a hot button.
All the effort really needs to put into generating more prospects. I hope you didn’t get the impression I was against or opposed to phone calls by reading this – did you? The truth is there are many clients in my fold who were nudged over the edge with a phone call or two. But the key is to realize they were prospects and not suspects when I called them.
Too many small business owners are not “mixing up” their media enough. If you can crack the code on generating prospects, you can then focus on getting through to them with the numerous tools at your disposal.