Your best marketing – as in the most effective at starting, nurturing, or leveraging relationships – often has very little to do with things covered by your marketing budget.
When talking to business owners seeking new ways to grow; many do not know where to begin, or have not appropriated adequate budgets to make an immediate impact. They seem to ask me if I know the ‘magic secret’ that will turn their marketing into growth.
There is no magic secret.
There are several sources that can be tapped for little more than the cost of effort in order to make stronger connections that will facilitate higher revenues.
Your Sent Emails
Because of their ability to transfer large amounts of information that can be read at a later time; email continues to be a great communication tool. Sort your sent files by subject line and see how many messages have multiple individual recipients. (Also keep note of how frequently you get similar questions over phone or face-to-face).
By repurposing this information into proactive conversations, you are proactively providing them with tools to make their decision. These can be repurposed into e-books, digital guides, whitepapers, how-to guides, calculator-type design tools.
Positive customer comments, and stories can also be used to help build trust with new prospects.
With just a little focused effort, those satisfied customers can evolve into raving fans – the sort that tell friends, neighbors, family members, and even total strangers about the great work you do. What is even better is that they do this out of passion and connection (not commissions or discounts).
First, give them an opportunity to share their experiences in the format they feel most comfortable. It might be a letter/email, voicemail, video, series of tweets, photos of family vacation with your product prominently displayed, and more.
Once you get their permission to use their experience, find at least 25 different ways to use/share it. Perhaps the most amazing thing about collecting and sharing these experiences is they actually encourage more people to become raving fans themselves.
There is an even more-powerful level beyond Raving Fans, called Advocates. We will discuss this in a later article of its own. In short, they are the sort of people you can put into direct conversation (phone, skype, email, social messaging, etc.) with prospects to make introductions, remove doubt, or close deals.
The best way to earn such raving fans is to deliver a service that makes people stop and comment. More often than not this is about simply caring – caring about making a connection, or about the customers’ experience.
While it doesn’t need to be large, or intricate, this level of service must be completely unique within a given market (copycats are not very remarkable) and it should benefit the overall experience.
You can also borrow from other industries – It is so commonplace for hotels to have someone help you with the door, or have fresh chocolate chip cookies on the counter that it is no longer a differentiation. However when an Uber driver opens doors for passengers and offers chilled bottles of water with Chips Ahoy cookies, you pay special attention – not to mention a healthy tip.
Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive, complex or overly elaborate. Remember that purchasing decisions are always made by human beings.
What are some of your favorite ways to connect with humans?