Why understanding your client’s decision making needs to be the starting point in crafting marketing campaigns.
By John Murphy, Managing Director, Prime Creative Media
All too often, businesses make the classic mistake of using their own goals to plan their advertising and marketing efforts. They’ll launch 30 to 90 day campaigns that line up with internal sales quotas, and call the campaign a failure if the phones don’t start ringing off the hook.
The problem is that the buying psychology doesn’t work in quarters. Today’s buyer is constantly being bombarded with endless options competing for his or her attention – and share of wallet. Brands that are only popping up on the radar in short, sharp bursts will ultimately fail, because the buyer hasn’t had the time to build up any trust or knowledge to influence their buying decision.
Author of The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes says: “Only 3% of any market is in the ‘buying mode’ now.” So the make-or-break question is, when they are in “buying mode” how will you ensure that your brand is top-of-mind?
Here is a tried and tested 3-step approach our most successful clients use in selling 365 days a year.
With such a short timeframe to capture the reader in “buying mode”, ongoing branding and product awareness is the best place to start. People need to know you exist and what you have to offer, even if they are not ready to buy right now.
Simplicity is the key to great brand awareness. The most effective businesses continue to use brand-focused advertising, putting their company logo and tag line front and centre across multiple platforms – web, print, newsletters, social media – all year.
Mike Schultz and John Doerr, authors of Insight Selling, found that over a period of five decades, building trust continues to be a top factor that leads to a sale. The challenge is: how do you build trust without personal contact?
The answer is in education. By using your marketing efforts to create educational resources and content available to prospective buyers, customers learn to trust your brand. You are demonstrating your commitment to customers’ success, even before they make a purchase or speak with a single person at your company.
Education is best delivered through well-crafted content. Blogs, professional articles, white papers, features and contributions in trade magazines, case studies, infographics and video are all great examples of educational marketing activities a company can do to help build customer trust. They can be distributed through your own communications platforms – for instance your web site or social media – or via a reputable third party channel – such as a trade publication or news outlet.
- Lead generation
In most cases, your content and marketing campaigns will be seen and read by people not in “buying mode”. The purpose of your content here is not to create a direct sale, but make them aware of a problem that your product could eventually solve. A strategic campaign could include white papers or case studies to capture the readers’ attention. This gives your company the opportunity to build a credible relationship over time.
When that reader then hits “buying mode”, your company will have a major competitive advantage in getting the sale. At this point, you need to ensure your campaign also includes content targeting buyers ready to purchase, such as direct production information. You can use forms to capture buyers’ contact details, and create concrete leads. You should also ensure you have specific product landing pages, with all the necessary contact details to make it as easy as possible for the reader/buyer to purchase your product.
By crafting your marketing strategy around buying habits, you will create a campaign that does more than sell a product – it sells your brand and establishes you as a trusted supplier. When the buyer does hit “buying mode”, your business will be in the box seat to get the sale.