Thursday, August 14, 2008

How to Streamline Your Marketing

This week I met with a financial planning firm that I do marketing consulting for and as we talked, I asked what criteria they used for deciding which paid media they used and what criteria they used for deciding what marketing activities they were doing or going to do.

I was disappointed in the answers, because they were not using the correct criteria for either activity.

But I was encouraged because they wanted to do better.

Here's the simple yes or no question to ask yourself:

Does this help to build relationships with my current and potential customers?

What does it take to build relationships?

Think of it as dating. If you were asked to get married on the first date, the odds are that you would have said no. After two or three dates, the answer would have been the same, but you can see the process is building.

You don't date and marry every person you meet. So it is with your marketing and advertising. You are not going to get everyone that sees or hears about you to be your customer.

And from a customers perspective, you are not going to use every product or service that you see advertised.

It takes repeated exposure (dates) for the consumer to decide to commit, buy, (marry) or reject, (dump) you and look for someone else to spend their money with.

So, if you are doing short term non-relational marketing and advertising, expect very little satisfaction (one night stand) instead of a long lasting satisfying relationship that supports your business over and over again.

One last thought on this.

Husbands and wives mess up and annoy each other at times. But they stick it out, because the benefits of the relationship outweigh the negatives.

As a business, you need to earn your customers business and referrals and take care of the occasional mess ups that are bound to happen.

Remember, we are all people dealing with people and by following these principles, it is not that hard to do the right thing for you and your business.

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