Simple: How to Better Connect with Your Clients to Create Growth
If you want to grow your business, easy. Here is what you need to do, (from my CMO perspective).
Determine Your Top 5 Growth Goals:
Create a 1 page matrix. Write your top 5 annual goals, (revenue, # new clients, profitability, # new markets, # client contacts, #target audience reach, or other), and determine what you want to achieve by year end for each goal. Now break each goal down to 12, monthly goals. These are the monthly benchmarks you need to achieve.
Create a Monthly Marketing Calendar and Execute it, day-by-day.
From each of the growth goals above, create a 12 month calendar, with all marketing & sales initiatives you and your team will execute each month. You can include in each month the performance metrics you plan to achieve. Most organizations have a goal, but don’t break these down to small, bite-sized steps.
Segment Your Target Audiences.
Only target audiences you have the highest probability of converting. That is only go after target segments you know have a need for your product or service. No wishful thinking, only fact-based targeting. Hope is not a strategy. You will likely have 3-6 segments you are going after. If you can’t find target audience segments that you know have a need for your products/services…either start innovating, or get out of the business. You can use PRIZM or Mosaic clusters to segment your audiences. Create an Avatar to represent each segment. Share this with your entire organization, so all are crystal clear. Your messaging & storytelling can be tailored and customized for each segment. Easy.
Know Everything About Your Target Audience(s).
You need to know “everything” you can about your target audience segments, their personal values, needs, wants, dreams, mindsets and behaviors. You must know what media they watch, their HH income, their hobbies, preferences, buying inclinations, relational brands (other brands they buy), both online and offline habits, where they go to find information (Google?), what media channels they prefer, what social media they follow, and what generation they are. Each generation has its own values and mindsets. You must know this information, to use this knowledge to your advantage.
Offer “Value” to Your Customers.
This may sound ridiculous, but you should know that most companies don’t communicate what specific value they offer their customers. Most (all?) buyers compare what they think one product offers over another, and if the value you are offering is not clear to them, you are no longer an option. Communicating value comes in many forms….marketing headlines, comparisons, matrix’s, case studies, videos, testimonials, images, demos, ratings, and more. Know the value you offer, align it with your target audiences greatest “needs,” then create powerful messages (marketing), in the media channels your customers look at. BTW, if you can offer your target audience some value “free,” prior to the sale, (free download, free sample, free consultation, etc), you have a much higher chance of converting them to a brand loyal customer. Simple.
Be a World Class Storyteller.
People mostly buy on emotion, not facts. Your marketing must “resonate” with their most basic emotions and needs. Great (short) video is extremely powerful (build a world-class in-house team?), target messaging on Facebook (B2C, older), LinkedIn (B2B), Twitter, Instagram (Younger), YouTube, Pinterest (female), Google (need a great website), email, events (online and local F2F), magazines (lifestyle or trade), and more. Every story or message, must be carefully designed to create emotion, and must be relevant to your segments needs. Make it interesting, not noise.
Build a Long Term Relationship with Your Clients.
Very few people buy on first touch/experience. The fastest growing companies build a relationship of “trust” over time, on various media channels. Many CEO’s expect “instant” revenue generating results from investment in a single campaign. It just does not work like this anymore. Real brand value is built step-by-step over time. Commit to marketing excellence. The alternative is to be the cheapest product (Amazon, Walmart, Costco), but you need extremely high volume to make this work, or you will go out of business.
Think Like a “brand.”
Don’t sell products or services. Think like a brand. Customers want to understand what you stand for, your values, and your culture. They want to feel like they are a part of something great. Think, create and market “like” Apple, Disney, Google, Mercedes, Nike, etc….You won’t have their budget, but you can think like these brands think about their customers. Think innovation, and providing recognized value.
Mobile & Video.
The world has gone mobile. 30% (1 in 3) of all online purchases are now made on a mobile device, and 57% of all purchases (research, comparison, purchase), involve a mobile device. In 2021, 53.9% of all retail e-commerce is expected to be on a mobile device/smartphone. If all your marketing and your website is not mobile compatible (responsive), you are going to lose sales. Video is an extremely powerful media, and getting more so. It is now easy to make short videos, and your customers like watching them. YouTube is now the #2 search engine, engaging videos go viral with millions of viewers, and video is a very personal medium…great to build your brand.
Everything is a Campaign.
Everything is a Campaign. Measure. Refine. Repeat. Look at all your marketing as a campaign. You will likely have several campaigns running at once….different messages to different segments. Thinking of your marketing as a series of “campaigns,” makes it easier to understand, manage, measure, and adjust.
Urgency. Execute now.
Create urgency on all marketing, sales and growth initiatives. Every day is a commodity, and once it’s gone, you can never get it back. There should be action and energy every day, leading to the achievement of your monthly calendar goals (see Create a Monthly Marketing Calendar and Execute it, day-by-day above). As a leader, you need to expect quick action. Once you build this expectation across your entire team, action and results will happen faster. Awesome!
Be Data Driven.
Look at your top 5 goals every day. Create the ability to measure your marketing and sales performance across all elements (create a performance dashboard, there are many companies who can do this), analyze performance data constantly, review data of every campaign and adjust to get better, and share performance wins and losses with every member of your team. This should be their ultimate goal…to achieve the numbers.
Finally, Create a Great Culture
If you don’t have a great culture, start creating one now. If your place of work is boring, un-motivating or dull, (a significant loss of human capital), work fast to fix it. If not, you will have a constant revolving door of good people leaving, an inability to bring on the best talent (leaving you second tier talent…that won’t help you achieve your goals), and a constant struggle to grow your business. I believe that all people want to come to work every day inspired, and that good business leaders create a culture where people can excel. Easy.
Peter Ashworth is an experienced CMO, brand-builder, and growth executive inspired to positively impact the world. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org