Are you too busy to market your business?
Advertising | Marketing | February 1st, 2021
Contributor Phil Robinson. Partner, Founder + CE
Being a person who runs a business to business business (that’s a mouthful, no wonder it’s B2B!) I talk to a lot of business owners. And despite the climate and the looming cloud of Covid–and the uncertainty around the globe–I have been genuinely and pleasantly surprised at the positivity of most that I talk to. Most are still hopeful that and looking forward to how they can market with these global changes.
Business owner mindsets
There are predominantly two types of people I’ve talked to this year so far.
- The ones who are ready to take their business to the next level and smash some goals and;
- The ones who are already there. Well, actually they are split into two categories.
- One lot are extremely busy and don’t want to grow. Many are struggling to find people to employ, but are still pushing forward and doing what they can with the resource they have, and are still doing enough to market themselves. These proactive people are looking at ways they can actually market to potential employees – how can they attract people to our region and help service the need they are experiencing within their industry. – They understand that when building a brand their target audience and target market is not just the prospect or potential customer – but the also people they want to attract to their business – not just clients or customers are loyal to brands!
- The second part of the people already crushing it are the ones who think they are too busy to market because they can’t actually take on any more work. This is admirable, These people are already delivering a great product or service, and the last thing they want is to let a customer down or over-commit and under-deliver. I respect that and I feel the same way.
Sales versus Marketing
We need to stop seeing advertising and sales, which is about getting more work through the door, as the most important part of the business. Marketing, which is about bringing a brands story to life and educating customers about their options, is just as important if not more important these days.
What if there was a way to do marketing that could actually reduce your admin and sales part of the process and save you a bunch of time? What if the frequently asked questions could be addressed before a client even contacts you? And what if your customer actually came to you with an in-depth understanding of what you offer? In this day and age, this is no longer a what-if… It’s happening right now.
What does successful modern marketing look like?
Most people make 70-80% of the buying decision before they contact a company. The most successful businesses around the globe get this. This is marketing.
Marketing is NOT about selling more things to more people at higher prices. Marketing is about providing answers to the questions your prospects or customers have. It’s about answering them honestly without bias and allowing your audience to gain trust in your brand. Marketing is not about you and your business; it is 100% about your customer. It is about educating them about your industry and it is about answering their questions and queries before they even contact you.
If you believe in putting people first then you should never be too busy to educate and help your potential customers understand your industry or what you do or can offer.
How do you educate your customers?
Educating your customers is one of the best ways to know if you’re the right fit. But how do you do that?
First of all, this is about culture. We need to adapt to the evolution of our customers. Some businesses are afraid to answer certain questions because the customer might decide they can do your job on their own. And some might decide that. But, anything they need or want to know is probably available to them online. So the question is do you want to be the one to answer them – or do you want your competitor to be? If you answer them, then you’re seen as the authority, and someone that can be trusted. And if it’s “industry secret” knowledge you’re giving out, all the better–it shows you really have their best interest at heart. Then it’s up to you to explain why it’s better to choose you then someone else or a DIY approach.
Customer behaviour has changed
Secondly, we need to believe, accept and understand that customer behaviour has changed. They now want and expect the information they require to be available.
If we can accept and acknowledge that this is the case (customer behaviour has changed) then we need to then adopt an Inbound Marketing approach. Gone are the days where trying to “get our name out there” to all and sundry. In marketing, we need to be more targeted and be developing content that will attract the ideal customer to us.
Find out what content is by downloading our Ebook “What is content?”
By creating content that directly addresses the questions your customers have, you will find in time (depending on how quickly, efficiently and most importantly genuinely you can create the content) that you will have more and more people contacting you that are far more likely to be ready to buy that in the past. This is because they are more educated – they understand their options and they in most cases have already decided they want to work with you. This is because they are already in the decision stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
Educating customers means that the leads that do end up contacting you or more likely to do business with you. That means less time wasted on quotes that come to nothing. And conversations where you find out you aren’t good fits for one another.
Inbound Marketing Recap
At the end of the day it is up to you what you choose to believe, but if you truly want to do best by your customer or prospect, then embracing an Inbound Marketing philosophy will undoubtedly help you and your business grow in the long term. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Advertising (an element of sales) has generally always been a method to manipulate buyers, whether it be by using discounts or scarcity tactics. Inbound Marketing doesn’t use tactics or manipulation – it is about being 100% customer-centric and solving for that customer. I believe the true measure of success in business these days – and in particular, in the digital or online space – can only be measured in two aspects: Authority (do you know what you’re talking about) and whether online or in real life, the one true currency that actually matters – Trust (Do I believe you what you are saying is genuine and true?) By combining trust and authority, you’ll be seen as an expert on the topic, and get more qualified leads who are already invested in how you can help them.
Keen to find out more about lead generation?
Take a look, it’s in our book, The Beginner’s Guide to Generating Inbound Leads. Download it now!