Content Marketing 101, here we go. So first step, identify your target market, it goes without saying, that if we don’t know who we’re here to serve, then we can’t actually serve anybody particularly well. So we have to work out exactly who our target market is and then figure out where they hang out.
So a good example of this might be that, say for example, I was watching a programme on the BBC called Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. I said “I was”, obviously my wife was watching it and I got roped into it. Five of the women were chatting. Four of them had big engagement rings on their hands and then the fifth one didn’t. And they started talking to her and they said, “Well why haven’t you met your millionaire yet? “We’ve all met millionaires, what are you doing?” And she said “Well, you know, I don’t really know.” And they said, “Well are you going out?” And she said, “Well no, not really.” And they said, “Well maybe you should start going out “and actually, there’s some really exclusive clubs “in Mayfair and Chelsea where millionaires go and hang out “and they pay lots of membership fees.” So identify the target market, loads of millionaires. Where do they hang out? In exclusive clubs in Chelsea and Mayfair and places like that.
So you see, none of this stuff is rocket science, it’s quite basic common sense logic. What we’ve got to do, is simply go to them. We make it easy for them to find us. And we do that by hanging out in the places where they’re more likely to hang out. Now, we don’t want to upset out audience by overdoing it (the online equivalent of stalking). We just show up regularly and often, with the same consistent message in the same places where our clients hang out, our ideal target market. So for example, if we design websites for small businesses, where are small businesses most likely to hang out? Well more than likely it’s gonna be on Facebook groups, or on LinkedIn, or on Twitter, or places like that. So if we’re showing up there with the same consistent message, giving tips about websites and things like that, then potentially we’re gonna start piquing people’s interest. And if we’re giving away value upfront, when we show up regularly and often, with that same consistent message, then we’re more likely to get clients on board.
1) Identify target market.
2) Where do they hang out?
3) Go to those hangout spots
4) Show up regularly and often with the same consistent message.
What should your message be? And this is one of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs making. When we go to our clients and they say, “Well I’m looking for a website designer.” If I start saying, “Oh, well I’m the best web designer. We build standard-compliant websites, which are very well optimised and Google will love them”. That may not necessarily be what the client wants. But, it may be what they need. So what we’ve got to do is think carefully about what our marketing message looks like.
There are three core pillars in business, delivery, sales, and marketing. Marketing will lead to sales and conversations, which in turn leads to the work that puts food on the table. But there’s an old saying which is still used, which is “sell people what they need, not what they want“. Now I actually believe the saying’s kind of half right, actually what we need to do, is market to what people want and then sell them what they need.
So in this example, we’ll talk about websites, rather than talking about the great features of having a standards-compliant website. The reason why people generally want a good website, is because they want to generate more leads, which is gonna generate more business for them and ultimately lead to more sales and more money. So what we say is, “we build awesome websites which are highly effective at converting prospects into leads” That’s what people want, they want leads, they want sales conversations, they want money. And then when we sit them down, once we’ve piqued their interest and they say, “Oh cool, well nobody else is saying that they can do that, so I’m interested“. They’ll usually say something along the lines of, “Well, how do you do that?” And that’s the point when you now have the opportunity of saying, “Well, how we do that is through working out who your target market is, we’ll add on Google Analytics, we’ll make sure the website’s search engine-optimised, standards-compliant, etc, etc.” This is where we can go into the technical side of it, but we don’t put that in our marketing message.
People don’t want to know what the features are of your products, they want to know what the outcome is going to be. Here’s a good 3-step practice excercise:
1) Write down ten features of your products.
2) Next, write down not one, but ten outcomes that your products will deliver.
3) Now, compare the two and see what differences there are between them.
I can guarantee there will be an awful lot of differences.
There are several stages to market research.
If you’re in a position whereby maybe you’re just a startup, or maybe you’ve launched your product, but the marketing message isn’t quite landing, you must look at your market research. the first step of market research SIMPLY is to assess whether there’s a need for your product.
The second thing is (and there are three steps to this). Ask people how much they’re willing to pay. There might be a need, but if people aren’t willing to pay for that product (at a point that’s profitable), then there’s no business need for this product and it’s not a sound investment. A good way to do this is hold an imaginary Dutch auction, Start at a low amount and ask people to hold their hands up if they’d be willing to pay the figure you say. It could be a widget for five pounds, ten pounds, twenty pounds, thirty pounds. At what price point to most people put their hands down. If there’s actually £1,000 worth of (imaginary) business in that experiment, find out if that would produce a good profit margin after covering things like marketing, branding, website, overheads etc. Let’s assume all is wonderful and the profit margin is looking good. Next, comes your value proposition, the outcome that your product delivers.
This is real life example of a marketer who worked with a group of students…
He ran an experiment using the Dutch auction method and said, “Right now, if you don’t buy this product, in the next 30 days one of your teeth will fall out. Now, how many people will buy my product? Lots of hands went up.
He than said, “how much money would you be willing to spend?” He started low and most hands went up. At £1000 20 hands went up. He then went up incrementally and there were actually ten people who would spend 2,000 pounds on his product. So, now he’d grown and scaled the potential of that product, from 1,000 pounds with 20 clients, up to 20,000 pounds with just 10 clients. So actually he could have a cheaper product, a medium-quality product, and a high-end product. That’s a whole suite of different things there. But the USP was the sensationalism, the story which sat behind the marketing message, the fact that it was sensationalist and he was starting to market to the outcomes of what people wanted to hear.
If it was just simply the features, oh there’s this thing, this mirror, which you can look in your mouth and it’s connected to an app and blah, blah, blah. People don’t want that, they’re just like, what’s it gonna do? So, think about that when you’re putting your marketing message together. Remember, features versus outcomes. What is it that your product does? What are you going to deliver?