Building an effective marketing strategy is no easy task, especially in a world where so many look to quick tricks or the easy way to get the job done. Sure, that will get you somewhere, and it may provide results in the short-term; but is it sustainable? Marketing strategies today so often puts the emphasis on driving traction and playing a numbers game, but Joe Martin thinks an effective marketing strategy is about driving conversions and staying efficient.
Effective Marketing Strategy: 4 Steps to Cut Your Spending in Half
I had the chance to sit down with Joe Martin, TedX Speaker and Entrepreneur. With 18+ years experience, two successfully sold companies, and a fresh take on efficient marketing, Joe is able to provide a new insight as to why this commonly navigated route of general ads and exposure is an inefficient approach to marketing.
"Traction is really what companies try to sell. They promote how many more visitors their clients get and how many more impressions are made. But that doesn't matter. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many people visit your website; it's all about getting them converted to a customer/client."
It's focusing on this take of conversion over traction that has allowed him to create a structured process that has given his clients the ability to cut their ad spending in half. His approach doesn't cast a wide net; it takes into consideration who you are as a potential customer and what your true purpose is. We can break down Joe's process into four steps:
1. Customer Persona
The first step to creating an effective marketing strategy is to dig below the surface level of your Customer Persona.
"Understand your customer's journey" is something I hear over and over. After meeting with many different marketing groups, it felt like a cop out buzz word to avoid identifying an actually strategic approach in efficient marketing. It's easy to track my customer's journey any day, as long as they are already my customer.
Understanding your customer's journey is only the beginning
So, where do we start? In Joe's eyes, we are still using traditional ads to try and make that first interaction to begin the customer journey. Rather than a billboard on a highway, it's a digital billboard via Facebook. It provides great content and can gain great visibility for your traditional market segment, for example, of females aged 20-25, but this only provides surface level personalization. Once you've identified your target audience, you can start saving ads that are relevant to them. This will give you a good idea of what kind of content resonates with them and what kind of messaging they respond to.
Dig deeper into your Customer Persona
The true personalization of understanding your Customer Persona is when you can identify that it's, for example, females aged 20-25 who are a) afraid of losing money and b) are most comfortable in an environment surrounded by friends over family. Advertising pioneer, Claude Hopkins, said it best: in order to market to the masses, we first need to know how to market to the individual. Don't focus on the masses, look toward the individual, and dig deeper than the surface level characterization.
2. Level of Awareness
The second step to creating an effective marketing strategy is to identify the driving factors of customer conversion.
You've identified your Customer Persona and you have a great hold as to what type of customer you're really going after. Now it's time to dig deeper and take that research one step further. How do we do this? Joe looks towards three variables that really help identify and provide an understanding of the driving factors of efficient marketing that lead to customer conversion: Fears, Motivators, Objections.
Conversion Factor #1: Fears
What are they scared of? What is preventing them from going with you? You need to identify those underlying fears that aren't always vocalized.
Conversion Factor #2: Motivators
What's happening in their life at this very moment. What is driving them towards the conclusion, "Yes, I need this." Figure it out.
Conversion Factor #3: Objections
They know everything about you, but they still have that pit in their stomach telling them something doesn't feel right. That last objection tends to be similar between your whole market segment. Just focus on a few prospects and really dive into these answers. If YOU can truly understand the answers to these questions, you are providing yourself with a foundation for success.
Addressing these three factors increases the chance of customer conversion
By appealing to your customers' emotions, you've established your credibility and created a sense of trust. Nine times out of 10, in Joe's experience, it only takes three to five pieces of genuine information in your marketing to convert a lead into a client. Moral of the story? Make those three to five pieces appeal to one's emotions.
3. Build a Community
The third step to creating an effective marketing strategy is to build a genuine community around yourself.
Before you have any product or service, you need a community built around you to effectively market that product/service. That community does not necessarily need to be face-to-face, a digital community can do just as well. This community serves to provide a sense of authority; it builds credibility and trust.
Your community can range from clients to mentors to vendors and suppliers
Let's use Aloa as an example. In our community, we have our vetted Aloa Dev Partners, we have our previous clients, and we have a network of mentors who we turn to for advice and guidance.
Provide value to your community and they'll support you
If you are a potential customer, it is this community that provides an additional sense of comfort—an intrinsic sense of trust and reassurance. Joe says it best: "The ability to build a community is gold. Once you have the community, you can then provide the service and/or goods."
4. Provide Humanity
The fourth and final step to an effective marketing strategy is to simply be human.
In an age of digital automation, people desire personalization and interaction more than ever, and your customers are no different. Let's jump back to the marketing strategy of the 1970's with the knowledge and technology of 2019. Effective marketing cannot be done without getting in front of your customer. In the end, those who add the personal touch are able to win clients. Just because you are using technology to your advantage doesn't mean you should remove the human element of communication.
Be vulnerable. Be real. Be human.