I’m often asked for marketing advice to help businesses grow. My answer is never popular.
Most businesses think (hope) they’ve not been using their marketing tools wrong, so they think (hope) I can wave a magic wand or give them a few quick tricks to help them do it better.
The problem is however rarely the way marketing tools (social media, websites, emails etc) are used. Too few businesses understand what it is they’re supposed to be marketing.
Only once you know what you want to be known for when you get to where you are going, can you invite customers to join you on the journey.
My first question when asked for marketing advice is always: “Why should customers buy from you?”
The answer is usually a muddle between technical specifications, how long the business has been around, and “because we need them to”.
None of these reasons are however strong enough to make a case for a prospective customer that is faced with too many options, and not enough guidance. But businesses can’t guide customer decisions if they themselves are not crystal clear on the value they offer, or how it connects to the needs of their customers.
Business growth starts with a strategy that balances historical value, future innovation, and current relevance determined by customer need.
Marketing initiatives should focus less on the tools to be used, and more on staying in sync with what customers need now, and how the world they live in is changing. Only then will you be able to develop marketing messages that can be matched with marketing tools that support your business growth objectives.