Have you ever said, “That salesperson really saw me coming. He wasn’t letting me out of there until I bought.” All of us feel that we’ve been sold something in our lives that we didn’t need or think we wanted. We think we’ve been persuaded to buy. That idea, in turn, influences our thoughts about what sales is and how it works.
In fact, none of us – no customer – ever buys anything that they’re not ready to buy. The reason is simple. If we’re not ready to buy something on some level, we don’t notice it. Among the millions of messages bombarding us at every second, a message for which we have no use doesn’t get through. So while we may later regret buying something, we were in fact ready to buy it.
This vital point is essential in understanding the role of marketing. It is not the job of marketing to sell. It’s the job of marketing to create an environment in which sales can occur by making sure that your product or company comes to mind at the moment that the buyer is ready to buy. This can be accomplished by making your message so compelling that it lingers in the back of the mind until the moment of need arises. Or, marketing can simply make your message so ubiquitous that the buyer sees it when they’re ready to make a decision.
You can argue that you remember the AFLAC duck even though you’d never buy the product. No, you like humor and funny animals. That’s what you bought. But if you ever need that kind of insurance or have to recommend to a friend, guess who will come to mind?
If we can get out of our minds that it’s our job to “make” people buy stuff, then we can let marketing do the job for which it was conceived.
I recently had the privilege of chatting with Julie Bawden Davis, contributing editor to American Express OPEN Forum, on the topic of Intuition Taking Your Business to the Next Level. As some of you may know, Strategies was conceived on a kitchen table in the home of one of our founders as we rallied the intuition that we shared to take a leap of faith and start our dream company. We set a deadline to make a profit, got new business, and the rest, of course, is history.
Along with myself, Julie interviewed a few other small business owners for this piece and asked what gut reactions and hunches they followed in order to start their companies. Read the full article HERE, and try not to get inspired.
So what do I want to blog about? What could be better than – blogging. The number of people blogging has fallen off significantly in recent years and there’s one reason. Because blogging is not a good tool? NO, because successful blogging is hard! Anyone can hold forth on their ideas on a blank page, but to get others to care to read that page is another matter. A lot of people who just wanted to get something off their chest have fallen away, but the number of serious, interesting and dedicated blogs is growing. There’s a million things to learn about good blogging, but recently we posted on Facebook (strategiesadpr) an interesting blog post by Blog Tyrant entitled “Three Problems that Make Me Leave Your Blog in Three Seconds.” Here’s some of what he said in a nutshell:
- People leave your blog if they see that no one is commenting. He advises changing the default text from “0 comments” to something less pejorative like “comments enjoyed”. Encourage comments by asking questions. And (very cool idea) start a “buddy” group of fellow bloggers who leave comments on your blog in exchange for you leaving comments on theirs.
- Don’t mutilate your blog theme or make it hard to navigate. Get a custom theme designed, get a logo designed at least, choose a simple, mostly white theme, and don’t edit it yourself unless you make it perfect. Make sure your theme enhances your blog brand.
- The most serious problem according to Blog Tyrant is no original ideas. He says when a blog has nothing new to offer people know it in a second. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just present your ideas in a new, fresh way. Find an angle on your topic. When Strategies does a corporate blog it’s great because we have people to call on who are experts in their field so their advice is original. Brand yourself in a way that supports your unique angle. Our client Emerson Rosemount Analytical doesn’t call its blog Rosemount or Emerson. It’s called Analytic Expert, which reinforces their brand. The Blog Tyrant also says to not only find out what your blogging competitors are doing, also find out what they’re NOT doing and do that.
This is a good place to start. To read the entire post click here. There’s much more to learn about driving traffic to your blog, but we’ll talk about that in a future post.
The thing that often stops companies from blogging is the fact that no one on the staff has the time and energy to handle the blog. And yet blogs need to be personal. At Strategies, we help create corporate blogs, getting input from individual staff members on their area of expertise, and crafting posts in their voice. Each post is personal, but the responsibility doesn’t fall on a single staffer. It’s a great strategy and can turn social media skeptics into enthusiastic bloggers.