Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA
Marketing products or services is something every company, and in my opinion, every individual needs to do.
There are so many marketing firms, channels, mediums and philosophies out there that it’s difficult to know where to start and/or how to improve your existing efforts. In a workshop X5 facilitated last week, I revisited Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why ” video (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend taking a look). He talks about changing the direction of our communication from what we do and how we do it, to WHY we do it, and from there how we do it and what we do. Such a simple reverse, but it’s really powerful and it inspired me to articulate three steps that continue to help the X5 team evolve our marketing efforts.
Step 1: Define your message starting with why and KEEP IT SIMPLE. So many people overcomplicate their message. If you’re a specialist or an expert in some area, chances are the people who want to pay you for what you do…don’t really understand what it is you do. Right? So consider your audience and come up with a “kindergarten version” of what you do. If I understand you right away, I’m much more likely to engage you (or your company) in conversation, and give you the chance to prove how smart you (or your products) are. So speak to me in a language I understand.
For example: “1000 songs in your pocket” – Apple Inc. (2001) VS.
“We build SATA data storage devices used for storing and retrieving digital information that use rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material to store up to 8 gigabits of digital information or approximately 1000 mp3s and are only 2.5” by .75” thick.”
Step 2: Put your message in appropriate places. This is really basic, but needs to be reiterated, particularly with respect to social media. Consider what your audience will be doing and thinking about when they come across your message. Finding out that one of my friend’s offers corporate training or sells industrial valves will probably not stick with me or influence my behavior if I’m spending time “creeping” friends on Facebook. Rather, if you’re a small to medium sized B2B business you should probably save your money and time for LinkedIn etc. and direct your efforts in spaces that your audience and prospects will be.
Step 3: Identify the ask? You can’t run around telling people what you do or posting your logo all over town and expect it to engage people and produce immediate results. There is so much information in the world that if you aren’t getting people to interact with yours, they won’t even recognize it after 30 seconds. Couple your message with an ask or action item. Ask people to share or comment. Ask people to connect with you on LinkedIn and review your website. Ask them to subscribe to a blog to get more free content. Ask them to send you a photo of their favorite meal so you can make it a Sunday special. If your message, material and website challenges people to engage and offers them some value for that engagement, you may have just brought that person 60% of the way through your sales funnel without even talking to them face-to-face.
Take this week to reconsider your message and go through these 3 steps. You may realize you’ve been wasting time and money or that a few small tweaks can take your company to the next level.