You could win a 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar, just by reading and commenting on this post! Read on…
Last week an image of Batman came across my news feed with the caption:
“Be yourself. Unless you get a chance to be Batman. If you get a chance to be Batman, you’d probably better do it.”
That got my attention – despite the fact that I am now in my mid 40s and should probably have outgrown my appreciation of Batman, he is still my favorite superhero.
Naturally, my first impulse was to write a marketing article about why businesses should be like Batman. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if your customers looked to your business to solve their problems from the beginning, so that you didn’t constantly have to try to convince and persuade them to experience the solutions your business provides?
But our customers don’t have bat signals. We aren’t always the first experts they turn to in order to improve their lives by solving their problems, satisfying their wants or meeting their needs.
And so I’m going to tell you, your marketing won’t work without wonder woman. Here’s why:
Wonder Woman has strength. Wonder Woman has skills. Wonder Woman has wisdom. And you need all of those things to run a successful, thriving, growing business. But Wonder Woman has one more thing you need: A magic lasso.
Wonder Woman’s lasso allowed her to snag anyone she was chasing without harming them. So often in business we can’t catch up with the people we are chasing. We have trouble getting our marketing messages in front of members of our ideal client types and target markets.
We have trouble getting their attention. We have trouble getting them to come in to our businesses or websites or events. For whatever reason, we just can’t seem to catch up to them long enough to demonstrate the benefits they’ll receive as a result of doing business with us.
Or to the second point, isn’t it also true that often we do actually catch that member of our target market, but do harm in the process? Sometimes we force our marketing messages in front of people in such a way that they feel harassed, pressured or deceived. All bad!
That lasso comes in the form of actually doing market research and analysis, gaining a better understanding of the real needs and wants of our target markets and executing focused, targeted marketing.
It comes from utilizing content marketing and communications more effectively and adding value to both. It comes from transforming our businesses into expert resources for customers, more focused on helping them solve their problems than on selling to them.
It comes from listening more than we’re talking, when it comes to our customers.
And that brings me to my last point: Wonder Woman’s lasso got the truth out of people. Once that lasso was around someone, they had no choice but to tell the truth. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your customers and prospects told you the truth?
If they did, you’d know the real reasons why people chose to leave your business (and you’d have a chance to fix it). You’d know the real reasons why people choose a competitor’s product or service. You’d know what was really important to your customers and what problems they really need you to solve. You’d know what they value in relationships from the companies and consultants they choose to do business with.
We don’t have the means to force the truth from our customers and prospects. But we do have the ability to ask the questions; and so often, we aren’t. We are letting customers leave, sometimes after years of relationship, without even asking why. We are shrugging our shoulders when prospects choose to engage the services of our competitors or purchase their products, rather than simply asking for feedback.
We’re sending them out of our stores or off our websites not because we didn’t know what specific product they came looking for, but because we didn’t find out what their real need and want was, so that we could tell them how we’d solve it.
It’s not always that people aren’t telling us the truth, it’s that we’re not even asking the questions.
And that’s why your marketing won’t work without Wonder Woman!
You could win a 2013 marketing calendar!
I’ll pick one winner and the good people at Blogging Bistro will pick another – and both will receive a free copy of 12 Ways to Cheat at Marketing: The 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar (available on amazon.com in print or digital format in the Amazon Kindle store).
Enter this contest by Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
Elizabeth Kraus is the author of 365 Days of Marketing and 12 Ways to Cheat at Marketing: The 2013 Small Business Marketing Calendar – www.12monthsofmarketing.net
Photo by ABC Television (eBay itemphoto frontphoto back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons