10 Ways to Think Differently About Marketing

Think Differently about your marketing

Photo by JD Hancock via Flickr

If you want to start winning at marketing,  you need to start thinking differently. Let’s face it, marketing is hard. For most of us, it’s an unnatural way to think and it’s not really our thing.

However…marketing is critical to your long term business success and growth. In fact, whatever business you’re in – you are also in the business of marketing, whether you like it or not.

“Business only has two functions – marketing and innovation.” – Peter Drucker

If your potential customers haven’t heard of you, if they can’t find you, then they can’t buy from you – it’s that simple.

What does it take to have a marketing mindset? Effective marketing doesn’t just happen, it’s an ongoing process and it’s driven by the way you think.

Do you have an effective Marketing Mindset?

Here are the top 10 ways you need to start thinking differently about marketing (check out the links if you want more ideas):

1. Be Intentional

You have to recognize that every possible contact you have with a potential customer is marketing. That starts with your website, but also includes how you (and your employees) dress, how you interact with people (are you friendly, engaging, interested?), even how you answer the phone. It’s all marketing and you need to be intentional about it.

2. Understand what your customers think

It doesn’t matter what you think about your business or product / service, what matters is what your customers and potential customers think. You’re not trying to solve your problems, you have to be solving their problems.

Are you taking time out to really understand what your customers want and need?

3. Be Active with your Marketing

Word of mouth is great – but if you only rely on passive marketing you are heading towards failure. It’s difficult to figure out what kind of marketing will work for you, but you have to keep trying. You have to actively find ways to promote and engage – and you have to do it ALL THE TIME…! Even if Word of Mouth is the best way for you to be successful, what could you actively do to promote more word of mouth…or to have it happen more consistently?

4. Be Diverse

At any given time, you should have several marketing activities going on at once and it should be a healthy mix of tactics. You should be creating valuable content, building relationships, getting referrals, have an effective website, participate on social media and potentially be advertising in some way. It’s the consistent combination of getting in front of people that will keep you top of mind.

5. Have fun with it – be enthusiastic

Have you ever had dinner at a great restaurant and had a surly waiter? Probably not a great experience for you. People are extremely sensitive to enthusiasm and respond very well to positive, fun attitudes. A great attitude starts with the business owner and continues with the right employees. Stop taking yourself and everything else so seriously.

If you don’t enjoy what you do, if you’re not proud of it…why would you expect anyone to pay you for it?

6. Have a clear target

If you’re trying to talk to everyone, then you’re not going to reach anyone. Who is your best customer? Build your marketing around your best customers, solve their problems, engage them in discussions…that’s how you will have your best success in reaching people.

Could you narrow your marketing message down more than it is today?

7. Follow Up and Follow Through

If you aren’t following up with potential customers in a timely and consistent way, you are wasting your time (and you’re not going to be in business for very long).  It’s hard to imagine going to all of the effort of building a great marketing strategy, getting potential customers to raise their hands…and then not following up with them as soon as possible – but it happens all the time.

And it’s not just leads – the last time you were at a networking event, did you follow up with the new contacts you met?  Even just to say thanks or let’s get together?

8. Give a lot of value…and then give some more!

Your customers are looking for help and they are willing to pay you…once they know you, like you and trust that you can actually help them. The best way to do that is to give away great stuff – add value, educate them. Make sure that when your potential customers find  you, they are blown away with how much you can help them…even before they buy your stuff.

Are you giving away great stuff right now? Are you educating?

9. Be Different

The marketplace is really crowded these days and if you want to be noticed, you’re going to have to stand out. That doesn’t have to mean loud and crazy advertising, it could be as simple as truly exceptional service…or even just having a really clean bathroom.  Another way to go is to be truly remarkable…it’s not easy, but it will put you into a category of one if you can pull it off.

How much do you stand out from your closest competitors?

10. Be Consistent

It’s not exciting, but the only way all of this other stuff works is if you are doing it every day, every week and every month. You can’t win by making a big splash just when you have some free time – you have to carve out consistent time and effort and show up and take consistent action.

If you’re doing a great job on all 10 of these, then you’re likely exploding with success. If you’re falling short where could you improve?

What do you think? Did I miss something? What would you add? What’s not important? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach