Using Right Brain Marketing and Anti-Marketing to Drive Customers
First of all, I want to share a revolutionary new marketing strategy mentioned by Mark
Victor Hansen and Robert Allen in their bestselling book The One Minute Millionaire. They call it right brain marketing -- as opposed to the left brain marketing involving numbers, databases, CPM and so on that are associated with advertising, promotion and PR.
It is beyond permission marketing, guerrilla marketing and relationship marketing -- it's called anti-marketing.
The main reason why so many businesses fail is because they waste so much money on traditional marketing in an attempt to find their target customers. Stacey Hall and Jan Brongniez, in their book Attracting Perfect Customers, suggests that it's time to question whether it is in fact ‘difficult’ to find good customers or that we have to steal them from our competitors. They also, controversially, question whether we have to keep meeting our customers ever increasing and outrageous demands. This is quite different for the previous section in key areas!
Anyway, they have gathered some impressive success stories with both large and small companies to prove their point and I have to say, some of it is persuasive, but I will let you make up your own mind about it.
We all know that 20 percent of your customers account for 50 to 80 percent of the profits and Hall and Brongniez ask whether we really need these 80 percent of customers that rarely buy anything. They suggest that it's possible to build a business where every customer is the perfect customer -- in the 20 percent that make your business a success.
They say it is the difference between working hard to find customers or attracting them like magic. To start with, you need to ask 4 critical questions.
- What is your ideal customer look like?
- What makes them tick -- in other words what inner values drive them?
- What do you want your perfect customers to expect of you (rather than try to find out what your customers want, this turns things around and focuses on what you want to provide)
- What do you need to do and improve about your business to attract more perfect customers?
While this might sound a bit too revolutionary, it's worth considering. I would suggest that you use both the traditional methods of market research and knowing the market with a dash of this approach, which favors focusing on those perfect 20 percent of your customers that count for the majority of your profits.
Ok, now let’s look at a few other diverse marketing strategies, starting with a couple of costly mistakes that business owners make.
Two basic business mistakes
There are two basic mistakes that business owners make:
- They have the wrong perception of marketing
- They work in their business instead of on their business.
Let me explain…
Marketing is your business
One of the main keys to success is to realize that marketing is your business -- whatever business you are in. You are not a fashion shop owner, you are marketing fashion; you are not a mobile phone provider, you are marketing mobile phones, you're not a computer software designer, you are in the business of marketing software. Do you see the difference?
Marketing is fundamental to your business and without it you don't actually have a business. The purpose of your business is to sell products and services and make a profit. It doesn't matter what business you're in, whether you run a purely Internet-based business, a high street shop or an office run from your home, your business should be marketing your products and services. Marketing is your key to success.
Marketing is about creating a consistent flow of leads and new customers, nurturing them carefully and making sure you have a follow-up system to sell more to your existing customers. Marketing is an on-going process and should be tested constantly to make sure it is still working.
Work on your business not in your business
The other mistake that business owners make is to work in their business on the day-to-day activities of running their business. Successful entrepreneurs take more of an overview of their business and work on it to from the outside to drive it forward and develop it. They don't get too caught up in the day-to-day running of their business to the exclusion of everything else -- they have other people to manage their business and take care of the details for them. This is why outsourcing is important.
Of course, it depends on the size of your business -- you may be able to manage to run your business day-to-day and also take the eagle’s eye view that's required to develop and expand your business.
However, if you want to grow your business further then you may need to consider whether you need some help with the day-to-day aspects of delivering your products and services while you concentrate on marketing your business and developing new strategies. If you don't take this role yourself, you severely limit your ability to expand.
Right, let’s now look at another angle to the latest craze of getting ‘liked’ and ‘followed’. How can your business stand out.
Forget about being liked!
As more and more companies are fighting to be ‘liked’ on Facebook and ‘followed’ on Twitter, it can be difficult to get your company noticed. It is important to engage in social media, but not necessarily for the obvious reasons.
Instead of working on your popularity using the social media, there is a far more effective approach that is a bit different and could put you ahead of your competitors.
Aim to be more interesting instead of more popular…
You have probably heard of the social graph which measures the connections we make on social networks. It is based on the people we know such as our friends on Facebook. Companies are currently clamoring to get ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ on these sites so they appear to be popular. Actually, you can buy these in bulk if you know where to go! You can also buy recommendations, positive feedback and good reviews, so really, what’s the point! While everyone else is going bonkers trying to beat the competition in the popularity stakes, you could be building a solid business that will outlast all the social media hype.
So much for the social graph – now there is an interest graph which is based on your interests first, then building connections with others based on those shared interests. The reason an interest graph is more powerful is that the connections you make are based on a passion for a particular subject. Think about forums where people gather to discuss ideas and share information about a particular topic, for example, Net Mums is a site where mothers get together to talk about parenting issues. There are plenty of new platforms springing up that take advantage of these interest graphs, for example, Pinterest, GetGlue and Springpad.
The thing about being more interesting is that it is about taking advantage of this interest graph and building connections with people who have a common interest, rather than aiming for general likes on the social media, which is what the social media marketing strategy is largely built on.
So how can you be more interesting? And how can you make a potentially dull product or service into something more interesting. Again, it comes down to knowing your market, knowing your customers and finding out what lies at the heart of their interests or passions. You have to find a way to make your offer interesting specifically to them.
For example, if you are still running that garden center, you could create an online portal website for gardeners chock full of information, with discussion forums and interactive media that will become a hub for gardeners. You could also enhance this with gardening events, workshops, courses, celebrity gardener appearances, regular meeting groups and so on that will pull in your prospects. When people think of gardening and where to get reliable information and help, you want them to think of you first.
It’s all about connecting with people through their interests first and foremost and building a community of like-minded people. This is the way to build a long-term successful business.