Do you remember those game shows where the contestant stands in a booth while money blows all around them? They have say, sixty seconds to collect all the cash they can. The big fan blows, cash flies, and the contestant flails about trying to snatch dollars from the air and hold on to them.
The bills are in all denominations but move too fast to spot the big ones easily. The contestants must hold on to the cash they’ve caught while trying to get more. Even though there seem to be thousands of bills flying around, actually catching one is pretty difficult.
This is exactly what sales looks like if you have no marketing.
Customers are flying all around you, but if you are invisible or worse, unimportant to them – you end up with nothing. Swing your arms about all you want, you only catch a few slow moving targets of indeterminate value. You do the same amount of work for one dollar as you do for one hundred.
This is why we do marketing. It’s like wearing a sticky jumpsuit while standing in a money machine.
Marketing needs three things to succeed:
1. A clear definition of who the target customer is: How much are they worth? What is important to them? Where are they right now?
2. Something to slow them down long enough for you to get their attention: A solution to their biggest problem, an innovation they can leverage, or a value proposition that provides a better return on their investment.
3. A reliable means to engage once they show interest: An option to engage more deeply with immediate effect such as lead magnets, online customer service reps, or a call from a business development agent.
In the ideal marketing scenario, the cash booth becomes orderly. The contestant stands with her arms open and the largest denominations float neatly into her hands.
Most of us would settle for the acuity to spot the hundred dollar bills, the dexterity to reach out and grab them, and the intuition to hold on to them with one hand while reaching out for more with the other.
Marketing bridges the gap between flailing and floating. It’s never perfect, but will definitely improve your odds.
If your business relies too much on “referrals”, then it might be time reconsider your investment in marketing. Check out the dates on Tom Stimson’s upcoming event Jumpstart Marketing and Business Development.