Guest Post by Jessica Swanson
A radical change has occurred in the world of marketing. Just five short years ago, most companies utilized only traditional forms of advertising including: TV ads, radio ads, magazine ads, newspaper ads, etc.
As a result, most marketing consisted of advertising that interrupted whatever the consumer was doing. TV commercials are a perfect example of this advertising concept. As you watch your favorite Thursday night program, suddenly a commercial breaks onto the scene and interrupts you. Thus, the term “interruption marketing” was born!
Obviously, consumers began to rebel against interruptive advertising, because, let’s face it, no one likes to be rudely interrupted.
According to Kirby and Marsden (authors of Connected Marketing), 90% of people who can skip TV ads, do skip TV ads. In addition, 65% of people believe that they are constantly bombarded with too much advertising. So, as a small business owner, the first question that you must ask yourself is: “Am I rudely interrupting my prospects with directive advertising methods?”
As consumers pulled away and began to distrust directive forms of marketing, marketers were forced to make a change. No longer could marketers engage in the traditional, forceful ways of old; consumers were just too savvy for that.
As a result, interactional marketing was born! Developing relationships with your customers before they do business with you is an integral part of a successful marketing plan. No matter what business you are in, your motto should be: relationships first, sales second.
As a marketer what can you do to begin to develop relationships with today’s consumer? Here is a quick list to ensure that you are heading in the right direction:
1) Engage Your Prospects Through Real Conversations. Today’s clients desperately want personal relationships with those they choose to do business with. As a business owner this is relatively simple to accomplish through some of the popular social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Ask questions, answer questions and provide helpful suggestions to your prospects on a regular basis. Marketing is not a one-way street. Today’s consumer wants to build a relationship with you.
2) Focus On Solving Your Prospect’s Problems. As a small business owner, you need to determine what problems your prospect needs solved – then work at providing the solution! Believe it or not, your prospects don’t care how successful, savvy or good-looking YOU are. All they care about is their own problems and how you can provide the solution. You must take the focus off of yourself and instead, convince your prospective clients and customers that you can help them.
3) Share Information. Offer your prospects valuable information about yourself and your company. Give them a taste of what they can expect if they develop a business relationship with you. You can accomplish this by giving away free reports, free ebooks, free product samples, etc.
4) Use The 80/20 Rule. No matter what platforms you use to interact with your prospects, always follow the 80/20 Rule (better known as the Pareto Principle). You should spend 80% of your time providing useful content, offering helpful suggestions and developing relationships and only 20% of your time promoting your company, blog, websites, etc.
5) Treat Your Clients and Customers Like Royalty. Once you start bringing in new clients and customers, make sure to wine and dine them! Your small business will grow ten times faster if you create loyal, lifetime fans of your products and services. Why? Simply because your current clients and customers are 40% more likely to buy from you again and 60% more likely to send you referrals.
Again, today’s consumers are extremely distrustful of interruptive and directive forms of advertising. Instead, they are interested in developing a relationship with their business partners. So, provide your prospective clients with plenty of ways to interact, connect and get to know you. Your business will thank you!
Yes! You can use this article in your ezine, blog or website as long as you add the following bio box:
Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer,” has helped entrepreneurs, all over the world, explode their businesses using cutting-edge, proven and completely FREE internet marketing strategies. To receive your FREE Marketing Kit, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you, learn the exact techniques for marketing their businesses for NO-COST, visit: http://www.ShoestringMarketingKit.com