The One Simple Step To Marketing Success

Television was still in its experimental phase...

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Every day there is more competition for share of mind. More billboards, more radio ads, more TV ads, more blogs, better search capabilities… on and on it goes.

In this chaos of brand noise how do you get your own personal brand noticed?

There are some very simple steps that can be taken. Its amazing how few of us actually take the right steps. We get caught up in the infinity of choice. Choice of products to buy. Choice of paths to take in our personal lives. It shouldn’t be that difficult and generally it isn’t.

There is one idea that you need to put into the front of your mind when you are trying to figure out what you need to do. Identify your customer.

You can’t be too specific about this and you can apply this to almost every decision in life. It all gets down to getting very, very specific.

The more specific you can be, the more you can tailor your communications to fit what their desires are. Now a lot of people think that they can’t be specific because the product they are trying to market is going to reach everyone. So they want a message that will appeal broadly. The truth is that you can only market to the broad mass once a few people have become your product advocates. You have to figure who the first of those people are and why they would want to be your spokesperson. Focus on that first person first.

Have you ever wondered why some music becomes successful and other music doesn’t? It’s simple and it is the reason that in spite of the freedom of choice that the web gives us, the route to commercial success for musicians still comes via the major labels.

The reason for that is simple. It is because the labels have the internal discipline to keep remembering who the customer is and how to please them.

And by the way, the customer, believe it or not, is not you. It is not the consumer of the product. It is not the record store. The customer is the music director at the radio station. One person.

That discipline that the really great labels have is to understand that they act as the pre-qualifier to the music directors. They become the trusted partner of the music director and through her they become the de facto partner of the radio station. So just as the music director of a radio station is the gatekeeper to audiences, the record label is the gatekeeper to the music directors.

The problem that the labels have nowadays (other than declining profits) is to figure who to sign. They have no shortage of people knocking on the door looking to be signed. So if you were one of the hopefuls what would you do to be noticed? Think about what would influence the person who makes the decisions and create a product and a package that makes his job easy.

The same thing applies in the book business. A literary agent who I know (and who represents me) gives all of her aspiring authors a cheat sheet to enable them to put together a book proposal. It is there to help the author focus on what he (or she) needs to prepare in order to show that there is a very clear focus for a book. It is very granular. It entails identifying where the book fits at retail, what the price point is, what the profile of the prospective purchaser is likely to be and a whole lot more… So the author has to now become marketer in order to be signed by the publisher.

It may seem like there is a mountain of work and that the decisions are complex. Certainly there are a lot of people who throw their hands up in the air and just think that if they had the money they could solve the problem. That is not true. Before you spend the money, you still have to focus on who the customer is.

So think about who your customer really is. Think about what drives him (or her). Think about what their needs are. Then put together your product to appeal to those sensibilities. Its all about identifying their needs – not your own.

For a lot of people this is actually a monumental task – because they are so entangled in the process that they find it difficult to view the ecosystem from the outside in an objective way. This is one of the jobs that people like me do for clients (in the case of my consulting work) and for students (in the case of teaching work). The key to achieving success in marketing is to get started: either by doing it yourself in an objective way, or by reaching out and asking someone else to help you become objective…

Good luck!

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