Since we have clearly identified a target demographic & demand for what she is offering we can identify her problem as a marketing failure. I explained to her that in marketing there are 2 general types of failures.
Failures of Reach
The Problem: Enough people don’t know about your product.
The Solution: Increase the amount of people who know about your product. Easier said than done right? I could write a book and many people have, about how to increase reach. I would start with the free ways of increasing reach
- Do some strategic friend requesting into increase your social media influence
- Trade email lists with a strategic partner
- Do some networking, get out more!
- Do some research to identify some strategic partners that can act as distribution arms of your business
- Post some Craigslist ads
Then move onto paid reach methods
- Talk to an SEO consultant to get yourself higher in the search engine rankings
- Purchase an email list
- Set up a pay per click advertising on one of the major search engines, Facebook ads or online ad networks
- Consider doing some media buying (online banner ads, print media, radio, TV, newspaper, magazine)
You may have heard the mostly true maxim that whatever problem you have in business, you can solve it with more sales. I will cautiously paraphrase this maxim by saying, whatever problem you have in marketing, you can solve it be increasing reach, provided you are savvy enough marketer (or hire one, LIKE ME!) to only market in highest possible ROI generating way.
Failures of Conversion
The Problem: People who do know about your product aren’t buying it.
The Solution: If you are having a problem of conversion then you need to take an introspective look at several things.
- Ad copy; is your ad copy creative, articulate, and concise? You may want to consider hiring an ad copy writer
- Value proposition; is your product an excellent value for the people looking for it?
- Need; This is business 101… The product or service you sell should either solve a problem people have or satisfy a real need. If it doesn’t you will have to market twice as hard (and smart!) to cram it down your customers throats
- Competition; Do you have a competitor out there offering a better value or with massive branding presence?
- Targeting to wide; Sometimes entrepreneurs are lured into competing in big markets by 1% projections (If I can only obtain 1% market share I’ll do a zillion a year in sales!), this kind of login rarely leads to a sustainable business model. I’d recommend ‘micro niche targeting’, more info on this later.
- Feedback; are you asking your customers what they think of you & your offering?
- 3rd Party credibility; do you have good, legitimate testimonials along with a good reputation on the net if people Google search you?
If you think you are facing a failure of conversion it’s probably a good idea to read some marketing books, follow some blogs, take a course or hire a marketing consultant.
Now sometimes marketing failures are a combination of both factors, so you may have work to do in both areas, but in most it’s one more than another.
In Connie’s case, she has great marketing materials prepared, a nice website, is really passionate about what she does & has a great product ready for consumption by large yet clear defined demographic. I think her biggest issue is with reach, she explained to me that her email, phone invite & social media circle of influence is no more than 200 people. I explained to her that in my previous business of nightlife event marketing, our digital marketing list (email, social media contacts, text marketing recipients, etc) was between 20000 – 40000 & we would only get 800-1200 heads inside a nightclub (3%-5% conversion rate). My suggestion was to increase the amount of people that hear about what she does. The strategy we use to accomplish this will be the topic of another blog.
One thing to be aware of is that different business models can have significantly different ratios on their conversion & reach rates. For example, a clothing retailer hopes to sell as close as possible to 100% of the people that walk in their doors, whereas on the other side of the spectrum an internet marketer sends an email blast to a million people about some product and a 2% conversion rate would be phenomenal. So you want to think about your business a little before you diagnose your marketing failure. The marketing team at my marketing firm, Essence of Design(www.denvermarketingfirm.com), is always happy to provide a free consultation.