What is the purpose of marketing?
Very few people can answer this question, let alone, tell you how to achieve those primary purposes.
If you were to ask this question to 100 different business people, you would get a myriad of different answers. Some people would tell you that the purpose of marketing is to get your name out in the marketplace, and others will tell you marketing builds your brand name. A common response is that marketing assists in generating leads that are then passed over to the sales team and the others will say marketing generates sales. Then there are people that will say that marketing builds brand awareness.
The truth is that all of these answers are correct. They are results of what occurs when your marketing and advertising efforts are working.
The purpose of marketing however, cannot be answered simply. In this post, I break down three main objectives that successful marketing strategy should always aim to achieve.
Marketing is supposed to do three things:
- Capture attention
- Educate prospects
Let’s go into these in detail-
Objective #1: Capture attention
Capture the attention of your target market/prospects. This seems simple enough to do, however, it requires strategic planning and implementation to do so. Most of the time, I see people doing this incorrectly. We ensure that you’re doing this the right way.
Objective #2: Educate prospects
Guide you prospects with educational information to help them make the best possible purchasing decision. Provide them with information to facilitate their buying decisions for your product or services.
People are searching for a solution that your provide. It’s important that you’re providing them with the information they’re looking for during their purchasing decision, or the “Buyer’s Journey” which is why you need to guide them through this process. You need to prove that you’re the expert at what you do, and if you’re not providing them with the right information, they’ll turn to your competition, as they are answering their burning questions. People trust brands that offer support, and provide them with relevant and educational content. Position yourself as the expert in your space and provide as much knowledge as you can that’s relevant to what you’re selling.
All business owners and stakeholders want the same things:
- New customers and less competition
- More profitability and less waste
- More retention and less turnover among their best employees
- Better results from their marketing and advertising, more loyalty from their customers
- And higher conversion rates from their salespeople
Ultimately, they want to make more money.
Similar to business owners, your target audience or prospects want the same things. Their biggest concern is making sure their money is spent in the best way possible, and that they made a wise purchasing decision. They are looking to see if they can get the best deal for both the price and value. People will never buy anything if they aren’t confident that it’s the best price to value deal. If they they’re looking for a new computer, people won’t choose the option that is the most expensive and offers the least. They’ll always choose the option that they think is the best possible deal in terms of value.
So, we have two sets of values:
- The business wants more customers, more loyal customers and higher margins.
- Customers want to feel confident that the get the best possible deal in terms of overall value.
The process and principles that govern the matching of those two sets of values are the same for every business.
It’s marketing’s job to determine what is most important to your prospects, and then find ways to educate them about what constitutes the best deal in your area, and then provide evidence that you offer the best deal in terms of both price and value.
If you’re conveying this message properly, you will capture the attention of your prospects, build trust, and make an informed buying decision. Give them what they want and you will get what you want. This way, both businesses and customers win.
This might seem straightforward, but the truth is that many businesses get this wrong and in turn, they are losing their customers. Where do they go wrong? Many businesses are too self-serving, and only push information, without having a strong case or evidence as to why prospects should buy their products or services. Instead, they push their self-serving hyperbole, weak promises, and platitudes that are only a thinly veiled way to say, “Buy from me because I want you to give your money to me instead of somebody else.”
This is the main reason why many people have a negative perception about marketing. The purpose of marketing should be to educate and inform your prospects, and because many businesses do not do this, people are left skeptical. You want your prospects to view you as a trusted source and one that is helping them make the smartest buying decision possible. You should make your prospects feel as if you are the best, and only option for their needs. Do this, and you’ll see an influx of brand-loyal followers.
Objective #3: Convert
Give your customers a specific, low-risk, easy-to-take action that further facilitates their ability to make a good decision. Lower the risk of taking the next step in the buying process so you can further educate them.
You can’t cram everything that a person needs to know into one ad. You have to find a way to give them more information when and where they need it most. You need to provide reports, ebooks, case studies, blogs, and other marketing materials so that you’re reaching them the way they want to be reached.
Have you ever bought a new home from a builder? They have lots of ways to advertise and promote, one being the Sunday paper in the New Homes section. But if you look in that section of the newspaper, you’ll see that none of the ads there accomplishes the three objectives of marketing: 1) to capture the attention of the target market, 2) facilitate their decision-making process by educating them about what they need to know, and 3) give them a low-risk way to become more educated and take the next step to further the buying process. Those ads don’t do this. Instead, they feature beautiful, happy, smiling people, pictures of houses and floor plans, price ranges of homes, and maps to various neighborhoods.
These types of ads look identical to one another, which makes it much more difficult for you as a business owner to capture the attention of your prospects. You need to make yours unique so that it stands out among the rest.
The problem with these ads is that there’s nothing to grab their attention, no acknowledgement of what the customers needs or problems are. And, there’s nothing in any of the ads to educate the prospect. There’s nothing to facilitate their decision-making processes. There’s nothing to show them what they need to know or tell them what issues to consider. How many things do you need to know when buying a new home? Are you an expert on lumber, plumbing, masonry, electrical, insulation, flooring, framing, roofing, finish out, and the 613 other relevant, pertinent issues involved with building a home? Of course not. And you won’t be after reading those ads, either.
During the decision-making process, not everyone wants to know everything. But one thing remains the same. All of your prospects and buyers want to be aware of the relevant issues that are at stake. With these types of ads, all you know is that smiling people supposedly live there, and they all have floor plans and maps to neighborhoods. All of these ads are ineffective because prospective buyers want and need to be educated so they can feel confident when making their decision. Nobody is providing this information. The ads that do, always win.
Then there’s no low-risk way for the prospect to take the next step in the buying process. The only option these ads give is to come into the model home. You say, “That’s low risk.” The heck it is! If you’re just thinking about buying a new home, and the only option is to come to a model home that’s 45 minutes from your house, and you know that it will be stocked with starving salespeople who will do everything in their power to force you to buy that home on the spot, is that low risk?
This is how many businesses fail when it comes to converting customers. You need to provide your prospects with clear and concise messaging about how your product or service will solve their pain-point, making it easier for them to choose you over the competition.
All of the ads fail miserably on this level; as a result, they get lost in the shuffle of all the other ads.
There’s a better way to handle this situation.
Why do you think that marketing people always feel forced into a price-competitive situation? If you feel like that’s the case in your business, it’s your own fault. Your lack of marketing ability has led to a situation where there are no distinctions between you and your competitors. You haven’t introduced the proper parameters or educated your prospects on the relevant issues. You’ve made no offers to lower the risk of taking the next step.
Effective marketing accomplishes all three objectives. The main goal is to get your prospects to think that they would be making the wrong decision if they bought from any other business, regardless of price. The reason why many companies are competing with pricing is because they are focusing on that as the only relevant variable for people to consider. The most effective way you can win over customers is to understand what your prospects want and need to know to feel confident in their purchasing decision. In doing this, customers will focus less on price and more on what problem you’re solving with your product or service. When you’re only showcasing your competitive pricing, and not educating the prospect on how you are different and unique, then they will demand lower prices as that is the only variable there is to compare. It’s that simple.
Are you ready to uncover the true power of effective marketing? Contact us to get started.