May 2017 Motivate On The Cover

4 Questions That Will Revolutionize Your Marketing Efforts

Written By: John Spence

I have one question for you and four questions for you to ask your customers that will completely revolutionize your branding and marketing efforts.

Answer this question with as much detail as possible:

What does your business bring to the market that is unique and compelling, that your ideal target customer very highly values, that is difficult if not impossible for your competition to copy and that you can deliver flawlessly every single time to every single customer?

I have challenged literally hundreds of companies to answer this question, and very few could do it successfully. Unfortunately, most businesses offer a good product or service, at a reasonable price, with tolerable service. This is not the way to dominate the marketplace. If you want to have a brand that stands out, you’ve got to be able to clearly answer the above question and your customers must believe it as well. Next, identify a group of your best current customers and ask them the following four questions:

1. Why did you choose to do business with us? List the top three or four reasons.
After you ask several of your key customers to answer this question, you will begin to see a pattern if they are all mentioning the same three or four reasons why they chose your business. This is your brand and your unique selling proposition (USP). You just had a group of people who spend money with you tell you exactly why they gave you their money, which is likely the same reason other potential customers would give you their money. So, take their answers and turn them into your brand identity — apply it when approaching customers and share with them how you will help them.

2. What do we do now that frustrates you? What could we do differently, stop doing or start doing to make it easier to do business with us?
Again, after you have talked to several of your best customers, it will become clear that there are a handful of things that, if you changed, would make your customers much happier and more loyal.

3. What would we have to do to earn more or all of your business?
When you see the clear pattern here, you have just discovered the key strategies you need to put into place to start growing your business immediately.

4. What would cause you to fire us right away?
When you understand this pattern, put the systems and processes in place to make sure you never do these things!

Once you have collected all this information – your unique selling position, your brand, how to make it easier to do business with you, how to increase your customers’ level of productivity with you, and what to avoid to lose your customers – you are now armed with incredibly valuable information that you can use in branding, marketing and managing your business.

A final piece of advice, as someone who owned a marketing and advertising firm for several years, I think one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not understanding who their ideal target client is and then failing to focus all of their efforts on marketing channels and messages that speak directly to the key constituency. Creating an amazingly fantastic ad campaign and then placing it in media that your target customer doesn’t look at or listen to is a total waste of your money. Successful branding and marketing is about homework and focus. You must put in a tremendous amount of effort to look at your current best customers and understand them as much as possible — their needs, their wants, their fears, their wishes — and then build products and services that meet those needs. You must also understand how they make their buying decisions, how did they find out about you and what made them want to do business with you? If you can get a good handle on these important pieces of information, then you can target the specific group of people who are most likely to buy from you, become loyal customers and generate lots of positive word-of-mouth.

Unfortunately, most businesses throw together something they think looks good and then blast it out on every single platform they can afford, hoping someone will see their ad and decide to purchase something from them. Let me end with one of my favorite phrases: Hope is not a strategy.

JOHN SPENCE has been recognized as one of the top 100 business thought leaders and as one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world. He is an international keynote speaker and management consultant and has written five books on business and life success.

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