When it comes to achieving business success, there is no carefully guarded “secret” formula hidden away from view in a vault. As a matter of fact, the recipe for building a successful business is as easy as 1- 2- 3..with steps 1 and 2 falling into the “marketing” category while the third falls squarely under the heading of “customer service”.
- Find a problem that your target market is willing to pay money for you to solve. (This falls under marketing strategy.)
- Let your target audience know you’re available with a solution to their problem (This falls under marketing tactics.)
- Delight your customers as you solve their problem. (This falls under customer service.)
(Pick up a copy of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results for over 280 pages of down to earth, easy to understand instruction on how to execute steps #1 and #2.)
When you delight your customers as you solve their problems – two things happen. First, and most importantly – those customers you delighted with your product and service will continue to do business with you. Second, yet equally important- those customers will actually help you in the promotion of your business via “word of mouth marketing” and through actual testimonials.
While it appears to be an easy 3- step process – the execution of those three steps is where the magic happens.
Like most things in life – the deceptively simple 3 step business success secret formula is harder to implement than it looks.
Because following the three step process outline above is hard – really, really HARD – many business owners have embraced various “short cuts”. Whether it’s because they don’t have any customers, they don’t have any satisfied customers or they simply haven’t take the time to collect them – one of the most ridiculous “short cuts” to business success is to feature phony testimonials in marketing materials.
This practice is as old as the traveling snake oil salesmen of the previous century. In those days, the performer would seed the audience with shills who would sample the concoction and claim miracle healing as a result. The reason the ploy worked so well was the traveling snake oil show rarely visited the same town twice. The business model was to roll into town – put on your show – fleece the locals and then flee before the chickens were plucked and the tar was boiling.
Communication was difficult in those days – which was essential to the success of this dubious marketing tactic.
Fast forward 100 years later to the early days of the internet. Communication in the early days of the internet was very similar to the days of the telegraph. “Average” people weren’t conversant in Morse code in those days – just as “average” people aren’t fluent in HTML – the language of the web.
That was then – this is now.
Now, technology has advanced to the point where “average” people are able to participate in the conversations happening on the web – a phenomena known as “social media”.
Social media is a general term given to lots of web applications which make communication via the internet EASY. Blogs are a potent internet marketing tool – as well as Twitter and Facebook – when used correctly. (Check out the list of essential blogging tools for more information on how to use your blog as a marketing tool.)
The secret to using social media “correctly” lies in your social media marketing strategy. Your social media marketing strategy should not be developed in a vacuum and is, in reality, merely a part of a sound overall marketing strategy for your entire business.
Anyone who tells you they have the 1 step – quick and easy “secret” way to achieve business success is not your friend. For straight answers to serious marketing questions contact Kathy.