What makes them more profitable than others?
“All business success rests on something labeled a sale, which at least momentarily weds company and customer.” (Thomas J. Peters & Robert H. Waterman, Jr)
Over the years, many thousands of companies close down, merge, or go bankrupt.
THE REASON FOR SUCCESS OR FAILURE
Dunn and Bradstreet took all the statistics that they had generated on failing companies over the years and ran them through a supercomputer. This program sorted out all the variables and distilled business success and failure into a simple conclusion:
Businesses succeed because of high sales; businesses fail because of low sales. All else is commentary.
THE FOUR HABITS OF MARKETING SUCCESS
There are several strategies, or habits of thinking and acting, that you can learn through practice that will make you a much more efficient and effective brand and businessperson, especially in the area of generating sales, revenues and cash flow for your business.
Requires that you decide clearly the area in which your brand or business is going to specialize in to compete and win in the current fast paced market.
Individuals and organizations that specialize are far more effective in creating and keeping customers than companies that generalize or try to offer too many products and services to too many customers and markets, in too many ways, at too many price points.
Three Main Areas:
- Products & Services
For example, if you specialize in fast food, you only produce foods that can be picked up and consumed onsite or immediately thereafter. You do not offer any product or service that don’t fall into the category of “fast food.”
2. Be Unique
The second habit for marketing success, and perhaps the most important, is the habit of differentiating your product or service from that of all other competitors for the same customer.
Without a clear competitive advantage, an area of excellence or superiority, it is impossible for you to survive and thrive in a tough market. As Jack Welch once said, “If you don’t have competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
- What is my competitive advantage today?
- What makes us unique?
- What makes your product or service superior to that of any of your competitors?
It may be something as simple as the location of your business. It may be something less tangible, such as the personalities of the key people who sell and deliver your product or service.
Many entrepreneurial businesses are started and become successful because of the personality and character of a single individual who customers prefer to deal with rather than with anyone else in that same field. Social Media Marketing can and will amplify your brand if you use the right strategy and tactics.
3. Determine Your Best Potential Customers
The third habit of marketing is the habit of segmentation. There are many people who might be able to buy what you sell, but they are not all prospective customers for you and your business. Your ability to analyze your market, and to create a profile of the exact type of customer who can most benefit from the product or service that you specialize in, who appreciates what your product or service does better than your competitors, is the key to marketing success.
In any market, there is a profile of potential buyers who are “high probability customers.”
4. Focus and Concentrate Your Social Media Marketing Sales Efforts
The fourth habit for social media marketing success is the habit of concentration. Your ability to concentrate in general is essential for achieving success in any activity. The ability to concentrate in particular, and to focus all of your social media marketing and sales efforts and energies on those specific customers that you have identified who can most benefit
from what you sell, is the key to maximizing your sales, revenue and profits.
Develop the habit of thinking like a social media marketing genius. Develop the habit of asking yourself questions like:
- In what areas do we specialize?
- What social media platforms work best to reach customers?
- In what areas are we superior to our competitors in our area of specialization?
- What are the strategies and tactics we use to implement for success?
- Who are the most desirable and attractive market segments for what it is that we do better than anyone else?
- How can we organize ourselves to concentrate all of our resources on selling more to those customers who most appreciate what we can do for them better than our competitors?
RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING
Trust in the relationship is still key. Social Media has just allowed us to have further reach and faster communication. Whether in person or online, it’s still a relationship business.
The rule is this. “If the customer likes you and trusts you, the details will not get in the way of the sale. If the prospect however, is neutral toward you, or even worse, negative, the details will trip you up every step of the way.”
Build the relationship with great content, solve problems, answer questions. Be a thought leader in your business.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM
Take some time to see which platforms are best for your business and limit them based upon your time, money and resources.
Where do you customers reside on Social Media? Social Media platforms are changing constantly. Here are the top ones used today:
Facebook for example has tweaked their algorithm again. Reach has dropped to less than 2% of your followers. The message is clear, PAY TO PLAY! So if you don’t have the money for AD dollars than Facebook may not be the best place for you right now.
If your business is visual, then Pinterest might be the best place for you.
In the B2B space, then LinkedIn is considered the best social platform.
Video will shortly replace photos as the #1 engagement tool to use as a Social Media Marketer. So having a YouTube Channel might be the way to go.
Take some quiet time to assess where you are today with these platforms, and where you want to position you and your brand going forward. Be flexible to adapt and change.
SHARE AT THE BEST TIMES
There may not an exact best time to post, but data analytics firm SumAll found the optimum times to post on various platforms as follows:
- 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST for Google +
- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Twitter
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for Facebook
- 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for Tumblr
- 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Instagram
- 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Pinterest
You need to find out what works best for you and your brand. TEST, TEST, TEST…use analytics like Facebook insights to gage when your fans are most active on your page. Do be flexible enough to change, as Social Media changes all the time.
1. Determine your area of specialization, in customers, products or markets, and make a plan to become the best in that area.
2. Decide upon your area of excellence, your “unique selling proposition,” and organize all your marketing and sales efforts around it.
3. Segment your market and determine those prospects who can most benefit from what you do well, and who can buy and pay the most readily.
4. Focus and concentrate all your marketing and sales efforts on your very best prospective customers.
5. Position yourself in everything you say and do as the most credible and believable supplier of your product or service to your ideal customer.
6. Treat your customers as if they were the most important people in your business life, because they are.
7. Decide upon the improvements you are going to make immediately to sell and service your customers better than anyone else in your market.
8. Decide what social media platform or platforms work best to reach your targeted audience. Plan your strategy and tactics accordingly.
“The Golden Rule for every businessman is this: ‘Put yourself in your customer’s place.’” (Orison Swett Marden)
Be sure to check out our upcoming seminars.
SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR SERIES
1. Google My Business – Better Search Results in Google! [Sept. 17]
2. Tools & Apps for Business – Gain more hours. [Sept. 24]
3. YouTube & Video – Business Branding [Oct. 15]
4. Blogging – Generate leads & get new customers [Oct 29]
5. Twitter for Business – The fastest way to spread content [Nov. 11]
6. Facebook Ads – How to create, implement & gain sales [Nov. 19]
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, SEO, increase revenues, and raise more funds.