It’s fascinating how a simple change of language can completely alter your perspective on something. In a meeting with David Tovey from Principled Selling, we were looking at stages in the buying decision and discussing which parts are marketing, which sales, and which customer service.
To my mind, marketing is the act of taking your products and services to market, and is therefore the umbrella term for the joined-up whole. However, I conceded that most people see marketing as filling the top end of a sales funnel. The awareness and lead generation bit. Then David said something brilliant. He said, “we don’t call it marketing; we call it motivating” — and he is spot on!
Use the word marketing and many people think of fluffy branding activity or expensive awareness campaigns. Many of which seem to have little link to an actual sale at the end of the day. But, if you switch the word to talk about how you’re going to motivate potential buyers to want to talk to you, and then to want to buy from you, and then to want to keep buying from you; then the purpose of the activity becomes clear. The purpose is to help them.
The most motivating thing of all is to be genuinely helpful. If you can help your potential buyer to achieve something that’s on their list, then you’re on to a winner. So, think about the steps in a buying decision and think about ways to be helpful…
- If they’re scoping a project, think about a blog or paper that helps them to prepare a project brief.
- If they’re choosing between suppliers, think about providing a scorecard of key criteria against which to assess potential suppliers.
- If they’re teetering on the edge of a decision, find a way of letting them try before they buy with a trial or gateway product.
So, ask yourself if what you’re putting out there is helpful? If the answer is yes, then it’s likely to be motivating.
And, that’s good marketing.
Bryony Thomas is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and a marketing consultant, speaker, and author. Her first book – Watertight Marketing – will be available Summer 2012. This blog originally appeared here.