Marketing is Education

differentiation, education, Marketing, messaging, Positioning, Trust

Jay Abrahamone of the most respected marketing strategists, has one of the pillars of his Marketing Parthenon – education of customers.

An informed customer makes better decisions, and generally in your favor.

The bigger reason why education helps is that it goes below the radar of the prospects. Most prospects have their antennae always looking out to see if someone is trying to sell them something. The moment they sense that, they bring up their barriers to hearing about what you want to say.

When they see that you are doing selfless education, they hear you. Once they keep getting educated on a continuous basis, they start trusting you. If you show them proof of how you have helped others then the trust grows even stronger. You position your company differently.

During this process when you start introducing your product in a non-intrusive manner then subconsciously the prospects start gravitating towards you and if they have a need which your product can fill, then by default they will choose your brand because you have built the trust.

When there’s trust, factors like pricing etc. take a back seat. Your competitors will be compared to what you offer, not the other way around. Your competitors won’t even realize what hit them.

The other advantage of educating people is that then they come to you for advice, they list their challenges. Using these inputs you can further refine your product and make it more valuable in the eyes of the customers.

Till next time then keep educating your prospective customers.

Carpe Diem!!!

Personal differentiation- what’s the Value, You get to the table

differentiation, differentiation, Habits, Positioning, Sales

In any relationship and more so in sales, it’s the value that you bring to the other side which makes people want to be connected to you.

When you are doing marketing, the agenda is to create a relationship between the company’s product and the customer. But when you are in sales, it is all about the personal brand of YOU.

That brand of You gets created with the Value you bring to the table specifically. If the prospect does not find you knowledgeable on different aspects of his business and requirements, he will consider you a waste of time. So even though you may have the best product or service in the market, they will not buy from You.

As a sales person today, its table stakes to get to know about the person you’re meeting, about their business, industry challenges, regulations etc.

You also need to be able to challenge the assumptions that the customer is making and showcase the same to them. Most professional customers today like to interact with equals. When you create a differentiation with Value, you become the trusted advisor. That’s how you also improve your personal “positioning” in the market.

Gone are the days when salesmen could just wing a conversation about the weather, the photo frame in the customer’s office etc.

Its getting more and more difficult to get an appointment with a customer for a meeting these days. Get better prepared, figure out Why should the customer even talk to you. That “Why” will then help you create your Value.

Till next time then, create your own differentiation with the Value you bring to the table.

Carpe Diem!!

Prioritizing the top 3 or 4 – Product Management

Assumptions, B2B, differentiation, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, Marketing Stamina, messaging, prioritizing, Product Management, segmentation, single target market

Last week I put up a post in which I highlighted the top issues that we need to focus on when looking at the product management in a technology environment. Product Management being a subset of marketing, some of the core items remain the same. However the focus changes a little. In my opinion, B2B technology buying needs to prioritize as follows:

  1. Understanding the ecosystem for technology adoption
  2. Getting footfalls (incase of a store) or hits on your website or people coming to your webinar
  3. Cost of various media to get you the traffic
  4. Cost of converting the footfall into a buying public

Perry Marshall calls items 2-4 as Traffic, Conversion and Economics. The reason I put the ecosystem first is because there’s a huge dependency on the existing infrastructure for the technology to be adopted. Most technology products that fail are because the ecosystem did not exist for the adoption.

Since 80/20 is fractal within each of these there’s a further 80/20 which exists. So within each database/list, there could be about 20% who would respond 80% of the times or even within the ecosystem there could be a 4% which accounts for the 64% of the ecosystem dependency.

If you are able to identify the few challenges in the ecosystem that you will face which can have a major impact on the success of your product, addressing them will ease your product launch or product entry or penetration dramatically. Its the small hinges which move doors in all areas.

Till next time then

Carpe Diem!!!

Prioritizing top 2 or 3 – challenges -2

differentiation, execution, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, Methodologies, prioritizing, Product Management, route to market, segmentation, single target market

Yesterday I wrote about the issues which come up in prioritizing the top 2 or 3 for me, in my day-to-day life. This post will talk about the top 3 things in marketing that you need to address and the challenges which come up in real life situations because of revenue pressures.

In marketing if you summarize the issues with respect to lead generation or getting business then they would be

  1. Getting footfalls (incase of a store) or hits on your website or people coming to your webinar
  2. Cost of various media to get you the traffic
  3. Cost of converting the footfall into a buying public

Perry Marshall calls this the Traffic, Economics, Conversion combination. Within each of these three you can do a prioritization of the next top 3. Like I mentioned earlier 80/20 is fractal, so there’s always an 80/20 within an 80/20 forever, you just need to identify it. That will help you dramatically. I am amazed the amount of leverage I keep getting once I recognize the 80/20 in anything. Like I have been saying – small hinges move large doors.

Now something outside this equation is Reference customers. I would like to put this in category of itself, provided you already have a running business, because this can change the game in your favor dramatically.

Now every marketer would understand the things which I have listed above. But what happens is that there is pressure from sales for leads and while you start testing one item and things are not working out, you start analysing all the issues. In the meanwhile because there’s a pressure on revenue you try something in the short term to boost the revenues and the spiral starts and things go out of control.

During this time someone from delivery comes up with another product and sales being sales, they always want new products to take to the market and suddenly you are being pushed to launch the new product in the market.

The companies who do good in marketing are the ones who ensure that they don’t mess up the prioritization, focus on it to keep things running smoothly and then look at new product launches or sales pressures. Chances are if you have a system than the system will incorporate the failures that can take place and have a place to learn from them.

Master these priorities and you could be way ahead in your marketing.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!