It seems pretty fundamental and obvious: without buyers, you don’t have a business.
And without knowing your market, your clients and customers, you can’t serve them well or offer valuable products.
Yet, businesses continue to act as if it’s not true or important — especially in their marketing.
You see this when marketers elevate one particular approach over another, supposedly heralding and ushering in the New Age of Marketing.
You can spot it when marketers are still talking about their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and differentiating themselves.
It’s painfully obvious when marketers take it upon themselves to declare any tactic or strategy “dead”.
It’s downright harmful when marketers remove metrics, data, and ROI from the discussion and only focus on “Likes”, tweets, and comments on a blog.
This is how you fail in business and marketing.
This is how you blog, tweet, and like yourself out of business, fast.
Obviously, content marketing and social signals are an important part of your online marketing, so they’re not the problem.
Do you know what the real problem is here?
The Problem Is That Your Marketing Is Still Focused On Your Product, Not On Your Buyers
And that doesn’t make much sense, does it?
You figure articles, blogs, videos, images, audio — all forms of content marketing — will do the trick, right?
But did you ever stop to consider that your true Buyers, those 20% that stand for the proverbial 80% of your revenue, even care or spend time consuming content?
And if they do, do they read more than watch, listen more than view? Do they care about your “Top 10 Tips” lists, or are you completely missing the mark?
You send out cold emails in frenzied attempts of pitching your product to whoever finds your subject line intriguing — but your Buyers would rather read a few whitepapers before they ever hear from you.
Any Business Can Peddle Their Products To Anyone, But Very Few Are Relevant
If you spend time here, you’ll quickly realize a few things:
It doesn’t matter whether you use “inbound” or “outbound” marketing — what matters is if you’re engaging with the right buyers in the right way, at the right time.
You can attract, convert, and retain plenty of clients and customers without ever blogging a single word, or cold calling anyone.
I want you to remember two words that has the potential to alter the way you market:
If you stick with these two as your fundamental criteria for how you market, you’ll be able to use and leverage the right marketing strategies and tactics that has the most impact.
Marketing used to be, and still is for many, all about finding the best ways to promote a particular product or service.
That’s why you have the concept of slogans, taglines, USPs, and so on — all devices used to further the agenda of product-centric marketing.
The Product was the Hero, the Holy Grail of your business.
If you only had the right Product, you’d win.
And you need to promote that Product in the most profitable way you can come up with.
So, the whole marketing industry comes up with terminology and models to help them.
These models are, for the most part, good. They get the job done. But it quickly becomes an echo-chamber, where marketers trade terms and concepts, more so than actually figuring out marketing that’s relevant.
That’s why you see every marketer pushing content marketing, “inbound”, and more concepts that only exist inside the mind of marketers, but they never ask if their buyers really care what you call it?
Rarely, if ever.
In the same way that Lean Startup methodology and Agile Development has transformed startups and businesses with it’s focus on Customer Development, MVPs, and iteration, your marketing will only be effective if it’s Buyer-centric and adaptive.
We need to ask ourselves one fundamental question:
Is Your Marketing Relevant To Your Ideal Buyers?
Are you actually using marketing strategies and tactics that your Buyers connect with?
Do you have the right tools in place to continuously measure, track, and learn what works and what doesn’t?
Is your Value Proposition aligned with your markets’ needs, desires, problems, and pains?
Do you have Buyer Personas that are refreshed and updated as you learn more about your market?
You can only tell from the results you’re getting, or lack thereof.
Your #1 Unfair Marketing Advantage Comes From Interacting With You Market And Buyers — Continuously.