As a millennial entrepreneur, there are some try-and-test principles that are true regardless of the specific marketing channel you’re using. Whether it’s email, social media, or search engine optimization, marketing is marketing. Here is a working definition to keep in mind as you’re engaging with prospects, leads, and customers:
- “Marketing is that function of the organization that can keep in constant touch with the organization’s consumers, read their needs, develop products that meet these needs, and build a program of communications to express the organization’s purposes”. – Dr Philip Kotler (Kotler and Levy, 1969: p 15).
How exactly do we do this? Let’s look at the following 7 tips:
1. Understanding and Empathy
Treat your customers like your close friends. Talk with them and genuinely help them move from a place of pain and discomfort to a place of joy and happiness.
When you create a marketing piece—website, brochure, email, social post— use the information you learned from your friends to create a personalized empathetic 1-to-1 experience. Long gone are the days of outbound marketing when you scream and shout as loud as you can and hope people will come. You need to focus your efforts on one only, like a laser.
2. Highlight The Qualities That Make You Unique
Two people are not the same and the same goes for you and your vision. In your marketing pieces be sure to communicate your unique vision about how you see the world. What is it about your vision or business that is unique. I’m not talking about features here. Talk about your beliefs and why you decided to purse your dream, vision, or business. Hopefully, it’s not just to make money.
3. TAO—Track, Analyze, and Optimize
Once you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll have your own benchmark and records. Don’t worry too much about industry benchmark because there are way too many variable to consider and compare. Focus on you, your people, and your systems and aim a bit higher each quarter. Here is a formula for optimization:
Track—You should track all of your marketing efforts that are important to your business: email stats, web stats, event stats, social media stats. etc.
Analyze—Once you have data, sit down, review the numbers and ask: How have we performed in terms of our goals? Which channel/method yields the best returns? Which channel performed the worst.
Optimize— After your analysis, ask yourself, what can we do differently to achieve our goals more effectively. Pour more people in the top of funnel? Find ways to better engage leads?
4. Test New Ideas and Gut Feelings
When you have a hunch or new idea, build a small test. If that test succeeds, build a slightly larger test. If that succeeds, it’s probably going to succeed with most of your users. The idea here is not to go 100% into an idea you haven’t tested. If your small tests failed, it was in a controlled environment and with a small sample size. No worries.
5. Make Data Driven Decisions
Make decisions based on numbers, not your feelings. What you think or feel will be best for customers may not necessarily be the case. It’s important that when you make a decision, you have the numbers to back it up. Whenever a person says “I think” or “I feel,” that’s a sign stop. Check with the numbers first. The statement should be “Based on the numbers, we received more engagement here, so let’s do X.”
6. Offer Value
Every interaction with a prospect, lead, or customer should be a positive one. In your marketing communications, leave the person in a better state than when you encountered them. Don’t use this as a tactic, but a general mindset.
7. Continue to Innovate
Once you have a customer or someone has purchased your product, keep in contact with them. Continue to nurture them into a loyal friend, so they will speak your praises to others. If your product or service has upgrades, reach out to your customers and let them know what you’ve been working on.
Good luck with your marketing efforts and remember think of your customers as friends!
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