Once upon a time there was a hard-working laborer who worked in a big plant. Part of his job every day was to open the valve on a particular pipeline first thing in the morning. It wasn’t easy because sometimes the valve would stick. It took time that he could have spent doing something else, but he kept at it.
One day the plant supervisor saw him cranking the big wheel on the valve and asked him, “Joe, why are you doing that?” A bit surprised, Joe replied, “It’s part of my job description. I do this every morning.” The supervisor shook his head and said, “But Joe, we disconnected that pipe two years ago!”
Sometimes marketing can be a little bit like that. We keep doing certain activities because they are part of our job description. We’ve always done them and the person in the position before us did them. And we never stop to ask why we’re doing them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s writing direct mail copy, or designing a direct mail piece, ordering a list, creating and sending emails, or creating new content for our website. We just keep plugging away—cranking that wheel. And we don’t think about why we’re doing it.
At TMR Direct we engage in all of those activities—both for ourselves and for our customers. But we don’t just do these things to be doing them. Whether we’re marketing our services or helping clients market their goods and services, we are very intentional. And we try to make sure our customers are as well. Why do we do what we do (and why do we help clients do the same thing)? Here are a few of our intentions:
We’re trying to attract potential prospects
No company survives for long without bringing in new prospects. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. You need to keep bringing new customers in. The more qualified those leads are, the better. So we constatntly have that in the back of our minds. Will this activity help us reach new prospects?
We attempt to build credibility and trust
People want to do business with people they trust. And people prefer doing business with experts—someone who knows what he or she is doing. We want our marketing efforts to convey that we (or our clients) know the industry.
We identify problems
Everyone has problems that they struggle with. If we (or you) can demonstrate that we understand those problems, we often get a hearing. People are relieved to find out that someone understands what they are struggling with. It doesn’t have to be a personal problem. It could be a business problem. Think about how it feels when someone says, “I know exactly how you feel!”—and then demonstrates that they actually do “get it”. Our marketing efforts attempt to demonstrate that we (or our clients) really do “get it.”
We focus on benefits
Our clients probably don’t care all that much about what kind of equipment we use for direct mail, printing, or website design. What they want to know is how what we do can help make their life better. We encourage our clients to do the same thing with their clients. Marketing isn’t about extolling the features of your products or services—it’s about showing people how you can help them.
We try to break down barriers
People will almost always have objections that can potentially keep them from doing business with you. When we do marketing, part of our goal is to eliminate those objections. The way to do that is not to cover them up, but to identify them and address them. For instance, someone might balk at the cost of doing a direct mail campaign. It’s a legitimate barrier to doing business. But we try to help customers understand that while there is a price involved (direct mail does cost money), what they’re really doing is making an investment in their business (Click here for a helpful post that goes into more detail).
Is your marketing intentional? Are you attracting prospects? Are you building trust and credibility? Are you identifying potential customers’ pain points and pointing out the benefits of working with you? Are you breaking down barriers?
Or are you just cranking the wheel on a pipe that was disconnected long ago?