The world of marketing both offline and online is changing at a rapid pace. For starters, they are melding, and it’s often difficult to tell if a business is truly an offline business or online business.
Regardless of the changes in technology, the abundance of information and advertising overload has placed a new dimension of skepticism in the market. People, more than ever, do not want to feel like they are being sold.
So how does a savvy marketer or small business owner overcome these new challenges to the market?
For years, marketers have used the FREE OFFER technique to entice their target market to fork over their precious information such as name, email, address, phone, etc. Let me assure you, this tactic is still alive and works very well. It is not be neglected.
Today’s consumer whether B2B or B2C is requiring far more than a simple free report. They require a deeper knowledge of the provider of such a report. They want to know you who you are and why you are worthy of their ear. The best strategy for marketers, sales professionals or business owners in these swirling times is to Be a Gift to Your Market. Don’t just offer a gift, be one. The knowledge and problem solving capabilities that you have within you is what your market is truly hungry for. It’s time you allow your market to see behind the curtain and see the wizard in action.
So, how do I Be a Gift to My Market?
Thanks for asking. I call it “Value First Marketing.” The only way to truly be a gift to your market is to continuously offer them helpful information that let’s them know you are on their side and fighting with them in their daily battles. To do this you must commit to a strategy of both development and delivery of the content. Here’s a basic strategy that will help:
1. Find out what you’re market is struggling with: There are many ways to do this but the simplest is to sit down and conduct an old fashioned focus group. These days, focus groups can be done on location, online or via teleconference. Social Media has provided grand opportunities to establish groups for this exact purpose. Industry forums are another great source to either participate or simply be voyeur to collect your data.
Either way, have a load of questions and gather information directly from your target market instead of assuming you know what they want & need.
2. Develop simple solutions to their problems: Most problems are not complicated and can easily be solved with some out of the box thinking and applying pressure in the right spots of a business. If you don’t have the answers, seek them out. Do the research that your market is unwilling or unable to perform. It’s not as if they could not figure it out, they are just steeped in the everyday grind of running their business. They won’t figure it out, but you can do it for them.
3. Deliver the information in easily managed ways: Several options are webinars, teleseminars, blog posts, video interview, audio interviews, downloadable files such as mp3, pdf, or spreadsheets depending on the topic.
Again, a great tactic is to find an expert in the field where their problem grows and do an interview. The expert gets exposure and props for their knowledge and you get a big thanks for being the provider of such great value.
Being a gift to your market is the best way of winning your target market’s trust and loyalty in these cynical times. Keep in mind, a one time free offer is still a great way to get noticed and earn at least one additional communication. Providing ongoing, value to your market will earn you the right to ask for the sale.