By: Michael Cooney
“Wouldn’t you like prospective clients to be predisposed to buy from you?”
You run a marketing company.
A simple statement, isn't it? Yet this important marketing concept is probably the most ignored.
It’s actually a thought process, designed to move your thinking in a new direction. The physical manifestations of this change can be profound -- and highly profitable for you.
You've probably always thought of yourself in terms related to the product or service you sell, such as "I'm an auto dealer" or "I'm a jeweler" or "I own a computer store."
But if you don't see yourself as a marketing company first, your savvy competitors are stealing customers right from under your nose. The reality is that those who see their businesses as marketing companies, make more money. Lots more.
Marketing: A Frame of Mind
So, what do you do now? You just alter your reference point by a few degrees.
Instead of saying "I'm an auto dealer" you say to yourself "I run a marketing company. The products and services I market are new and used cars, financing programs, and auto service and repair."
Instead of saying "I'm a jeweler" you now say "I own a marketing company. The products and services I market are investment grade diamonds and gems, finished jewelry, jewelry repair and appraisal."
When you think of yourself as a marketing company first, you'll find your entire outlook changes. You'll begin analyzing your business decisions through the eyes of a marketer. And your products and services through the eyes of your clients.
You'll want to go all out to develop the products best suited to your customer's wants, offer an enjoyable buying experience, give the finest service and create the most compelling sales literature and sales approaches. That’s because you'll now understand that effective marketing really encompasses everything you do. In fact....
Marketing is not only your compelling sales literature. It is also the design and color of your stationery. The decor of your office or store. The way your salespeople dress. The way your receptionist answers the phone. The cleanliness of your guest lounge or restrooms.
It's the color and size and design of your sign out front. It's the humility and sincerity you show in handling customer complaints. It’s the dedication you have to fulfilling your guarantee or warrantee. It's the quality of your products and services. It's the design and text on your packaging. Plus anything else your clients can possibly pick up from you through their five senses. Or six! -- if you add "intuition".
Which Would You Choose?
Look at this example: Let’s say you moved to a new city and needed some car repairs. You visit two shops that happen to be across the street from each other.
One has paint peeling off the building. There’s dried grease covering the floor. Tools scattered everywhere. The potted plants are just about dead. The manager’s desk is covered six inches deep with crumpled repair orders, notes, and who knows what. The “technicians” are wearing old, torn t-shirts and greasy jeans. Two old “junkers” sit outside with a decade’s dirt and leaves on them. And on top of that, there’s acid rock blaring so loudly you wonder how anyone could concentrate.
The other shop is just the opposite. Clean building exterior with good paint. A neat manager’s office with the current day’s business on his desktop. Technicians wearing clean, pressed uniforms. Tools neatly arranged on work benches. And that floor! Almost clean enough to eat off of!
Through what you perceive, both shops are indeed marketing their services to you. It’s your choice -- where would you pull in? What attributes would you ascribe to each shop? In which shop would you feel more confidant? Where would you be dealt with more honestly? And where would your car get skilled, quality repairs?
As it happens, both shop owners are impeccably honest and equally skilled. But your decision is based on what you see. Your preference is strong. In effect, you have become predisposed to favor one over the other. Why? Could it be that one of these is just a repair shop, while the other is a marketing company?
Whether you acknowledge it or not, you, too, are in the marketing business. It’s been said many times that marketing is the engine that drives every business. That being the case, don’t you want a WHITE-HOT POWERHOUSE of an engine? Wouldn’t you like prospective clients to be predisposed to buy from you? It all begins with the ability to see your company as a marketing company.
Michael Cooney, co-founder, Global Development, a marketing and advertising consulting group