Building marketing strategy is about identifying your ideal client and being able to communicate how you’re different from the competition. And for many small business owners, creating an element of differentiation is very challenging. Where do you start?
The diagram below details a concept from Duct Tape Marketing known as The Marketing HourglassTM. The concept is similar to the sales funnel in that you have a large number of leads coming through the funnel at the top, then it narrows where you choke a few through and turn them into new clients. The concept of the hourglass is similar in that it too is wide at the top and you have a large number of leads coming into the process. And it also narrows as those prospects get to know, like and trust you, and ultimately, buy from you. But with the hourglass, the bottom portion gets wide again because the concept here is that we our clients buy again with the cross-sell or upgrade and then the very coveted referral.
The whole idea behind the hourglass is that you turn your leads into advocates for your business, and more or less, teach your business to market itself. And this is very possible if you start to build systems around any opportunity to ‘touch’ or communicate with your prospects and clients.
Without a client experience, the only thing your prospects can you compare you on is price. And that’s a never-ending downward spiral as there will always be someone willing to go out of business faster.
But how do you create a client experience? Start by looking at your web site and your marketing materials and then take a look at what your competitors are providing. Think about all the points of interface that can be part of the client experience. Take a look at where there are opportunities to deliver something that is a little bit different and might even give your prospects something to talk about.
For many businesses, an opportunity for differentiation exists around the points of continuous friction. Think about what people dislike about your industry and you may have something that can help to differentiate and create a much more engaging and interesting client experience. Just as important, think about what creates the greatest challenges for prospects to do business with you. These are the things that create occasions to build upon or create something unique.
Creating a memorable business just takes a little thought and determination but if you consider the various touch points in the Marketing Hourglass, you’ll be well on your way to building a client experience that will set you apart from the competition. For further ideas, you can check out the following ebook on building a remarkable customer experience.