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There is a revelation that is shocking and, quite frankly, scary. A dangerous and potentially fatal mistake is being made everyday in businesses. The mistake is the confusion between strategy and tactics. Strategy is your overall goal for your business and your overall marketing philosophy to achieve those goals. Tactics are executable actions you take to achieve those options. The good news is that once you have clarity about your strategy, and then apply emotional direct response marketing methods, you can create a continual stream of customers to your business. The scary part is that it is as easy as flipping on a light switch, and yet very few people know and understand the simple secrets to make this happen.
Your business is actually comprised of two businesses: the people business and the marketing business. You can be great with your people skills and handling of customers, but if you don’t have the customers to be great with, it won’t matter. Lead generation equals dollar creation. You live and die by the success or failure of your marketing efforts to create new customers and retain existing ones.
There are three simple things you can do immediately to make a dramatic impact on your customer flow and sales: Market, Message and Media
Step One – Define who your market is.
If you were asked who your average customer is, do you really know? Do you know where they live, what they do for a living and what their hopes, dreams and fears are? Have you begun to break down every element of what makes up your best potential market of customers? Many dealerships open the doors every day and spend tons of money to drive customers through the door without ever giving extensive thought to who their market really is. Successful businesses don’t try to do business with everybody. If you believe your market is everyone, you are wasting tons of money. You must match your message to your market. The more accurately you define your message while also narrowing your market and niche, the more success you have. You also greatly increase your return on investment.
Step Two - Define an effective message.
Remember that you are not in the car business. You are in the emotions business. Your customers don’t buy cars. What they are doing is seeking to emotionally solve their perceived problems. If you believe you are in the car business, you have just grouped yourself into a fishbowl with every car dealership and every sales person in the world. You can immediately differentiate yourself by creating an SDP (Specific Defining Proposition) built upon emotional pull.
In other words, what does your business do better, more of or more originally than any other business in the world? Begin to tell your story. Facts tell; stories sell. You may not have spent enough time figuring out what your story is that positions and sells you. If you don’t believe you or your business is better or unique, I would argue that you are wrong, and you should do more work on figuring it out. If, after careful consideration, you still don’t believe you are better or unique in any way, the good news is that it probably doesn’t even matter. Since most people or businesses never tell their story, you will automatically differentiate yourself and stand out if you do. There are three legs that must be established to create a winning marketing approach to your business: Message, Market and Media. You have now created the second of three legs that builds your business – the message.
Make sure that all of your marketing messages contain the following: an emotional story, a specific and incredible offer, a strong sense of urgency with a specific call to action, multiple ways to respond and, if possible, a specific deadline that creates a real or perceived fear of loss for a lack of action by that date.
Step Three – Define your media strategy.
Be forewarned, advertising agencies are usually nothing more than commissioned based media sales agents. The focus of the majority of advertising agents is to place the largest amount of money possible in media. This is a recipe for waste and lackluster results. Although there are technically no bad media selections, you must define which medium is best for your market and message. If you can’t dominate a medium, can you dominate the way you use the medium (for example, infomercial versus regular TV)?
A huge mistake would be to believe that the medium itself is what gets you the results. A good example of this is a dealership that chooses a particular medium, such as radio or TV, as their favorite and then places tons of ads that are strictly brand-based messages. For dealerships, branding should always be of secondary importance to the actual direct response offer. The best way for a dealership to build a brand is to sell a bunch of vehicles. Unless you are Budweiser, Coca-Cola or some other huge brand with tons of money, spending money on brand-based advertising is like pouring money down the drain. You are in the business of creating customers and profit, not in the ego-inflation business.
When you get very clear about your strategy and tactics and use emotional direct-response marketing to achieve your goals, you will have flipped on the switch to a continual flow of customers and sales.