You Don’t Need a Perfect Marketing Plan

Today I want to talk to you about marketing plans. You may think you need the perfect marketing plan, but I’m here to tell you – you don’t. What you need is a good offer that appeals to a specific type of person. Let’s put ourselves in the role of a customer for a minute in a real life situation. For example, if your sink’s clogged and you think you think need a plumber. A website that offers a 20% discount for first time customers would probably catch your attention, even if the design of their website looked a bit dated.

Think about it. If you were looking for a local plumber, the most import things would be price, availability and of course – the ability to get the job done.

Now, if you were looking at a diet program, what type of marketing would attract you? How about a make money from home program?

Going in, you already know that programs like these may not work for you. In fact, dieting programs and make money programs come and go – often leaving a bad taste in the mouths of those who’ve invested in them.

That brings us back to the good offer principle. Few people want to invest money in something unless they feel almost certain that the end benefit they’re after is attainable.

Think about it. If you’re overweight and feel terrible about the way you look, but you have the opportunity to try a program for a very small investment with the guarantee that you’ll see results – you’ll probably try it. Here’s the thing, we don’t invest in things we don’t believe in and over time, we learn from experience that most products and services don’t deliver the results we thought they would.

Once you find something that delivers according to your expectations, however, you stick with it – all things being equal.

This is all part of building a better web presence because trust is a big issue these days. We are less trusting overall today than perhaps at any other point in modern history. We don’t trust and for good reason. People, products, services – all these things as a whole are not as reliable as they once were. At least, that’s the opinion shared by many. So a good offer is really just an entry point for people to connect with you. It’s not a full blown marketing plan. It doesn’t need to be complicated and have lots of moving parts to be effective. That’s something most people don’t realize.

When I started my own business back in the late 1990s, it wasn’t what I said that spread my reputation as much as what I did. I quickly found that being reliable was a critical component in my business.

When we talk about building a better web presence, some people think about having a lot of followers or subscribers in multiple places. Or, maybe having a certain type of look or design with their website, logo and so forth.  But put yourself in the shoes of a customer. When was the last time you were sold by a logo? Keep in mind, I’m not talking about graphic designers or people selling similar services.

I’m talking about you looking to buy a product or service that’s not related to solving a design problem or issue.

A lot of people are now reading through product reviews posted by others. I do this before buying computers, gadgets, books and other things. You feel better informed knowing about the experiences of others and how they felt about a particular product or service.

Just the other week, I was reading through some local restaurant reviews. I noticed a few bad reviews about a local restaurant. A few reviews said the atmosphere was too noisy. That’s understandable. Some people prefer a place that’s more quiet or intimate as far as the surroundings go. Now, if 20 people said the same thing… maybe I’d think twice about going there. Especially if I wanted to go with friends and have a conversation.

If I was the type of person who like a lot of activity, however, the “noise reference” would probably be interpreted completely differently. Some people prefer a lively, active atmosphere – just like some people prefer the city over the country.

So what we’re talking about here is real life and how people evaluate things. Oftentimes, when you look at marketing plans as they’re presented in books and online courses, you’ll find there’s a disconnect between what’s being taught and your ability to apply it in a practical way to what you’re trying to accomplish.

For example, a hairstylist may find it hard to articulate her “USP” – or what marketers call the unique selling position or unique selling proposition. In short, it’s what makes you different from the competition.

Sometimes being good and being reliable is good enough. In other words, if most people aren’t reliable… being good just isn’t enough.

Sure, an advertisement can help people find you faster, but people are growing ad-blind by increasing numbers. Not only that, they view the ads through the glasses of skepticism.

The old principle of people doing business with those they know like and trust was as true today as it was hundreds of years ago.

Hopefully you don’t need to pay a consultant $500 an hour to tell you that.

I say all things because I’ve studied marketing, SEO and website development in depth for the past 17 years. If you’re the owner of the burger palace and you make a lousy, greasy hamburger… having world class publicity and marketing behind you isn’t going be enough to retain customers. It may get them in the door the first time, but it won’t keep them coming back for more.

Isn’t that right?

So before you put all your energy into developing a new and improved marketing plan, take some time to examine your product and your process – up close and personal.

Is there something you can be doing a little better? Maybe a little faster or a little more consistent?

Maybe as an individual you’re doing a little too much or spreading yourself too thin and it’s having a negative affect somewhere along the line? Thinking that it costs too much to hire someone to help you may already be costing you in ways you don’t realize.

If you were back in your school days and people had to assign a grade to your product or service – what type of grade do you think they would give you? Unless it’s an A, the next competitor who comes along may give them a reason to consider making a change in the not too distant future.

They say actors are only as good as their last movie.
Athletes are only as good as their last game.
The restaurants you frequent are only as good as the last meal they served you.

Isn’t that true? So why would it be any different with how customers perceive you and your offerings?

Even if you have loyal clients who you’ve known for years. A few bad “months” can erase all of that faster than you’d think.

So I’ve given you some things to think about. I hope it helps you. If you’d like more of this kind of information, subscribe to my mailing list using the form below. Thanks for listening to the Building a Better Web Presence podcast and I’ll talk to you soon.

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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