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Does Your Marketing Sell You?

Posted On - 03/04/2014 15:21:44

"The purpose of a business is to…"

The purpose of business is to create and retain customersThis isn't a trick. It's a definition from management guru Peter Drucker. I use it to understand where a business owner is coming from. People often answer it saying things like ‘make money' or ‘sell and fix computers'. Which is right? To answer, think cause and effect. If you think about it ‘making money' is an effect - a consequence of ‘selling and fixing computers'. So is that the purpose of a business? Well, … I'm not going to answer.

According to Drucker, the purpose of a business is to create and retain customers. Everything else serves this or is a consequence of it. So, while you may take great pride in your products and services, the very essence of business is attracting prospects. And that means you have to be great at marketing.

The point of marketing is to provoke a specific customer reaction

You're marketing to attract customers. You're marketing to get people to buy from you. You aren't marketing for people to look and say ‘oh that's nice', you're doing it to get them to do something.

Sure, you want people to enquire but that's the consequence of an action. So what is it? Call you? Email you? Visit your website? Fill out something and bring it to you? Pin your stuff on a pin-board? What do you actually want them to do? If your marketing doesn't ‘ask' you won't get. So purpose becomes a cornerstone of design.

Prospects awareness of you is sparked – or not - with the merest glance. In that instant you have to reach into their consciousness and get them to engage with your material. So it has to be super-efficient at getting over your message.

Streamline and devote your content entirely to rousing the response you want. The question is what – precisely - is that? Before you even consider images, graphics and text, be absolutely and specifically clear what you're ‘asking' people to do.

Your ‘ask' cues your design

Let's say you want prospects to call you. Let's say you want a website design that clearly suggests that. How? Before the images, graphics and text think about what you need to give them so they feel compelled to pick up the phone.

If you're looking for prospects to keep your leaflet your design must give them something they want to save.

If you want people to "fill out and bring in the form…" your design must give them clear reason to bother and a form that's easy to fill out.

So the reaction you want to prompt leads the content of your material. The process of design starts by picturing the mechanics of how your marketing will be read and used.

"Call now" demands the main offer appears first. "Keep this safe" demands information of value – a resource – is clearly explained. "Fill out and bring in the form" demands both an offer and the means to get it are starkly clear. Design starts with practicality. Think how yours will be made easy to follow.

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