It took me 8 years to get through a 5-year degree. Not proud of it, but geez I had some fun while doing it. Failed my second year at Uni, took the next two years off (worked, travelled, partied, met my now wife) and finally went back into second year when I should have been going into fifth year. Safe to say I was old for my class.
I knuckled down, studied hard and finally graduated with honours! Yeah, I was a rocket scientist (with my aerospace engineering degree). So, then what did I do? I started my own business that has absolutely nothing to do with engineering. Crazy how life evolves without you really planning it sometimes.
Now, 17 years later and never working for somebody else, I sometimes look back and think ‘what a waste of time those 8 years were’, but then I also look at what we do and how we do things, and I get goose bumps about how important it is to have an engineering mindset brought to a marketing discipline.
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you a few nuggets of gold of what 25 years of my life has taught me about great marketing (wow that’s la quarter of a century!)
4 Secret Herbs and Spices to Marketing Success
1. Compound Interest really is the eighth wonder of the world
Albert Einstein is credited with the above saying (or something very similar to it) and whilst is often applied to finance and money, it is equally applicable to Marketing. It’s the compounding of many small improvements and gains that multiply and compound over time which make a massive difference.
Let’s say we are selling 100 widgets per month today:
|Marketing/Sales Function||Growth of Sales|
|4% More People Find out about your business||4%||4%|
|Your website converts 3% better||3%||7%|
|We nurture leads 4% better||4%||11%|
|Sales Team converts 5% better||5%||16%|
|You sell 3% more to existing client base||3%||20%|
As you can see, with little improvements of a couple of % across the full marketing and sales function, we’ve increased revenue by 20%.
“The mission is not to increase revenue by 20%, the mission is to find the small improvements that over time will compound into 20%+”
– Ben Hirons (Yes, I’ve just quoted myself again!)
2. It’s all about cadence people!
Your cadence is one of the most powerful forces in the marketing universe. And by cadence we are talking about doing the work over and over and over again. It becomes an ingrained habit for the business that has its own muscle memory and is done time and time and time again.
We are referring to a few things when we talk about cadence:
- We will do our tasks every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade. We will produce that blog article every week, we will shoot that video every month, we will optimise our google ads campaign every fortnight. We will send an EDM every month, you get the gist.
- We will show up every day, we will show up every week, we will show up every month. They say showing up is half the battle, and so you need to show up with the regular cadence. We will communicate with our customers, we will communicate with our leads, we will communicate with the wider community.
- We will communicate the same messages, every day, of every week, of every month. We will communicate the same messages, the same information, the same ideas. People aren’t you; it took you 10-20 years to know what you know. Your target audience is going to take a long time to learn what you know, so keep showing up with the same messages and the right cadence.
Very few businesses have the cadence (and hence stamina) that drives marketing success. If you get this right, your well on your way to glory.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”
3. What the hell is ‘IKIGAI’?
I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar last year (thanks EO Brisbane) that introduced me to the Japanese term ‘Ikigai’, which basically translates into ‘reason for being’. Its easiest to understand when you view it in the diagram below:
Your marketing strategy is all about your Ikigai, both as a person and as a business. Everything you market, communicate and promote must fall within these spheres. It is the very essence of your business and your marketing must reek of it.
“People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it”
– Simon Sinek
You need to market your why!
It’s not features or benefits, it’s not products or services. It’s the change you want to make to the world, the growth, the improvements – the change your business is going to produce in making my life better.
“It takes the complex and makes is simple. It takes the simple and makes it compelling”
4. Did somebody say ‘Value’?
Your mission Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to add value to me, your target audience. How successful your business is is all based on how much value you are adding to me, the customer (and potential customer).
And it’s not what you think is the value….
It’s what me, the customer, thinks is value. Far too often what we think is the value customer’s need, is not the value they are prepared to pay for (or need or want)
The more value you add to me…
The more money I will pay you. It’s a pretty simple concept right. The more I will like you, the more I will buy from you, the more I will use your products and services.
The more I will tell other people to use your services
Boom! The wholly grail of business growth, each customer brings another customer, who brings another customer. And you have created your tribe. Because they value what you do and how you do it!
Your business should grow on word of mouth alone
If your business isn’t growing on word of mouth alone, then you have a clear identified issue that you aren’t adding enough value. You should be adding so much value to potential customers that they are queuing at the door to pay you money.
Here are some ways to add more value:
- Give things away for free! That’s lots of value you can just throw it all out there
- Nurture leads into customers with great content that adds value
- Continually add more and more value to your existing clients so they become clients for life
- Your customers will become your marketing force because they are so happy!
“You will get everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough people in life get what they want”
– Zig Ziglar