FAQs: Marketing Strategy

marketing strategy FAQs
•  How Do You Motivate People to Buy?
•  Whose Job Is Marketing, Anyway?

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 How Do You Motivate People to Buy?

People aren't all that complicated really. We're motivated by two primary forces: want and fear. And those two forces are the keys to motivating people to act, including getting them to buy your product/service. It's no accident that advertisers use scantily clad models to sell perfume and ominous sounding voice-overs to suggest you don't want to delay calling. They're tapping into what they believe their target market wants or fears.

So how do you use this to motivate your target market? First, you have to define distinct groupings of people within your target market. And rather than using the traditional demographics, try segmenting your market into categories of what people want or fear that are related to your product/service. Then you can prioritize your list by what people most want or most fear. Viewing your market in this way will help you think about your product/service through your customers' eyes and help you formulate a message that taps into one of those primary motivators.

For example, let's say that you sell insurance. Rather than thinking about selling long-term care insurance (nothing sexy or compelling in that message!), think about why people might be motivated to buy. One group "wants" to plan ahead while another group may "fear" that they've waiting too long. And so you'll want to tap into those two groups with slightly different messages: one that reaches the "want" (e.g., planning for your future should include a long-term care plan) and another that reaches the "fear" (e.g., don't put off long-term care planning any longer). Then consider how you can utilize those messages to reach potential buyers (i.e., older customers aren't going to be as motivated by the financial aspect as they will be by the fear that they can't delay any longer).

If you begin to view your products/services through the eyes of customers, what their specific want/fear motivators might be, then you can tap into their own motivation with a message that resonates on an emotional level and encourages them to buy. People join a health club because of what they want (e.g., feel better, look better, fit into their swimsuit) or because of what they fear (e.g., health problems, unable to keep up with the grandkids). And while your business may not be as clear-cut as why someone might join a gym, people are still primarily motivated to spend money based on what they want or fear. Your challenge is to step into their shoes to see what the want/fear aspects of your products/services are so that you can tap into that motivation.

 Whose Job Is Marketing, Anyway?

Your company may have a marketing manager, an entire marketing department or maybe you're wearing all the hats as a small business owner. No matter the size of your company or how many (or few) people you have dedicated to marketing, one of the best things you can do to strengthen your marketing efforts is to empower every employee with the idea that marketing is everyone's job. If this is a new idea for your organization, prepare for the inevitable grumbling and push-back (e.g., not my job, I don't know anything about marketing, etc.). But stick with it because even the most skeptical among your employees can be swayed.

When employees come in contact with customers, they're constantly learning things that will help you improve your products/services and do a better job of marketing to potential customers. Employees just need to put on their "marketing hats" in those moments, learn to think like a business owner and take ownership of the fact that they have an important role to play in growing your business.

That's not to say that all of a sudden, as if by magic, your employees will know how to put on their "marketing hats." They'll require some training to know what to watch for and what types of probing questions to ask. You'll also need to develop an internal feedback process that can be easily implemented since your new marketers do still have a primary job unrelated to marketing. It can be as simple as recording any feedback they're getting from customers to arming them with suggested follow-up questions. What's important is that the process be easy to implement so that insights gained from any and every customer interaction will have a more formalized way to reach the decision makers in your organization.


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