small biz marketing success

The 3M’s of Small Biz Marketing Success

The Three “M’s” of Small Biz Marketing Success

The next time you set-out to create a successful ad, post card, or even if you decide to cold prospect (or the next time you’re perplexed as to why your wonderful promotion didn’t work), think about these three ingredients…

#1: Select the Right MARKET

It sounds rather obvious, but most small business owners fail with their marketing right here – they fail to target the “hungry crowd“… people who are “right now” facing a problem about what you do, and are motivated and interested in what you may be offering. What do I mean by “market”? A “market” is a group of people who share a common demographic (statistical description, such as location, occupation, income, etc.) or psychographic (beliefs). Your goal is to select a market that has an immediate, pressing desire for your services. Want an example?

About 6 months ago a dentist called me because he had been marketing to a “wealthy zip code” for over 9 months, and his efforts produced zero calls or new patients. When I asked him to look at who his current patients are and where they lived, he noticed that only 2 patients had come from that wealthy zip code over the past year! He had been fishing in an empty pond. I then told him to select 5 decent markets in his area based on casual knowledge, and using his database of current patients, to analyze what zip code(s) the most patients came from, the average patient value, average time patient stays, # of dominant/competing dentists in the area and a few other statistics.

By comparing 5 markets based on these criteria, all of a sudden one of the areas stuck out as a higher-potential market than the others – an area where his patients lived, they stayed a patient for a long time, referred other patients, had the highest patient lifetime value, and fewer competing practices, etc. And these patients in this zip code spent more on cosmetic procedures, which is where the majority of this dentist’s profitability came from. Within 30 days working this specific market he got 10 new patients, and is now making a small fortune from his farming efforts.

So how do you find hot markets? How do you find the well-stocked ponds that will produce consistent business for you, year-in and year-out? The secret is to pay attention to where the dominant activity exists for what you specialize in selling. Between your database and a trusty Excel spreadsheet, the answers are right at your fingertips. But you want to know the one “market” that will out-perform anything else as much as 16 to 1?

It’s your “Power List”…your list of past customers, friends, family and acquaintances. If you’ve been in business a while, you probably already have a nicely stocked pond of fish . . . I mean customers, clients, and patients. Look at where your current business comes from and you’ll probably get some big “ah ha” moments. Don’t be surprised if you find that 80% of your revenue and/or profit comes from 20% of your customers, clients and patients.

You don’t need a big pond to be a successful small business owner. You just need to find the fish for whom you can provide a specific solution. And when you get it right, you are the “big fish” – the other fish will be attracted to you and want to “be in your school” because you’re “being something for someone.” You’re providing a specific solution to a specific market. To sum up this first “M”… go where the pond is stocked from the beginning, and your odds of success will be much greater when you cast your line. Let’s move on to the second “M”…

#2: Create the Right MESSAGE

All of your advertising, mailings or any other marketing should have one and only one objective: Motivate prospects to CALL YOU, VISIT YOU, or HIRE YOUR SERVICES! If they don’t call, visit, or hire you, you’ve wasted your money. But most small business owners believe that, if they throw up their logo with a “call for more information” they’ve done the job. Or running a “10% off coupon” to drive traffic. Wrong! I share tons of free content on this blog to motivate prospects to call you, but here’s a quick 4-point checklist that will almost instantly improve the success of all your marketing.

  • Capture Attention with a Benefit-Rich Headline and Lead. Your headline is your “ad” for your ad or letter or even your sales presentation – no it’s not your name or your big company logo. It’s the specific call-out message that causes your reader or listener to stop and take notice, just like a headline in a newspaper article works. Your “lead” is what you say in the first 5 seconds that captures the attention of your reader and motivates them to read on.
  • Stimulate Interest by Harmonizing with Your Prospect. How do you get people interested in you? By talking about the problems they face and the desires they seek. It’s not about you; it’s about them! When you connect with your prospect and empathize with their situation (their immediate fears and desires), you instantly capture their interest and open their minds to be willing to listen to your solutions.
  • Create Desire by Matching Your Services Perfectly to Their Fears and Desires. When you demonstrate how your services solve problems or deliver benefits for your prospects and clients better than any other option – in a way that’s risk-free for them – you automatically make yourself a stand-out choice for their business. The art of persuasion is simply matching your solution perfectly to the problems and desires your prospect faces.
  • Stimulate Action with an Irresistible Offer and Call to Action. Remember this: No one will call you without a self-serving, almost irresistible reason for calling. So you need to give prospects reasons to call. For lead generation, offer special reports, preferred deals and other “magnets” that will motivate people to seek you out. List out all the “things” you will DO for them, and make an offer that will have them saying, “we’d have to be fools to pass this up!” If you don’t include an offer, combined with an urgent call to action, chances are your prospects are going to procrastinate. And procrastination in every business means an empty checkbook!

And the final “M” is this…

#3: Select the Right MEDIA

Once you’ve found your market(s), the next question you should ask yourself is: “Where does my target market get information that’s important to them?”

The secret is to tap into the lines of communication and information that your market already finds credible and helpful. Most small business owners are seduced into finding mediums (Facebook, magazines, newspapers, etc.) based on “where a lot of eyeballs are”, but that’s a BIG mistake because you’re going to pay for exposure to people who have no interest in your services – it’s called “waste circulation” and it’s very costly.

Find a media that reaches your targeted prospect and only your targeted prospect. You might choose to use direct mail after performing an analysis like the example above. I did this in my coffee & smoothie business because it was costing me almost $3.00/click – yes CLICK – to advertise on Facebook. And it wasn’t converting. Instead I send out a “smoothie in a box” direct mail package, which got right into the hands of my “perfect customer”, got opened/read, and 2 out of 3 turned into paying clients. Considering my average sale is $800 that’s a HUGE ROI.

The lesson is Don’t Do Ant Marketing – meaning, don’t do what everyone else is doing. Very likely they’re completely wrong and wasting money also. The “secret” to success is in finding well-targeted, small ways to reach your prospect and only your prospect. That’s because every dollar (and minute) counts when you’re prospecting for leads and clients. The more you target by selecting the right media for your promotions, the more money you make.

One final note… these three “M’s” of marketing success are not magic bullet solutions. It’s up to you to take action and put them in place in your business.  Once you really understand each of these ingredients and USE them, you’ll have a reliable way of creating promotions that work instead of just give you a fizzle of response. If you want your promotions to bring you a steady stream of customers, clients and patients, go and review every promotion you have right now against each of these ingredients of successful marketing. It’s the recipe to marketing success!

What did you think of this article?

(NOTE: If you struggle with figuring out what marketing campaigns to do every month, check out the Silver Platter Marketing Membership – it’s like having marketing handed to you on a silver platter!)

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About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits Training Program, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn’t!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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Additional Resources:

10 Ways For Small Businesses To Dominate Local Markets

How To Woo Millennials To Your Small Business

About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money.

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