Great Marketing Isn’t Cheap

by Chris Goldman

Why Authenticity Matters in the Marketing World

For some business owners, talking about marketing feels deceptive and dirty. They expect to hear how to manipulate customers, develop cheap slogans, or con people into a bad deal. It feels like the stereotype of a bad used-car salesman. But great marketing isn’t cheap, deceptive, or manipulative, it is authentic to the core. 

In the 1 Page Marketing Plan by Alan Dib, he notes, ”Bad marketing is highly product-focused and self-focused. Good marketing, especially direct response marketing, is always customer and problem/solution focused, and that’s exactly how we want our elevator pitch to be.”

Great marketing and marketing firms will use a framework to develop your marketing message. Here are some of the key steps prioritized in order of importance. 

1. Identify Your Customer

Understanding who your customer or client is should be the starting point. Good companies serve their customers and hope to enjoy a lifetime relationship. Identifying your desired clientele or aspirational customer is the beginning of great marketing. Knowing their needs, values, and stress points are critical to great marketing. Without this step, you become self-focused rather than customer-centric. Too often, small business owners don’t realize the importance of identifying a specific segment of customers to focus on. Alan Dib writes, “’Targeting a tight niche allows you to become a big fish in a small pond. It allows you to dominate a category or geography in a way that is impossible by being general.” ― Allan Dib, The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd

2. Clarify Who You Are

Once you know the customer you are serving, the next step is taking a look at who your company is. So often businesses get this backward. They focus on their own legacy or passions and forget that customers’ needs drive business. Figuring out who you are depends on a clear understanding of how you solve your customers’ problems (via products or services). 

3. Define & Refine Your Marketing Message

Building on these profiles, you can now develop a marketing message. This message needs to be simple and clear before being cute and clever. The core of your message needs to explain how you help customers when they buy your product or engage your services. 

4. Eliminate Friction

The design of your website needs to focus on removing unnecessary friction. Friction refers to anything that slows a customer down or creates an obstacle when they are shopping, selecting, buying, or checking out. Amazon is the master of removing friction. They make it so easy to shop and checkout that you can find yourself buying so fast your head spins (as well as your wallet). When your website layout or language forces friction, you ultimately will pay a price.

5. Be Real and Keep It Real

Great marketing isn’t cheap, it’s authentic. The best marketing connects with people on a deep psychological level because it rings true to their life and the challenges they face. When you take the time to refine your marketing, you will not only cultivate good customers, you’ll develop lifetime customer loyalty. Just make this your marketing motto: Keep it real!

Effective marketing is necessary to grow your business and we all look for ways to improve our online position. But focusing on looks and gimmicks won’t get you committed clientele. That’s why following this flow is critical to effective, authentic marketing.

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