- Marketing is like going on a date – our whole approach to marketing is based on this principle and we use these stages we are going to use to break down marketing into manageable
- Before the date – Hygiene Factors – make sure you look presentable, have things to say and do and decide on where you want to go. Remember a few things – firstly, where you go depends on the likelihood of success – and what you wear and how you present yourself will change depending on where you’re going. You’d dress differently for a speed-dating event than going to a bar.
- Arrive – First Contact – they see you, you see them, so you need to make a good impression.
- Attract – you smile, glance, make some form of contact to gauge your chance of success. That initial opening/contact is vital, but if it’s clumsy and inappropriate you will not get your date.
- Engage – then talk. Be interesting – ask questions and be interested in the answers. Slowly build the connection, let them know you’re interested, and try to work out if they are likely to be responsive to your ‘close’.
- Close – you have to do something – not asking means you have wasted your time.
- Deliver – you have to deliver an exceptionable and memorable performance.
- Assess – at this stage, you have to decide whether you want to see them again. Do they want to see you again, and if so what are you going to do about it?
So how do we translate this into marketing?
Before the date – Hygiene Factors – The things you need to do before you go out and communicate with customers. Is your website ready and good enough? Do you have business cards, comp. slips, headed paper, or a brochure? Are the processes in place to support the sale? Do you have an email footer set up, a database? Is your product, and your product experience, right? Don’t spend money on marketing unless you have your hygiene factors in place.
Arrive – First Contact – The first time a customer or prospect interacts with your brand. It could be an advert, your website, your Google listing. Or it could be a phone call, the first meeting, the first time they see you walk into the office or drive into the car park. It could be them checking you out on LinkedIn or Facebook.
Attract – ‘Attract’ is the point where you first get them interested. They have noticed you, now you have to make them want to talk to you.
Engage -This is when you build your relationship – across multiple marketing channels. It’s the time when you develop your customer, get them interested in you, and make it likely that when you ask for the business, the reply will be yes.
Close – Asking for the business. This is the point of purchase. If you are an ecommerce site, then these are all the points around the purchase: the measuring and the analysing to make sure that your product can be bought, easily and quickly.
Deliver – you have to deliver – your performance has to be exceptional and memorable – exceeding their expectations where possible.
Assess – How are you going to continue the relationship and build brand loyalty? Think of your touchpoints.