How often do you find yourself getting ads for something that you just searched for? It can be both creepy and annoying.
Since the weather is so much better here in North Carolina than in Chicago, I have been lucky enough to play 20+ rounds of golf since January 1st. The golf here, especially in the winter, is tough. The grass has not grown and you are hitting off of dirt most of the time. I can tell you that playing more has not led to playing better golf.
I went to a local golf shop to have some clubs regripped. While I was waiting I was shown an area where they will evaluate your swing and give you a mini-lesson. I booked it and came back a couple of weeks later.
What I learned is that my ball flight is good but my swing speed is slow. Swing speed = distance. Getting older and with the colder weather I am hitting the ball about 20 yards less than I did in Chicago. That makes scoring well more difficult.
I went online to research how to increase swing speed. Also, I have been playing Wordle and posting my scores on Facebook. I consider getting the word in 4 tries as a par, 3 as a birdie, and 5 as a bogie (you get it). That has led to an insane amount of ads for golf game improvement tools. Many are short videos. A few caught my attention and I clicked through. I ended up on long-form sales pages. Each promised to take strokes off your game or your money back.
I decided to go to Golf Digest Magazine and see which tools they recommended. The sales letters made everything sound life-changing, but only a couple were featured as the best. What I have learned is that as I try to swing faster, my ball striking is less accurate. There are training tools that help you correct your tempo and hit the ball more solid and with faster club head speed.
Golf and Marketing are a System
So you are probably asking yourself, “What does golf have to do with marketing?” Well, I believe that to better your game, you have to master the system.
I have learned that any golf swing is a system of stance, backswing, lag, downswing, contact, and follow-through. All that just to advance a little white ball to a green and put it into a 4″ cup!
I have mentioned that marketing is also a system of putting the ball in a 4″ cup (making a sale). Just like a golf swing, it has a stance (what you are selling), a backswing (what's the desired takeaway), the lag (crafting your messages), a downswing (posting and emailing), contact (getting people to take action), and follow-through (creating a sales conversation).
Unless you have a well-executed plan and a full creative marketing and strategy team, it's up to you to master all parts of the marketing swing.
To be successful, you have to consistently stand out, build trust, and put the ball in the hole. That takes a SYSTEM!
Sell Your Salesperson (SYS)
The main goal of relationship marketing is to help your salesperson (even if that is just you) develop stronger relationships with current and past clients, and prospects.
During the pandemic, companies that spent 45% of their time communicating with current clients, 25% on past clients (70% total), and 30% on prospecting were the most successful in staying in business or even increasing sales.
There are three ways to increase profits (and maximize ROI). You can sell more to current clients, sell more to new clients, or raise your prices.
Current clients need to know what's new in your industry and how it will benefit them. Past clients might move to new companies, and that provides an opportunity to sell to a new business. Raising prices (especially during a crisis) is beyond the scope of this article.
If you market to your current clients, past clients, and prospects, you are building on established relationships (or promoting that salesperson and the solution to a client's problem). You want to increase opportunities that someone may need what you are promoting at the time they engage with your message.
Timely Emotional Messaging (TEM)
That's where Timely comes in. You can't predict when a customer's need will align with a solution. If you consistently post and deliver messages to clients and prospects, you increase the chance that they will resonate at the right time.
Emotional means that it's not just specs or features and benefits, it speaks to the human condition. Most sales happen because someone has a problem to solve. The unique factor in B2b sales is that a client silently says, “… and don't get me fired!”
Messaging should be designed to get attention. If you can create a short concept that resonates, and a person clicks (or takes some action), hopefully, they reach out to the person with whom they have established a relationship.
This is where advertising often goes astray. It's created to reach the biggest audience. It can be timely but often lacks emotion.
Emotional messaging to a larger audience lacks the trust needed to close the deal… hence why you often find ads taking people to long sales letter pages with BUY NOW! Who has time for that?
Building a SYS-TEM means creating a synchronized marketing system. Trying just to implement a simple fix or change is not going to do the trick.
You have to master all parts of a golf swing to make solid contact. The same goes for marketing. The goal is to make solid contact, and that makes it easier to get the ball in the hole (make a sale).
In golf, if you bogie every hole, that's a 90 on a par 72 course. Only about 50% of all golfers break 100, 25% break 90, and 2% break 80 on a consistent basis.
It's the same in business. About 50% of business owners make a good living (around $60,000 per year). About 85% of business owners make under $100,000 a year, and 15% make over $100K.
“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”
— Bobby Jones
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about creating a marketing SYS-TEM (or golf). Do you think of your marketing as part of a system? Are you trying to master a skill or build a good-quality swing? How could this thinking lower your golf score AND increase your income?
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.