You may have read that we adopted a new dog. Her name is Layla and she's a 12-month-old puppy. We've adopted a lot of dogs over the years, but this is the first time we've had a puppy. One of the things that I forgot about is, puppies require time, training, and a lot of treats. If you have treats, you can get their attention while you train them. One of the things I've trained Layla to do is sit at every crosswalk. That way, when a car comes, she waits for me to let her know when it's safe. She has now learned that every time she comes to a crosswalk she sits, turns around, looks at me and says, “Okay, where's the treat?”
Okay, so what does training a dog have to do with marketing? Stay with me. I'm going to blend this into another topic, which is How to Help Marketing Build the Bridge to Better Sales (by basically giving your customers and prospects treats).
Closing The Seal
With our dog Layla, we have lots of different kinds of treats for different purposes. I have certain treats that I use when I take her on our walks. We have different treats when she goes outside and goes potty. We even have a different treat that one of my friends gave me. A Layla fan came to my house with a gift bag and in it, was a toy (Rest in Pieces) and some bacon! Yes, bacon! They are the begging strips pieces we actually use to get her upstairs and get her ready to go to bed in her crate. That's where she sleeps because we can't trust her to be running around the house in the middle of the night.
One of the big differences with these treats is the packaging. Almost every kind of food has some kind of way to seal it. There are two different kinds of sealing mechanisms that I found with these treats.
One is your traditional Ziploc, where you've got to squeeze it. It requires almost a precision maneuver to make sure that one end fits in the other, then you squeeze it all the way across. Those drive me crazy because sometimes you cut the top of the package and you end up cutting off the Ziploc, then you have no way of locking it.
A second kind of sealing mechanism on these treat bags is a Velcro strip. Velcro allows you to open it a lot quicker and doesn't require that precision to close it back up. It may not keep it as fresh as a Ziploc, but it's so much easier to work with.
The Proximity Effect
That's essentially what the connection between dog treats and marketing is (for this post). Is your marketing so precise that it's more like the Ziploc where you have to align everything and get it to close perfectly or is it more like the Velcro, which allows you to create a proximity effect?
The proximity effect is something that happens with a microphone. If you turn my head away from the microphone, it sounds farther away. But when you move your mouth closer to the mic, you'll get this boomier sound. That's what proximity effect does. The mic picks up the sound no matter where you position it, but the closer you are to it, the deeper and richer it sounds.
It's the same thing with marketing messages. Marketing messages are important but don't confuse marketing with sales messages. Marketing is usually more of a one to many activity, it's where you talk to a wide variety of people. Where sales tend to be more of a one-to-one activity, where you or your salesperson is talking directly to a customer. The big difference between marketing and sales is personal relationships. It's about proximity. The closer your relationship, the deeper the message resonates. Know, like, and trust has an advantage over a “Who dat?” message!
If somebody sees your marketing message and knows the person sending it, it has a different kind of proximity effect than it does if you're trying to send a message out to everybody who doesn't know you.
Creative marketing creates attention and awareness, and it has that kind of proximity effect, especially when there's a relationship attached to it. In marketing, I tend to look at things from three different perspectives:
- Awareness posts, “Hey, we're here.”
- Education posts, “This is what our product is or service is, and this is what it does or how it works.”
- Sales posts, “This is something you can buy or have bought, and this is what you need to know next in order to be more successful with it.”
Awareness can create sales through proximity.
Timing Is Everything
People may see your marketing for a particular product or service that they may not need or want at that time. But if they know the person it's coming from, it may create enough awareness to remind them that, “Hey, I need to order some supplies.” Or, “I'm really interested in something else and I need to contact the salesperson to learn more about this new product or this new service or something that's been on my mind.”
That's what consistent marketing can do, it can create a proximity effect to a relationship that your salesperson has with somebody else.
When it comes to your marketing, there are three components that I would like you to consider.
The first one is frequency. How often do you get messages out? Many people I know in the B2B space tend to do something like a monthly blog post or a monthly e-newsletter. That means that they're only communicating with their audience 12 times a year. If you did something weekly, that would be 52 times a year.
If you did it three times a week, that would be 150 times a year. That's number one, how often do you put messages out?
Number two is consistency. People get used to seeing things on a regular basis and then they start to expect it.
You've probably seen these kinds of posts about Taco Tuesday, Hump Day, or Throwback Thursday. Those theme messages get people to pay attention because they expect them, they see them all the time. What are you doing in your business, in your marketing, to create some kind of consistency where people start to look for your messages.
The last piece of this is connectivity. The more people in your company who have the message associated with them and their profiles on social media, the more people see it, it amplifies the value. For example, I work with one business that has 1,000 people that like their business page, but they have 10 people in their business that have at least 500 connections.
When you post something on a business page, it looks like an advertisement, but if can get someone to post something on their personal profile or they share that message, it looks like an endorsement or an educational piece. Then you go from having 1,000 potential people seeing it to 5,000 potential people seeing it plus that 1,000. Now all of a sudden it's amplified to six times what it originally was. Think of a business page as an ad and think of a profile as advice.
That's the difference between sharing content between a business page and a personal profile and getting your people to be consistent. Use that frequency and use their connectivity will help amplify your messages and lead to more sales.
I want to leave you with this. Firstly, keep your marketing fresh and handy. I love it when I can rip open that Velcro, grab those treats, and take my dog on the walk. Secondly, you want to make sure that you create consistency to get people trained to look for your messages, just like Layla sits at every crosswalk. And finally, train your audience with connectivity to listen more attentively.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about using marketing to build a bridge to better sales. Are these tips making your business better? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/