Most professional service firms are lousy at Marketing! They think that because they have an excellent service, great people, great advice and ‘runs on the board’, people will come flocking to their doors. They end up waiting, waiting, waiting! They wait for the phone to ring or the email to ping. Here are the 5 Principles of Intelligent Database Marketing.
Unless you have a bestselling book or are regularly published, it is a slow road to wealth and business success. You will be waiting a long, long time.
Yes, you need to give excellent client service and have great products, services and advice. However, you need something else – marketing – and lots of it.
Marketing starts with answering five critical questions about your market:
- Who is your target market?
- Who is your buyer?
- How many of them are there?
- How can you get access to them?
- How will you cleanse and nurture your market?
5 Principles of Intelligent Database Marketing
1. Who is your Target Market?
If you can clearly define your target market, then the rest is easy. My preference is that you specialise in one or several niche areas. The niche could be industry type (e.g. medical specialists), service delivery type (e.g. process improvement), geographical (e.g. your state, country of the world) or demographical (e.g. aged 30-50.)
Pick a niche(s) that you like to work with, and most importantly, pick a niche(s) where you can become an expert in., The leading expert. People listen (and buy) from experts.
2. Who is your Buyer?
In marketing and sales, you must be marketing and selling to the buyer – or buyers. There is no point speaking to people who cannot authorise payment or a decision. So, as well as your market, you must understand who your buyer is within your market.
Is it the Chairman, the Chief Executive Office, the Vice President, the General Manager, the business owner, or the business owners?
There is no point in marketing to Administration people who have to then forward your material to their boss. You need to target your marketing to the correct people.
3. How Many Of Them Are There?
You need to find a niche with thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of potential buyers.
The more there are in your niche, the more chance you have of success. When 25 of them ‘unsubscribe’ from your newsletter, it is no big deal when you have many thousands left who want to hear from you.
4. How Can You Get Access To Them?
You understand who you are targeting and how many there are. So, how do you proactively gain access to them so you can market directly to them? Just two ways…
- Buy the list of your target market.
- Use other peoples’ lists who deal with your target market.
Many so-called ‘professionals’ shun buying a list of their target market. They think buyers should come flocking because they are so good at what they do. They are so caught up in their self-importance that they quietly go broke, or worse still, they fail the way the quality of their works says they should. That is just a waste.
These people think it would be unprofessional to buy a list and send marketing information to them.
If that is you – don’t be fooled. Your competitors are doing it. You are in business, and business is like a wheelbarrow – if it is not pushed, it is not going anywhere.
Buy a list, mail it, and ask them to be a part of your work. Tell them they can get a free report if they subscribe or visit your website for an article or something else of value. Get them to ‘opt in’ to your email database and send items of value before you ask them to buy from you.
To get a list, go to the internet and search for ‘list brokers’ or ‘database brokers’, and you will find what you are looking for. You will have the option to rent or buy lists. I advise only renting it if you are unsure of your market or offer and want to test something. Other than that, buy it outright with unlimited use. If you rent the list, it will be ‘seeded’ with fake names – that way, the list owner can tell if you are using it over and above your contractual agreement – once only.
The other alternative is to ‘piggyback’ off other peoples’ lists. You pick a company with the same target market as you and have them promote you to their database. There has to be a ‘win-win’ for these arrangements to work. Ideally, they enable you, and you encourage them, with no money changing hands.
Typically though, it is not a win-win.
5. How Will You Cleanse And Nurture Your Market?
Any database you buy is never clean and is Artic cold! By clean, I mean all of the contact details are correct, and the email sent out does not bounce back. By cold, I mean they do not know you from the local Bank Manager.
You need to clean it and warm it up at the same time. You can clean a database by mailing it, and then dealing with the returned mail. Hire a telemarketer to phone them, get the correct information and do this frequently. After every campaign, phone the bounced emails and returned mail contacts.
An old axiom says: “what you give out is what you get back.” It applies in personal relationships, as well as database intelligence. You need to give value to warm a list up. You are unknown to them, so you must build credibility. Do not expect a hug response on the first campaign.
You need to create valuable information consistently – articles, reports, video links, downloads, free tools, tips, hints, newsletters, blogs, forums – and then repeatedly tell your market about it. Make sure it is all free and easy to access.
When you spend time (and a little money if you do it electronically) on giving value, you will find that when you are ready to ask them to buy something (seminar ticket, product or advice), you will get a much greater response. Send something of value at least monthly.
Marketing is a skill that can be taught. Learn it, and become the success that you are destined to be.
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