The Ideal Marketing System: Imagine a Waterslide Park
If you want to get a clear idea of how your ideal marketing system should operate, envision a waterslide park.
Hopefully, you’ve seen a waterslide before. You enter a large slide with flowing water and immediately start slipping and sliding through a series of loops and curves and turns.
Truly great waterslide parks have more than one of these slides. Each is unique. Invariably, you start at the top and always end up with a big (and exciting) splash down at the bottom.
What does this have to do with your business? Work with me on this, I promise it will make sense.
The ideal marketing system is built so that when you promote to a prospect you begin to move them through a designed process where – inevitably – they end up in your client pool.
Like most really good waterslide parks, the ideal marketing system should have multiple slides that will involve prospects and then move them through the entire process.
Here is an example of how a marketing waterslide might be constructed
You might start with a postcard mailing as your outreach program to reach targeted customers in a specific geographic area. In that postcard, offer prospects something of interest and value. Then, your prospect is directed to a special website to get the promised item. Again, it should be something that you can provide that will make them think, “wow, this is valuable.”
It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, useful information can be an ideal offering. It is valuable to the reader, but can be delivered inexpensively.
In this free informational report, booklet, or video, the reader is encouraged to get more great information, or get additional service by contacting you.
In order to get this valuable information, you have them register their name and e-mail address. This delivers the promised report and adds them to an automatic e-mail follow-up system. Now, a series of eight, ten, or a dozen e-mails start flowing at regular intervals. These can be sent weekly or less frequently; whatever you decide works best.
Every e-mail touches the prospect again and provides them with additional helpful information. Of course, each e-mail encourages the reader to contact you so you can really help them.
Your e-mail system moves them along this “waterslide” and helps cultivate them as a prospect. Not everyone is ready to buy immediately. In fact, research has shown that it takes a series of “touches” to finally get a prospect to overcome inertia and actually raise their hand to begin a sales discussion.
In some cases it may take as many as seven to nine touches before you get a response.
Once a prospect does become engaged, the personal part of the process begins.
The next step may be a consultation where you can confirm their needs and qualify that yes, they are a viable potential customer.
Notice how this sample waterslide moves prospects along towards ending up in your client pool? Best of all, large portions of the process are automatic so the waterslide doesn’t stop functioning when you start to get busy.
Sadly, the typical business has leaks
Even worse, many business have entire sections missing in their waterslide. Is it any wonder that very few prospects actually make it all the way to the splash zone?
Do you have a regular stream of new prospects shooting out of your waterslide and into your client pool? If not, you might have leaks or gaps in your slide.
Here’s a quick exercise for you to do.
Get out of the office. Go find a coffee place with a comfortable chair. Take along a notepad. On the first page write out all of the promotional, marketing, and advertising tools you use with your business. On the next page, diagram the flow your customers take from their first point of contact to where they are repeat customers.
Is there, in fact, a smooth, logical progression? Do the pieces connect? Are pieces missing? With this exercise, you may even discover that you need totally different slides for different types of customers.
With your diagram, you’ll have a clear idea of what you are doing well and where you can improve. This is your blueprint of what you need to do to boost the effectiveness of your marketing.
There are a number of marketing techniques that can enhance your performance of your waterslide. We’ll visit some of these topics in upcoming issues of Marketing Rocket Fuel.
Finally, if you find you have leaks or gaps and you’re not quite sure of the best way to fix them, give us a call. If you discover that you need an experienced waterslide architect to design your entire waterslide park, relax. Help is only a phone call away.
Keep this waterslide model in mind as you work with your marketing. It can help assure that your program is effective and help keep your business growing.
To Your Business Success,
Schedule a free half-hour telephone waterslide review by calling Sentium Strategic Communications at 1 (800) 595-1288.
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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 32 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
© 2011 All Rights Reserved. All people who are looking to dramatically boost their business should read this e-zine. Don’t even think about reproducing this document or its contents without written permission from Richard Wilson. But feel free to forward this or e-mail it to all of your friends. For reprint permission, please call 800-595-1288.