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As a business coach, one of the most common things I hear is ‘My marketing doesn’t work’. 
Everyone who starts a business will put ‘marketing’ on their list of things to do, but many aren’t sure why or what they should be doing. 
Effective marketing will deliver a steady, predictable flow of qualified leads for your business which can be converted into paying customers. However, as Rory Sutherland who is head of Ogilvy’s behavioural science team says, some alchemy is needed to make it work. Here are the ingredients you need. 
Understanding Your Audience 
You’ve certainly got a problem when you provide an excellent product or service but people aren’t buying. One of the most common causes is not understanding who your customers are and the problem you solve for them. 
Your marketing content might be good, but you’re talking to people who don’t need or want your products or services or can’t afford them. Alternatively, you could be reaching the right audience but failing to explain how your product or service will benefit them. Supermarkets won’t target luxury goods customers and Gucci won’t be marketing to students with little or no income. 
The easiest way to solve this problem is to ask your existing customers why they chose you and to reach out to some of the people you think should be buying from you to find out why they don’t. You also need to understand your competitors and how you will stand out from the crowd. 
Explain The Benefits 
In marketing terms, you might have heard people talk about features, functions and benefits. While your customers need to know what you provide and what it does, they want to know how it will benefit them. 
Explaining how your customers will benefit is the surest way to engage their interest and this is really where the alchemy begins. You could do this in simple ‘this means that you will…’ phrases, or you could put yourself in your customer’s place and answer the question ‘what’s in it for me?’. 
Pay Attention To Details 
Your customers will want to feel that they know, like and trust you. To create and maintain this relationship you will need to be consistent in everything from the quality you deliver to your packaging and branding. Consistency will reinforce all the good things your customers think about you and they will enjoy the feeling of familiarity. 
However, if potential customers see confusing messages, inconsistent branding and hear mixed stories about other people’s experiences they are unlikely to choose you. Creating engaging and helpful blog posts is a good way to build trust. 
Set Realistic Objectives 
Marketing isn’t the same as selling. For most businesses making sales on the basis of just one or two marketing emails or social media posts isn’t realistic. 
Your marketing creates an environment that makes people aware of what you do and it will build interest in the solutions you provide. Eventually customers will move on to wanting or desiring your product or service. Then they will take action by visiting your ecommerce site and making a purchase, responding to your emails and social media posts or calling you. This is process is called AIDA – awareness, interest, desire, action. 
The simple rule is that your marketing shouldn’t ask people to buy before they’re ready. That’s why so many businesses create subscription lists that will allow them to have more direct contact with customers and potential customers. Then it is much easier to judge when they might be ready to make a purchase or place another order and give them an offer or suggestion that will tempt them to take action. 
Be Patient 
A single advertisement, or even a single campaign, might not deliver immediate sales. If you’re starting a new business it will take time for people to become aware of what you do, so immediate sales are unlikely. You will need to reach them several times, probably using different marketing channels. Creating a marketing plan based on your customers’ needs and with realistic timescales is an important first step. 
If you already have a marketing plan then it should be thoroughly and regularly reviewed to make sure your marketing approach and systems are still fit for purpose. Are you targeting the right audience with the right messages? Is your branding consistent and are your products and promotions meeting your customers’ needs? 
At Andromeda Business Consulting I work with many of my clients to create and manage marketing plans that will help them grow their businesses. 
Please get in touch to find out more. 
Until next time ... 
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