Michael Nelson
January 16, 2014

3 Key Roles Your Marketing Story Needs to Make it a Bestseller?

marketing and innovation

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose:  to create a customer. … Therefore, any business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation” Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management, 1954

Bold statement.  Now, think about all the small businesses you’ve encountered that are poor at innovation and marketing and suffer because of it.  In that light, it becomes a clarion call for action.

Digital marketing is simply marketing executed in digital media, but it requires innovation and therefore is a prime example of Drucker’s assertion.  Just as innovation and marketing can vex small businesses, the Internet can quickly consume resources and return frustration.  As in all challenges, there is opportunity.  So much digital marketing is done poorly that if you get it right, you’ll stand out from your competition and attract your ideal customers.

The foundation for successful marketing is a clear message.  The elements that are needed to create your messaging aren’t complex, but require you to put yourself in your clients’ position.

Three elements go into each marketing effort that I create.  The combination then helps define how I approach my marketing in relation to the customer journey of my ideal clients.

1.  Look at your service from your client’s perspective.

We’re typically proud of the offerings we create, but it’s wrong to think that our clients want to hear about the details in our marketing.  Instead, they are interested in knowing about benefits.  “What’s in it for me” is the viewpoint that our clients have when considering purchases and we need to incorporate benefits into our marketing messages.

Features describe our services.  Benefits describe what our clients actually purchase.  Think of it like this, “features so that benefits.”  Adding differentiators or advantages to the mix and you’ll also show why your offering is the better choice.

Online Marketing Key Can Be Blogs Websites Social Media And Email Lists2.  Know what problem your service solves for your clients.

People make a purchase for two reasons, to remove a pain point or to reach a compelling desire.  It’s essential that you help them see how your offering accomplishes one of those two goals.  It may seem that this is just an extension of the first component, but it is quite separate.  In this piece, we’re starting to address their underlying needs that will help them cross the psychological barrier between prospect and customer.

3.  Understand the circumstances that your ideal clients find themselves in where your service provides the benefits that solve their problem and help them reach their goal.

Now you’re starting to tie the elements together into a cohesive approach.  What set of circumstances are prevalent when your service is their best answer to help them get where they want to go?  What obstacles stand between their current state and where they want to go?

You can back into this definition if you’re having difficulty defining the circumstances.  Consider somebody that is using your service and receives an outcome that is important to them.  Describe the situation that they might be in when they made their purchase.

You don’t need to try to envision every possible circumstance.  You should target the circumstances that will have the greatest numbers of prospects in them and you can create marketing campaigns for multiple circumstances too.

Does your marketing work?

Armed with a clear understanding of the value of your offering and how that value is delivered, you can move into storytelling.  Storytelling isn’t complex.  We all do it everyday.  You see it in most commercials on television, ads in print, billboards, etc.  Some of it is poor storytelling, but it’s the goal nonetheless.  Your storytelling will be a part of your ideal clients’ customer journey.  The will know and remember you through the narrative that you are able to weave incorporating these three elements, but that is the subject of another article…

By Michael Nelson

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Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson is a small business coach and circumstance marketing innovator who lives in DC with his lovely wife and three insane boys. Michael Nelson ”The Cogent Coach” Follow me on:  Twitter / Facebook /  LinkedIn / Google+