Michael Nelson
December 22, 2013

The 3 C’s of Marketing: Clarity, Connection, Call To Action

Effective marketing is clear about what problems offerings solve and for whom they solve them.  It helps your ideal clients find you because they can see themselves in your materials and message.  It begins moving prospects down the path of knowing you, liking you, and trusting you.  Only then can you begin to transform prospects into customers with reliability and predictability.

What Problems Do You Solve?

Solutions Are Key To Small Business Marketing

Marketing starts with being clear about what problems you solve.  People buy solutions to their problems.  If your message isn’t clear and you force your customers to figure it out for themselves, many of them won’t bother.  They’ll just leave.  I bring up my favorite example of this from Theodore Levitt who wrote that customers don’t buy drills, they buy 1/4 inch holes.  Its our job to help them see a solution in our offerings that directly addresses their problem.

Whose Problems Do You Solve

Be clear about for whom you solve those problems.  For instance, there are over 20 million small business owners in the US alone.  If you support small business owners, how do you create a message that resonates and speaks to 20 million people?  You can’t.  You need a niche to create personalized messages and target your ideal clients.

If you have more than one niche that you work with, you can create different web sites and messaging for each one.

While these two questions seem obvious and easy, try to answer them in a sentence.  Can you do it?  Can you do it clearly?  You need to be able to or you’re hurting your marketing.

How Do You Stand Out In Your Small Business Marketing?

Why Should People Buy From You?

What is unique about the way you solve problems?  How do you stand out from the crowd from all the other businesses who offer the same products or services?  What is your unique value proposition or unique selling proposition.  In other words, why should people buy from you instead of the other people / businesses selling the same or similar solutions?
Having the answers to these questions helps your branding too.  You can put a personal touch on your company that makes sense to your customers and helps make your business memorable.


With the above questions answered, you’re now ready to answer the question that is just below the surface of every prospect your business comes into contact with – What’s In It For Me.  Answer this question before it’s asked and your marketing has done its job and you are on the right path.  To convert as many of your prospects as possible, this is the key.  Understand your value from your customer’s perspective and unlock the door to a steady flow of clients and growth.

Is It A Profitable Offering?

Is your small business marketing monetising your offerings?The last piece is often overlooked in marketing fundamentals – monetisation.  In other words, how will your idea sell, for how much, at what profit?  If you have a great offering, but it costs more than the problem is worth you need to go back to the drawing board.  Monetisation and pricing need to be considered early on and be a part of the marketing discussion.  High-priced offerings need messaging different from commodities or lower-priced offerings.

Start with the basics when you’re beginning your marketing.  Don’t dive in unprepared and try to have your message seen by as many people as possible.  Target your ideal clients with the perfect message and you’ll see far better results from your marketing.

Questions you can ask to help you:

Go to your website: can you easily tell what problem your business solves and who your ideal customer is?  Have you considered how much / many of something you need to sell to reach your goals?  Is your marketing supporting your business goals?  Is it clear what’s in it for your customer?  How are you different from your competitors?

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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+