It is sad, but true. Sometimes the Four Step Marketing process doesn’t work for my clients. Over the last few weeks,I’ve been thinking about the the clients which implemented Four Step Marketing into their businesses. I’ve seen some amazing success with some clients experiencing over 400% growth in just seven months. Others have seen about 100% – 300% growth. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen some flat liners. In today’s post I’ll share with you my though process of why all the marketing and changes didn’t work for these clients.
Step 1 – The Unique Selling Point
When I talk marketing with business owners, often we start with the Unique Selling Point. This discussion is about the inside reality of their company! This is the naked truth about their company and why they are better than the competition. The USP is also the overall marketing message which they share with prospective buyers!
In the cases which I’ve seen the companies fail to grow, one thing that stands out is that they are not passionate about becoming great companies. I can recall one client who fought me the whole way about their USPs and never really implemented these into their marketing message. His statement was simply that he cared about his customers and would do “right” by them, but didn’t feel like it was important to document “what” he would do. After some initial hesitation, he did finally document his USP in his marketing automation campaigns. The staff were not trained on the innovations and he didn’t want to broadcast the message on his website’s slider, which is prime area for sharing the USP.
Step 2 – Platforms and Offers
The second area of the Four Step Marketing Process is all about generating leads. If we remember that not everyone who connects with our business is necessarily ready to buy today, then we realize that having a database will be important to nurture prospects until they become customers. In Four Step Marketing, we simply identify all the places that prospects come into contact with a business, and label them as platforms. We then create offers, which are free resources given to prospects in exchange for their contact information.
For the clients who’ve failed to grow, they often were very gun shy about giving something away for free. For example, I can remember another client who didn’t enforce asking his girl who answers the phone to offer something to prospective callers. I had another client decide that putting the offer on his website was bad for business because it was an eCommerce store. Their thought process was something like this. I hate receiving email because I’m busy, and I believe other people will hate getting email too.
That thought process simply isn’t true! Yes, people hate spam! But that isn’t what we’re doing! We’re asking people if they want something “free” and then if they do, they request it by giving their contact details. We then email them and have them confirm that they are interested and they are clicking on a form that says, “Yes, I want this and I’m OK with getting emails as well”.
Over the last couple years, I’ve also met many other eCommerce store owners who successfully use offers right on the front of their home page. Last year, I even met a business owner who added over 40K new prospects to his database by giving away a coupon code right on the home page when people opted in. He told me that after he was hit by a Google SEO penalty, he not only survived, but actually grew his company by emailing the list once a month with a special.
Step 3 – The Marketing Arsenal
The marketing arsenal is all the various forms of marketing that exist such as SEO, PPC, Social Media, and TV commercials. Pretty much, it is any form of media which introduces a company to a prospect. While most business owners are excited about trying new marketing, I find that some business owners are very resistant to changing what they are doing. I believe this is because they are afraid if they stop, the entire house of cards may fall.
In the marketing arsenal, we simply leverage what is working and STOP using the marketing that fails. The only way to figure out what is working is by measuring your ROI for each dollar spent on marketing. The clients who have been resistant to change their marketing, are always the clients who DO NOT MEASURE their marketing.
For example, a few years ago I had a client who wouldn’t let me see inside of his Google Analytics account. This made it impossible for me to see exactly what was working in regards to his marketing campaign. I also had a client who spent over $100K a year in print marketing, but wouldn’t allow us to measure it by adding separate phone numbers and website URLs to see which received calls.
The truth is, if you don’t measure your marketing, you’ll never know what works. My clients which have grown drastically love the idea of accountable marketing. If it is generating sales, we increase the spending! If it isn’t growing revenues, then we cut it.
Step 4 – Marketing Automation
The last step is Marketing Automation. It is automating the followup process with prospects and customers so that the process is seamless! While it sounds simple enough, the process of planning, creating marketing pieces, and setting up the schedule can be fairly complex depending on the business owner. Over the years, clients who would allow us to build their USP into the automation, we’ve seen great success. Obviously, if a business isn’t generating leads through Platforms and Offers, then they won’t grow the database. Having a ton of emails written without anyone on the database will be a huge failure!
I’ve also had clients who weren’t consistent in adding new customers to their customer follow-up sequence. Often they left them on the prospect sequence after the prospect had purchased. The customer would be upset because they were receiving emails to purchase, even after they already had bought.
The secret is simple. If you set up Four Step Marketing in your business, it must become part of your company’s system!
Four Step Marketing Failure
Yes, I’m passionate about Four Step Marketing and I firmly believe this process for growing a company works. There is no doubt in my mind as I’ve seen it in my own business and in many others. But what I’ve come to realize is that all of the steps depend on each other. Sort of like a four legged stool. If cut off one of the legs, the stool can’t stand. If it the principles are not owned by the business owner, then they will never passionately implement it.
I also realize that companies are resistant to change. Many of these companies started off being excited about innovating their companies, but grew tired too quickly and never saw the process through. For a company to win BIG with this marketing method, they have to see the entire process through.
They must innovate and have a strong USP. They must clearly identify their prospects and find out what they would be interested in receiving for free. They must measure their marketing to figure out what works. They must use a system to follow up with prospects and customers. Of course this isn’t easy. But if you’re growing at 200% or 300% in a short period of time, do you really expect it to be easy? I’ve found that if companies aren’t willing to systematize the Four Steps into their business and make it a part of the company philosophy, they will never effectively use them.
The Four Step Marketing process is principle driven! Become what the customer wants through innovation! Tell them what your company does with your USP. Find prospects who might buy later and get them on your database. Measure your marketing and use what works. Follow up with prospects until they buy! Follow up with customers so they are raving fans and become customers for life! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to become a company like this?