Just as marketing is the cornerstone of your business success, systems are the foundation of effective marketing. If you consider the key differentiators between an extremely successful enterprise and an averagely successful enterprise in the same industry, it’s always one of two things (or a combination) that makes the difference.
 
They are marketing and innovation. And whilst innovation can give you first to market advantage, it will not guarantee the sustainable success of your business.
 
To develop systems that’ll underpin your marketing success requires awareness of the necessary elements; an implementation plan; an action plan; a means to monitor effectiveness; a continuous improvement process; and perseverance.
 
In this article we’re going to focus on 10 core underlying principals of marketing. These principals will form the framework of your marketing plan and build the foundation by which you’ll implement the specific marketing techniques of future modules.
 
1. Strategy and Planning
 
Every company that is successful at marketing has strategised and planned their success. Marketing success is not a product of chance. To be an effective marketer, you must plan. Develop a comprehensive Marketing Plan utilising the information contained here and set yourself specific tangible goals.
 
2. Innovation
 
Differentiating yourself, your business and your products from your competitors is critical. If you do not differentiate, your prospects will have NO COMPELLING REASON to choose your service over that of your competitors (of which there will be many).
 
The most powerful way for you to differentiate your business is through product innovation. By innovating a product (it doesn’t have to be a complex innovation) you’ll be perceived as an expert in your niche area.
 
Your marketing battle is won and lost in the minds of your prospects and clients. It is significantly easier to get into your prospects mind first, than it is to convince them that you have a better product than the competitor that did get there first.
 
The best way to innovate products is to focus on solving the problems of your niche market.
 
3. Perception
 
Where does your marketplace exist? This is a CRITICAL question!
 
Your marketplace exists solely in the mind of your prospect and client. Every effort you invest in marketing is an effort to win the perception of your prospect. Only by establishing the right perception can you invoke them to take the actions you desire. Your prospects perception is their reality and everything else is simply an illusion.
 
Your objective therefore is to build perceptions that compel your prospects to act in accord with your desires.
 
The most wasteful effort you can expend in your business is to try and change the perception of your prospects. By marketing without differentiating and innovating you are trying to change the perceptions of your prospects!
 
People rarely change their minds and even when they do they resent doing so. You must build perception through first to market niche products.
 
4. Communication
 
Communication in all forms with your prospects, clients and the public at large is critical in determining how your business is perceived. Just as effective communication is critical in interpersonal relationships, so too is it critical in the business-client/prospect relationship.
 
Everything you say (or don’t say), in your written communication (advertisements, brochures, articles, sales letters, follow-up letters, etc), and verbally (on the phone, public speaking, delivering your service, etc) dramatically affects the perception prospects and clients have of your business.
 
Ensure that all communication delivers the message you want to convey about you, your business, products and services; and ensure that the message you convey is CONSISTENT with your niche markets expectations and desires.
 
5. Sacrifice
 
Paradoxically, effective marketing usually requires sacrifice. Sacrifice in the following areas may be necessary:
 
Products. Many businesses as they attempt to attract more clients go through the mental process of thinking that more products will equate to more clients (which in turn will equate to more revenue and profit). This is not necessarily (most often not!) the case. By expanding your product base you become exposed to the risk that you dilute the perceived benefits of your service in the minds of your prospects. And remember, perception is everything.
 
Often a focussed, narrower, niche specialty product can be SUBSTANTIALLY more effective than a diversified product range. You CAN NOT be everything to everyone, so be valuable to your core niche market.
 
Market. To build the requisite perception in the minds of your prospects you may need to sacrifice some market share. Experts and niche products build stronger perceptions and greater loyalty than generalists.
 
Change. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of possible market trends. If you have successfully built your brand perception in the minds of your prospects, a lot of damage can be done by trying to change strategy to chase first to market advantages or compete in new unsubstantiated niches.
 
Profit. Successful businesses re-invest profit to expand. Building perceptions takes capital. Sometimes it’s better to sacrifice some profit taking early on in order to expand your business and entrench your position. This may make it significantly more difficult for competitors in the future and generate much larger profits in the long run.
 
6. Multiple Strategies
 
Successful marketing is not built on one strategy alone. Prospects need to impacted multiple times before you can develop the necessary rapport, trust and comfort for them buy from you. To achieve multiple impacts usually requires multiple marketing strategies.
 
Reliance on a single marketing strategy also places you in substantial RISK. For instance, if you rely on a Yellow Pages advertisement for your lead generation, several competitors may also start using the same medium. In one year your lead generation may be diluted to only 10% of previous years, yet your marketing budget may be grossly spent.
 
People are diverse. Within your target niche there are people that prefer and respond to different mediums in different ways. For instance, within your target niche, there may be people that search for your services on the Internet, and some potential leads that may not even own a computer.
 
Marketing strategies and mediums to consider are:

  • Information Forums;
  • Specialist Interviews;
  • Print advertising;
  • Flyers and pamphlets;
  • Affiliate Programs;
  • Joint Ventures;
  • Publishing;
  • Tele-classes and Tele-Seminars;
  • Education Forums;
  • Internet;
  • Direct Mail;
  • Referral;
  • Viral Marketing;
  • Workshops, seminars and group events.

7. Mindset
 
It’s CRUCIAL to your success that you develop the appropriate Marketing Mindset. Without the right mindset you simply will NOT be able to market effectively and produce the necessary results.
 
8. Client Focus
 
For you to maintain the right Marketing Mindset, you must be passionate about the RIGHT THING. You must LOVE YOUR CLIENT. If you are passionate about invoking positive outcomes in the lives of your clients and helping them overcome their substantial challenges; AND you are UNRESERVED in your ability, then you should have no barriers to developing the right Marketing Mindset. 

  • Only coaches that doubt their ability to assist clients are sceptical about telling prospects HOW they will help them. 
  • Coaches that are nervous about CLOSING A SALE are coaches that are sceptical about their ability to help the prospect. 
  • Coaches that doubt their ability FEAR providing a guarantee because they think people will ask for their money back. 

If you are focussed entirely on your clients’ success, your success will result.
 
9. Educate, don’t Sell
 
Effective marketers EDUCATE their leads, they don’t SELL their services.
 
Education based marketing is largely about Credibility Marketing, such as public speaking, information based teleclasses, publications, networking, hotlines, free educational give-aways (such as reports, assessments, tools, eCourses), etc.
 
Education marketing demonstrates, in a non-intrusive manner, to your leads how you can assist them overcome their substantial challenges. Education based marketing allows you to communicate to leads at a different level. Their barriers are substantially lowered, as they’re framed in a learning context, not a sales context. They’re not sceptical.
 
10. Cycle of Life
 
Only a very small percentage of your prospects are READY to purchase at any particular point in time.
 
Most businesses have a marketing system that TOTALLY NEGLECTS this fact. If 100 people enquire about your services, most likely only 5 to 15 will be seriously looking to purchase at THAT time. The others are simply inquisitive or think they may purchase at some time in the future.
 
This process is called the Cycle of Life. People regularly enquire about products and services without buying. Think about yourself. You may have the idea that you want a new couch. That thought sits in the back of your mind and over time you visit a few retailers that sell couches. You may visit 6 places over 3-months. EVERY one of those salespeople think you are going to buy a couch THAT VERY WEEKEND! But do you? NO! But will you buy a couch at some point in the future – YES.
 
How many of those couch salespeople keep in contact with you over the course of several months until you actually decide it’s time to buy? We’ll tell you how many… NONE!!!!
 
What if just ONE of those couch salespeople offered you a non-intrusive process to learn about what couches will compliment your lounge room, which couches last longest and which ones stain very badly and which ones didn’t? You’d most likely take him up on the offer. And then, after 5-months of learning and being educated by this person, who would you feel COMPELLED to purchase from? Of course!
 
Or to use another analogy, what if 2 sets of parents had children selling cold lemonade at a parade on a hot day. Each set of parents had 4 children. One set of parents assisted their children establish a nice table and inviting sign from which to sell the drinks from.
 
The other set of parents assisted their children set up 4 stands at equal intervals along the parade.
 
Which family sold more lemonade? Of course it’s the children with 4 stands because people are thirsty (desire the product) at different times along the length of the parade. When their client wanted their product, they were there! Nobody was going to double back to get a lemonade.
 
The life of your prospect is the same as the passing parade. You must recognise that your prospects are going through the Cycle of Life. You MUST be in your prospects consciousness IN THE INSTANT they desire your product. You MUST have a means to add value to them in a non-intrusive and informative manner throughout the ENTIRETY of their Cycle of Life.