I’m about to let you into a little secret. Are you ready? Here goes. The best marketing trick in the business is…
…focus on your product or service as much as (if not more than) your marketing communications.
I know. That’s not exactly earth shattering, but it’s what you learn on day one in marketing. The first P of the marketing mix. Product.
It seems simple, but in my experience of the B2B marketing world, many marketing folks shy away from any product or service responsibility. That’s the job of the technical department. Or the customer service team. I just look after the nice brand design bits. And that’s precisely the reason marketing is under funded and maybe not given the respect it deserves in your company.
Don’t get me wrong, marketing communications are vitally important. I’ve built an international pharmaceutical marketing agency based on this, so I get it big style.
You can create the greatest website in the world. Hire the most fabulous sales team. And even have that exhibition stand that everyone talks about. But if your offering is misaligned to the expectations you set in your marketing communications, then you’ll get found out.
All the marketing dollars in the world can’t save you if your reputation is shot. If you haven’t delivered on your brand promise. If you’ve delivered a poor experience to your customer.
So if there’s something wrong with your product or service, do your job by getting involved and making things better. Don’t keep investing in creating an image that is totally offset from the reality. You’ll simply attract the type of business that you know fine well you can’t deliver well. That’s just asking for trouble.
I believe the comedian Steve Martin originally said: “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” An amazing customer experience leads to good old fashioned word of mouth. So make sure you’re a brand worth talking about, for all the right reasons. And the only way you can influence that is by taking an active interest in the delivery of whatever it is that you do. Yes this means getting regular feedback, spending time with your customers and thinking of ideas of how to improve their experience.
Put simply, fall in love with your customers. Become obsessed with helping them and solving their problems. By focusing time on delivering the best experience for your clients, I guarantee you’ll end up with a better product. One that truly reflects your marketing messages and delivers quality inbound leads.
As the great Seth Godin so eloquently puts it: “Make things better by making better things.”
Start today. Take responsibility. Make the thing you sell even better for your customer. It’s the best marketing investment you’ll ever make.