Putting a cheesy marketing metaphor to work for your firm.

I was meeting with a prospective client last week, trying to convince the principals that they could cut out a good chunk of their advertising budget and improve marketing results by just implementing an ongoing content marketing campaign. The group was having difficulty understanding why an established firm needed to keep pushing their message to prospective clients, so I pulled out a cheesy old example that I saw in some marketing class years ago. Here it is.

Prospect marketing is like the face of a clock, representing the time frame that a prospective client may decide to utilize your services (buy). When you send out a marketing message to a prospect, you’re registering an impression for essentially 1 out of 60 minutes. If the prospect is ready to buy at that moment, you’re in luck – literally! If not, there are 59 other minutes for that prospect to make a purchase decision without your involvement.

During those 59 other minutes, the prospect is exposed to many other messages. Even though you’re an established firm, you can get lost in all that clutter. Simply put, you need to keep your message in front of the prospect for all 60 minutes, so your firm is at the top of the list when it’s time to research and buy.

“One and done” marketing won’t work by itself, unless you are the only provider with your type of expertise. Rarely the case. Passive marketing won’t work by itself, unless luck is a key marketing strategy. “Buy now” pitching won’t cut it either, as that message just gets ignored. You need to keep an educational message out there for all 60 minutes of that hour.

How do you accomplish this? You can read about active marketing tactics and simple marketing plans, but think blog posts, newsletters, local trade association seminars, webinars, trade publication or local newspaper articles, LinkedIn group participation, etc. If you can write 300 words (this post is 450 words) without selling your services, they’ll think you’re brilliant.

There are two byproducts to ongoing marketing effort:

  1. You may actually create demand by educating prospects on relevant business topics. Another reason to “ditch the pitch” and keep your content educational.
  2. A peer of the prospect may recall your message and forward it when the prospect asks for peer group advice.

An effective ongoing marketing program doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does require a little ongoing effort. Make sure you budget your time accordingly. Better yet, spread the effort around your firm to minimize the distraction from your core business.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.

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