Every business whether a small one person operation or a large corporation face the same challenge, they all need to generate leads and turn those leads into paying customers. The first step in the lead generation process is to make sure that your prospects know that you exist. In our previous blog “How Trump's Brand Won the White House”, we explored the five strategies that Donald Trump used to gain awareness during the election. However, using Trump’s strategy in exactly the same way that his campaign did would most likely harm the brand image of your business. So can using Trump’s marketing strategy help your business get noticed by your prospects?
The answer is YES!
Before we get into how you can use this strategy for your business, I must mention, as I did in our previous blog, that this piece isn’t a political statement and isn’t a reflection on my personal views about the election. This is intended to show how business owners can use Trump’s marketing strategy effectively and gain awareness for their business. The key steps of the Trump marketing strategy can and should be used as a foundation for getting noticed. Let’s revisit the five steps that he used throughout the course of the election.
- Stay true to the brand
- Know your target audience
- Develop a simple message
- Differentiate vs. the competition
- Cut through the clutter
Similar to goal of any businesses marketing strategy, the Trump campaign’s marketing strategy was focused on getting his candidacy noticed. He was trying to attract potential voters to follow his campaign. Using these same five steps will position your business in the marketplace and generate awareness.
Stay true to the brand
Whether you have an established business or are just starting out, your brand tells prospects and customers what they can expect. Your brand is the way your customer perceives you. It conveys a standard of quality, credibility and experience. A good brand image also defines and differentiates your business or your offering from your competitors.
If you are updating messaging or thinking about adding new products or services for your business, ask yourself does this fit into the brand image? Once a business strays from the original brand image, it can cause customers to stop doing business with you. Many businesses don’t take the time to think about their brand in this way and the kind of impact it can have on their business.
In 1985, Coca Cola decided to change their original formula and roll out New Coke. The taste of New Coke was reported as being a watered down version of old Coke and a bit similar to its main rival Pepsi. Customers didn’t want this and rebelled by not buying New Coke. The experiment only lasted three months before Coca-Cola gave in to public pressure and brought back Coca-Cola Classic.
Know your target audience
Who is the ideal customer for your business? What do they need? How can your product or service help them? These are some of the questions you need to answer to define your target audience.
What Is a Target Audience?
The target audience is a group of people in a specific demographic that are most likely to show interest in your product or service.
You can find your target audience by thinking about what needs your product or service fulfills. For example, a marketing company would focus on selling services to business executives. They wouldn’t waste time targeting people who aren’t responsible for marketing or the operations of a business.
When defining a target audience, you should answer the following questions:
- Who Are They?
- Every business needs a fundamental understanding of who their customer is. Creating a buyer persona helps to define your customer.
- What’s Their Most Pressing Issue, Problem, or Desire?
- What keeps them awake at night? What problem do they need help solving?
- Where Do They Get Their Info?
- Learning the best way to reach your target is critical to delivering a strong message to them.
- What Benefit of Your Product Solves Their Problem?
- Tell prospects exactly how your business offering can solve their problems.
Defining your target audience, will help you to solidify your message and provide you with valuable information that you need to connect with your prospects and customers.
Develop a simple message
The answers gained from defining your target audience will provide you with enough information to use when developing your message. You will be able to create the right type of content to communicate effectively with your prospects and customers.
I’m dating myself a bit but some of you may remember that FedEx began as Federal Express. They targeted businesses who needed a guaranteed overnight delivery service. They knew their target audience and what was most important to them. FedEx developed a simple message that resonated with their target customers “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” This simple message responds to the concerns of their prospects and gave them credibility and name recognition in their market.
Differentiate vs. the competition
How can your business be perceived as being different than your competition? First, create a list of what makes your company unique. Next, determine which of those traits you want your business to be known for and perceived as in your market. Typically, differentiation is created by focusing on one of the following:
- Customer Service
- User Experience
This process of differentiation is commonly referred to as a unique selling proposition or USP. When you clearly define what you want your business to known for, your business will stand out from the competition.
Cut through the clutter
Social media and events were used effectively by Donald Trump to cut through the political ad clutter and attract attention. Estimates show that throughout the campaign, Trump received between $3-5 billion dollars’ worth of free media coverage.
What’s the best way to reach your audience? Where do your prospects get their information? Your prospects may be on LinkedIn or Facebook. Perhaps they are receptive to content in blogs, email or webinars. The key to cutting through the clutter is to do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. Without this, your messaging will be lost in the clutter.
Using these five steps are the keys to help any business owner get noticed. Remember, it doesn’t make sense to try and get noticed if you aren’t looking to generate leads. Getting noticed is one step in the ultimate goal of building a foundation for lead generation.
We’d like to know what strategies your business uses to get noticed. Share your story in the comments below.