The Seven M’s of Phenomenal Marketing
Now that you have an idea of the kinds of systems and strategies that are required for a relationship-based marketing system that can create record sales and profits for your business, you need a focused plan.
An easy way to think about your marketing planning is to use the Seven M’s of Phenomenal Marketing. The Seven M’s are:
The First M: Your Phenomenal Marketing Mindset
Most small business owners focus on the technical work of their business, or giving good customer service, and market only when they are forced to. As I write this, I’m in Italy with a group of artists. The idea of having to market themselves drives them crazy! At the same time, they aren’t happy being “starving artists.” I think I’m finally getting through to them that if they are willing to learn the art of marketing, they can reach more of their dreams and goals in life, which for some of them is to just do more art.
Your Phenomenal Marketing Mindset is about understanding what marketing is. To recap what you learned earlier in this book: marketing is everything you do to attract prospects to your business. The function of marketing is to increase sales, and there are only three ways to increase sales: get a higher price, get more clients, and get more business from existing clients.
Remember that the ONLY reason your business exists is to be a vehicle to help you reach your life goals. That vehicle needs gasoline, which is sales. Nothing happens in a business unless a sale is made. A sale happens only when marketing is done, and profitable sales cure all other business evils. Your life goals will not be reached unless you make a profit. A business without a profit is just a hobby.
The Second M: Your Phenomenal Money
The second M is your money goal. You want to set a sales goal for the next twelve months. If you have history, go back to see how much you did last year. Are you on a growth path? Are sales declining? What significant changes are taking place that can change those numbers? Once you have your annual sales goal, break it down by the month, by the week, and by the day (or as often as you have transactions). If you do large projects, break it down by the project. For example, some of my coaching clients have construction or remodeling businesses. My brother owns a McDonald’s, and his profit is determined by how the staff cost is managed by the hour. If you do a few large projects per year, then determine how many projects you are going to do and what the average project amount will be. If you sell products, how many products will be sold at what average price point?
You will also want to break down your sales goal by profit center (or service category) and even by how much you will do in repeat business, referral business, and direct sales and advertising. You will learn about this in The 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business.
To get to your sales goal, you will need to know what your profit goal is. It all starts with your net profit because that is what funds your life goal. Remember, the one and only reason your business exists is to be a vehicle to help you achieve your life goals.
A business without a profit is just a hobby! I don’t know about you, but being broke and in debt isn’t any fun. To top it off, working 24/7 to be broke and in debt is even worse! If you’re going to be broke, you may as well stay home. At least you could enjoy yourself while you are going broke!
The wonderful thing about being a business owner is that you can plan what you want your profit to be. Lord willing, of course. None of us know what challenges life will bring us, but we would also be fools to build anything without a plan. So we plan and we work the plan the best that we possibly can. The amazing thing is that when you plan and stay focused, it works! Determine what you want your profit to be. Then you will have to determine your cost of doing business.
Also determine how much you are willing to invest in marketing. This should be in your Twelve-Month Cash Flow Budget. Decide in advance what you are going to invest. This will keep you from becoming a victim of the advertising wolves in sheep’s clothing. They have an irresistible offer that you are absolutely convinced will work (although it hasn’t been proven).
It will also keep you from marketing only when you get slow. If you wait to market until you actually “need” the income, it’s too late. Work your marketing system continuously.
A marketing investment amount that includes exactly how much you will invest in each system, strategy, and ad will keep you focused rather than reacting to circumstances. Far too often, marketing is done in purely an opportunistic manner rather than a focused plan.
Another thing I have learned from the countless surveys we have taken from the small business owners we coach is that there isn’t nearly enough invested in marketing. When you see the puny line item called marketing on an income statement, it’s no wonder there isn’t any business!
You have to plant a seed to get a crop! As the late Jim Rohn (who was considered one of America’s foremost business philosophers) said, “You can’t say to a field, ‘give me a crop and then I’ll plant a seed.’ You can’t say to a fireplace, ‘give me heat and then I’ll give you some wood!’” It’s ridiculous, yet that’s what I see every day.
Decide in advance what you are going to invest in marketing. Commit to that investment. Don’t make the investment based on whether you have “extra” money or not. Put it in the budget. Make the investment. I know that planning and budgeting doesn’t sound like much fun, but it can make you wildly wealthy, which means you can go have all kinds of fun! How much do you invest in marketing? Whatever it’s going to take to get the profit number you need. You may need to do some research on this, but once you line out the things you are going to implement, figure out how much those items will cost. To get this exactly right, you will have to go adjust your 12-Month Cash Flow Budget.
The Third M: Your Phenomenal Mission
In Chapter 2 of The 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business, I shared the importance of having a mission. When it comes to marketing, you want to keep in mind what you are actually delivering. If you have not determined what your mission is, you should come to terms with that before planning your marketing. Your mission will determine who your target market is and what your marketing messages will look like.
And keep in mind that if you aren’t passionate about the mission you are on, you won’t promote it well and you won’t lead others to carry it out either.
Your mission is the unique experience you want to deliver. For example, at Phenomenal Products, our mission is to help small business owners stop being slaves to their businesses. Although this is a marketing book, and two of my other books are mostly personal development books, our specific mission is to help small business owners who are stuck. Are you passionate about the difference you can make? When small business owners stop being slaves to their businesses and have more freedom to spend time with their families, and do the things they love, it really turns me on. That’s why I get up in the morning. It’s why I’m writing this book now. It’s why I’m willing to travel around the world and sacrifice sleep, and do things that are difficult and inconvenient. I could just stay at the beach in Destin or enjoy time at my dream home in Houston, but I don’t. This is what I’m called to. What is your calling?
The Fourth M: Your Phenomenal Market
To determine who your prime target market is, think about who wants and needs the unique experience you want to provide. For example, back to Phenomenal Products’ mission to help small business owners stop being slaves to their businesses. Our target market is the small business owner who is open to change and ready to learn. This is only one type of business owner. Not every business owner is our market.
For example, the “serial entrepreneur” is not our prime target. The serial entrepreneur is the one who is always starting a new venture, has a very short attention span, and gets distracted by “bright shiny objects.” They are just looking for the next big marketing wave to ride. That’s not what I do. Although the solid marketing strategies I am sharing in this book have been validated by some of the world’s top business trainers, and have worked for my companies and small businesses around the world, serial entrepreneurs won’t slow down long enough to make them work. Does that mean we don’t service serial entrepreneurs? Not at all; we just don’t target them. Another type of business owner is the brand-new business owner. The problem here is that they have not yet experienced the pain of being in business. They don’t feel like a slave. They are still on the “honeymoon,” so to speak.
When I learned who my target market was, I was more successful, because I then focused all my marketing and my coaching around the needs of my prime target market.
Another example is my high-end service company in Houston. We decided that we would provide the “most outstanding service experience ever”—that we would have the best equipment and processes, we would be more trained than anyone else. We would offer first-class, over-the-top customer service. Guess what? Not everyone is willing to pay for that experience. So, our target market became what we call “Mercedes Clients.” It doesn’t mean they all drive Mercedes’, it just means that they have a Mercedes attitude toward their indoor environment.
Another way to determine your prime target market comes from my friend Ellen Rohr, a phenomenal small business consultant. She says, “Picture your favorite customer—you know, the one who pays your price (and pays on time!). The one you love working with.” Those are your perfect niche clients. Do you have a picture in mind? What are their frustrations? What is the competition doing to frustrate them?
What is their lifestyle? With whom do they associate? Where do they live? How much money do they make? How old are they? Are they business owners? How long have they been in business? Multiple locations or single location? Retail or wholesale?
Do you see how we could fill an entire book just with questions on how to know your niche market? One of the most important questions is how they buy. This will be vital when you get into “Methods” in a moment.
The Fifth M: Your Phenomenal Message
Once you determine how much money your business needs to produce, what your mission is, and who your target market is, you now want to craft a message that resonates with them. Go back to the “Five-Point UEP” (Unique Experience PropositionTM). This will become the core of your message. You should be able to expand and contract this message based on the situation and the method of marketing you are using.
If you are at a networking group that gives you sixty seconds of speaking time, you can use the full Five-Point UEP. If you are writing an ad, or you are doing a sales presentation, you’ll need to expand the five points. It is also vital to understand how to write marketing copy.
What’s the message that resonates with your target market? The five-point “experiential” marketing message I shared with you earlier will fit any company wanting to provide a high-end service experience, but you want to pinpoint the exact emotional state they are in. You want to “join the conversation” happening in their head.
One of the things I found that really resonates with my target audience is “the number one reason small businesses don’t grow or do as well as they could is F.T.I. (Failure to Implement).” For some crazy reason, this little axiom sticks in their mind and resonates at the highest level. My service company starts off with “avoid uneducated, uninformed and sometimes downright unscrupulous service companies…” Who is going to respond to that? People who have tried the rest and now want to use the best!
The Sixth M: Your Phenomenal Methods
What methods of marketing will you use to reach your phenomenal target market? You can have plenty of money to invest, a powerful, passionate, meaningful mission, a clearly defined target market, and a compelling message that sells like crazy, but if your perfect prospect never sees it, what’s it worth?
What methods will best deliver the message they need? In order to determine this, we must ask ourselves a few questions. How does your prime target market buy services? Online? Offline? Through ads, direct mail, radio, television, newspaper? Do they read trade magazines? Are there online forums where they hang out? Do they primarily buy through referrals? If so, who do they trust? Who has a relationship with them?
I have seen too many small business owners who have a great product or service, but they struggle because they are using the wrong media. Understanding how your perfect target market buys is vital to choosing the right method to reach them.
I hope this book has given you lots of ideas on what methods to use. In most small businesses, the simplest, most effective way is to use my Referral Marketing system of identifying potential referral sources, bring your phenomenal message about your phenomenal mission to them, and inspire them to talk about you to their clients (your perfect target market).
Once they refer, you then have a phenomenal Client-Based Marketing system using something like Send Out Cards, which compels them to come back to you and to refer you. I have found that companies that learn how to use Referral Marketing and Client-Based Marketing well can be very successful without direct advertising or direct sales.
I had dinner with an SEO guy not too long ago and he was telling me about the client he helped get to number one on Google. But the client is still struggling financially. He doesn’t have enough business. I could clearly see that in his industry, all he has to do is begin developing a relationship with powerful referral sources. He also is not marketing to his past clients. Big mistake.
I cannot stress enough the importance of a phenomenal Referral Marketing system and a phenomenal Client-Based Marketing system! Couple that with a phenomenal mission and message— and you have a winning combination!
The Seventh M: Your Phenomenal M.A.P. (Marketing Action Plan)
Finally, to get where you want to go, you need a map. Your Marketing Action Plan outlines what you are going to do every day, every week, and every month to reach your goals.
You could also call this your Marketing Calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be. You need a road map to follow. When you take the time to create a simple plan, you can then easily follow it. When you’ve done the first six M’s, this part becomes much easier.
Every M.A.P. will be different, but here’s an example:
Send Thank You Letters or Cards
Post on Social Media Three Times Per Day
Send One Heartfelt Greeting Card
Send All Birthday and Anniversary Cards
On-Site Consultation Confirmation Letters
Quality Check Calls
Quality Check E-Mails
Send E-Mail Newsletter
Post on Blog
Update Online Listings and Banner Ads
Attend Networking Groups
One-on-One Meetings Monthly
Client Newsletter or Send Out Cards
Referral Source Newsletter or Send Out Cards
Referral Source Visits