Who’s Listening to You?

Marketing is simply the process of telling someone about a cool thing you want to share. It might be a sermon, a blog post, a youtube video, a product or a service. When I talk to people about marketing, I discuss the various aspects related to the process. I use a very simplified model (not the seven “P’s”). It only has three things to think about… There’s:

  • the thing you’re trying to sell (top)
  • where it fits in the marketplace of alternatives (right)
  • How you’re telling people (left)

In the middle are the customers – who’s listening to you? The conversation at this point usually starts (and ends) with their clients – the people at the end of the line buying the product or service. My one thought today is simple… you have four categories of customer. I’ve discussed them here in order of least considered, to most.

1. Market to yourself
You are the first person who buys your product or service. Do you believe in it? Are you sold? Do you remember why you invented it? Why you’re in business? Listen to your self talk, back yourself and be who you need to be to sell this thing.

2. Market to your investors
Business people hardly ever think of their investors – potential, planned, future or current ones. We are always driving forward. We must spend time sharing information – marketing to our stakeholders (financial investors) – again this changes who you are as the owner.

3. Market to your staff
If you aren’t serving a customer, serve someone who is. South West Airlines live and die by this motto – their staff are always right. Happy staff make happy customers. Take care of them, make sure they know why you’re in business, what you’re selling and its power.

4. Market to your clients
This is where people usually start – at the outside, furthest away from themselves – but customers are at the end of the marketing chain really. If you’re not convinced, and your backers are not convinced, and your staff are not convinced… you won’t sell a thing.