The issue is not really making the sale. You can do that easily because you believe in what you do, and know why it’s great. `

Making the sale is easy.

The difficult part is getting into the room with the right people so that you can make the sale.

Get into the room. This is the difficult part.

So how do you get into the room? It boils down to becoming part of the consideration set. “When we have problem A, we want to get company B, C…..and D into the room to see how they can help us….” That is where you want to be. You’ve cracked an invite; you’re in the ballpark.

At its most basic, this is what your marketing plan should achieve for you. It should get you into the ballpark – or the room, ensuring you are part of the consideration set. We can call this the room rate – the number of rooms you can get into with the right people in a given period. I suggest this should be a key marketing performance metric – or measure of success – for your marketing plan.

Does your marketing activity get you into the right room, with the right people?

On the contrary, many business owners have a successful room rate, but they don’t know what it is that is working for them. They haven’t broken down the marketing strategy into its smallest parts and figured out what’s really working. Ultimately, you need to be able to verbalise what is working. What gets you into the room? Can it be done better? Cheaper? That is your marketing plan for the year.

So what are the basic building blocks of a marketing plan?

  • Understand how many rooms there are in the market, and how they’re different – it’s called segmenting the market.

  • Know whose room it is that you want to get into – it’s called your target market.

  • Understand how decisions are made inside the room – it’s called mapping the customer’s decision-making process.

  • Know how much you are willing to spend to get into the room – the marketing budget.

  • Know which newspapers the guys inside the room read, so you can advertise in them – it’s called choosing the right communication channels.

Next time you think of marketing, think of it as picking a lock to get into the room. The right room. The one where the sales get made.

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