Why marketing? To sell more, of course. Fundamentally, marketing is the act of promoting a product or service for the sake of selling it. Marketing is actionable. It’s about strategizing and then acting on your strategy. Without the smart execution, there’s no marketing. Or there’s – wasted – time and money.
Speaking of execution – what tactical and practical things can you do today to ensure your marketing efforts are strategically pointing towards an increase in sales?
Here are a few examples of how you can make your marketing more actionable and sales-oriented:
Talk to your sales team.
Yes, the marketing crew should have a good grip on what the consumers want, but it takes a slightly different skill-set to sell a product, rather than to promote one. Marketing is all about listening, selling is about talking. Brilliant marketing combines the two. Great sales people are able to cut through the fluff and see things for what they are. The sales process is numbers driven. It always focuses on the end goal – making money. So to speak – sales is about the destination. Marketing is about the journey. Marketing is about making sure you take the right turn. So, talk to your sales team and see how they are selling the product that you are marketing and see if there’s any disconnect there. Even if there’s no disconnect, I bet you will still be able to learn a few new things and look at your product from a different perspective.
- How do your sales people actually sell the product? What sales techniques do they use?
- What benefits do your sales people highlight? Does their vision match yours?
- Do your sales people use social media, your website or print materials? How does this affect your marketing strategy?
- Do your sales people know about the promos you are running and do you share the results of the promos with your sales team?
Talk to your buyers.
If you sell products and you have a team of buyers who first purchase the product for reselling at your stores, then this is where your marketing process actually begins. How do your buyers make the decision on what to buy? Who do you “blame” if the product is not selling? Merchandisers, sales team, marketing team or the buyers?
When your buyers purchase the product they rely on their instincts, the data from previous years of what was selling, and on the industry trends, while trying to predict the future of what is going to be hot in season.
- How often do you talk to the buyers?
- Do you get their input on how to market the product?
- What role do the buyers play in your marketing strategy?
- What can you learn from their expertise on how to promote the product?
- Share the trends you see on social media and across other online marketing platforms (e.g. feedback you get from your existing followers on Facebook) to join your forces at predicting the trends.
Think why it matters.
Your customers buy from you because they see something special in your product or in your brand. If your product is not unique, and can be found at any other store, then you need to focus on branding to ensure your brand becomes the reason why your customers come to you and not your competition. What problem are you solving? Or do you enhance people’s lives with your services or products? Be sure to recognize and play to your strengths.
If you create marketing materials for your sales team to sell your product, then consider this:
- Why does your product matter to the consumer?
- Do you visually showcase the main benefits?
- Do you have the right call to action?
- Do you support your message with a guarantee?
- Did you combine listening and talking in your marketing message?