We’ve passed the halfway mark in 2013 and many of you might already be looking for ways to elevate your sales for the rest of the year and even for 2014. With that in mind here are four simple marketing approaches that will help you.

 

1. Be honest with your customers.

Are all advertisers liars?

People don’t do business with businesses; we do business with people. If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face. Our brains cannot relate to the over perfected, over Photoshopped advertising messages we see every day, so we are simply ignoring or deriding them. How many adverts have you seen that portray an ideal family environment that just doesn’t exist or match anything you’ve seen in your life? When was the last time you had a burger that actually looked like the burger you saw in the advert? How many ads have you approved that portray consumers using your products like they’ve just discovered a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? No one acts and behaves like that in the real world and the sooner you recognise and understand this the better.  Start to care. That simple word sums up so much. Have you ever been to a restaurant or a hospital where they genuinely care? You can tell, immediately. So can your customers.

2. Satisfy your customer’s wants.

We no longer buy products because we need them; we buy them because we want them. This is true because almost everything we can realistically imagine that we need has already been invented. There used to be a time when we had fewer choices but now we have an infinite supply. This wasn’t true just 20 years ago when we had a lot more time and a lot less choices. Our disposable income had far fewer ways to get squandered, so if a company came up with something really cool, like the mobile phone, we’d find a way to pay for it. But the game has changed and now we’re only interested in satisfying our wants so please start satisfying our wants.

3. You can’t be everywhere.

Start prioritising where you want to interact with your clients. When it comes to advertising, the media landscape is just too vast to reach everyone. Simply put, there are so many media alternatives that consumers can no longer be effectively reached by mass media such as television or radio. At the end of the day, every business has a financial target to reach and it doesn’t matter whether it takes 5000 or 100 customers to reach that goal, so why chase everyone? A woodpecker can peck once on every tree in a forest in the hopes that he’ll find what he’s looking for or he can concentrate his efforts on a smaller number of trees and get results.

4. Leave the centre of the market and aim for the edges.

Where's the meat? Cher used to think she was on the bleeding edge.

Where's the meat? Cher used to think she was on the bleeding edge.

Every market has two parts: there’s the big, fat juicy centre and then there are the edges. For obvious reasons the centre appeals to more of us than it should (must be the Lizard-Brain at work) but it’s not a safe place because nothing remarkable ever takes place there. If we take a look at the music industry and compare Lady Gaga to Britney Spears it’s easy to see where their position in the market lies. When Britney decided to go to the edges a few years back she reworked her image, forgot her underwear and tried to reinvent herself but her audience rejected her, forcing her brand further back into the centre than it had ever been before. Lady Gaga on the other hand, started at the edge and the centre moved towards her. Now she can wear dresses made out of meat or ride a panda to the next Grammy Awards and it will all fit perfectly within the scope of her brand and (even better) people will accept it. The edge isn’t for everyone, but would you really want to market yourself as “more bland than the leading brand”?