Cutting To The Quick In Services Marketing
Marketing sophisticated services and products would be great if it weren’t for the prospects.
These people are difficult.
They don’t read. They have short attention spans. They ignore ads.
They only want to be entertained.
For marketers, this presents a catch-22: People don’t always respect those who entertain -- so while you may be noticed, you may not be trusted. And when what you’re selling is your expertise, or a product requiring a significant investment, that’s a problem.
Instead of being entertained, these complicated people -- your prospects -- want to be educated.
But here’s another catch-22: They don’t respond to blatantly educational offers.
The trick here is to entertain with education.
That doesn’t mean paying Jerry Seinfeld or Jon Stewart to lead a seminar (although I’d sign up for either). What it does mean is presenting valuable information in an easy-to-digest manner.
So, rather than spending your money on the types of marketing and promotion that produce so-so results, start to experiment with an entirely new (well, not entirely new) way to engage and enlighten your customer base, all while leading them to the point of sale, or at least to a spirited “tell me more.”
For example, we’ve seen great success with something developed by specialty publisher Lightbulb Press, called a “Quick Byte.” Quick Bytes are brief online guides on a variety of topics that provide a built-in response mechanism for tracking interest and initiating the next step in a sales cycle. In the financial arena, for example, a Quick Byte may deal exclusively with an IRA rollover or a particular trading strategy. It can link to your Web site or other landing page, and to a customer response page that triggers a specific action, e.g., “send me more information” or “have someone call me.”
Building relationships (and prospects) through education has often been one of those “it’s good for you so it must be painful/boring/etc.” things -- most people assume that it’s hard work to delve into the information. So though your prospects have the best of intentions when they sign up for your offer, frequently the material sits unprinted, unopened and unread. Just as we continue to learn that education can be the best way to build the loyalty and trust that leads to successful lead generation, we continue to learn the lesson that less is really more.
It is topic-specific, easy to digest and appealing content -- whether a Quick Byte or something developed by your creative team -- that most effectively marries the credibility of education with the attention of entertainment.
By making educational content more accessible, marketers will reach prospects who might otherwise be intimidated, disinterested, suspicious or ashamed to admit what they don’t know.
You know who I’m talking about: your prospects.