Finish Line Marketing: 5 Guidelines for Finish Line Marketing
The Pan/Am Games is set to begin in Ontario from July 10 - 26, 2015. We are days away from watching athletes perform in minutes what they have trained to do for years. What spectators will be watching is an infinitesmally small portion of what an athlete does and the time that athlete puts into his job yet those few minutes will be the majority of the attention that athlete receives his whole career.
Spectators love to watch the finish line moments, where competitions are won and champions are made. We do not, however, show a lot of interest in the long, tedious training sessions, physio appointments, management meetings, public relations planning, early bedtimes and highly specific training foods that are all part of the process the athlete lives every day for years before the competition. We want to be included in the exciting and glorious results and the same is true for customers of a business. I notice entrepreneurs who try to tell their potential customers the nuances and details of what they do. Many inspirational quotes and hints at daily struggles on social media later, the entrepreneur still has not increased her sales. She is frustrated and confused because she thinks she is being transparent and inspirational. But marketing your business is like training for a competition. There are a thousand unsexy elements of what it takes to run your business and sell your products that your customer is not interested in knowing.
Marketing your business online and off requires finish line marketing. Your customers want to see the results. Your customers want to participate in your triumphant moments. Occasionally, your customers even want a peek at your process but only insofar as it builds their trust in your ability to understand and solve their problem.
5 Guidelines for Finish Line Marketing
1. Ask yourself: what is my customer's problem and what unique solution can I offer to them?
Remember, your marketing should all come from a place of customer-focus (what can I do for you) not business-focus (what can you do for me). The answer to this question will help you determine what the finish line is so you know when you've reached it.
2. Show then tell.
Show what your customer wants to see, then tell them. Use photos and video to convey your message, then interpret what you want your customers to take away from the photos in the description below. Inspirational quotes may be direct, but "a picture is worth a thousand words." Use the 80/20 rule for the content you post to your business social media pages (except twitter): 80% photos or video, 20% text.
3. Focus on the results not the process.
Sell people on how your business will change their lives for the better. Focus on the positive way they will feel when they purchase your product or service. Feelings are the only reality your customer is interested in, not how they will get there.
4. Show off your moments of triumph,
even the little ones. Everyone likes to be on a winning team.
5. Ask your previous clients for testimonials,
ask your previous customers for product reviews, do interviews, get other people to talk about your business. Send your product, your business, yourself out into the world and let others talk about what you do well for them.
These strategies are a few ways you can get customers interested in your product or service. Remember that what you are selling is the finish line, the feeling, the winning experience. At the core, all of these techniques are good public relations in practice. In order to practice good public relations for the long term you need finish line thinking and finish line execution.