Strap It On – Duct Tape Marketing
John Jantsch, reviewed by Ray Silverstein
Michael Gerber states, “This book is just like its namesake–Duct Tape–it’s good, incredibly smart, amazingly practical, and immensely sticky stuff.” I found the book to be a good basic outline of a marketing strategy and it had many useful hints.
Everyone thinks their plight is unique, “Why is it so hard to market my business?” “But what if I told you, no matter what your business claims to do or provide, you’re actually in the marketing business. That’s right–every business is actually a marketing business.” “You simply can’t afford to be no good at marketing if you plan to stick around and grow your business.”
“Marketing is getting people who have a specific need or problem to know, like, and trust you.”
Many small businesses do copycat marketing. Copycat Marketing is a surefire way to guarantee that your marketing will fail. Copycat marketing simply reinforces that you are the same as everyone else.
Another practice by small business is Ostrich Marketing. Ostrich marketing is practiced by owners who simply have no idea what to do with marketing, so they do nothing–they stick their head in the sand and hope.
The primary activity in Duct Tape Marketing is to narrow and focus. The lead generation is a two step process. What do you think it would mean to your marketing activity if you had just five hundred highly qualified prospects and your only job was to get them to know, like, trust, and contact you?
The following are the steps for Duct Tape Marketing:
Step #0. State Your Primary Marketing Goals for the Year. Until you can get very clear about what needs to happen in order for your marketing system to be successful, you will never get there. One year from today, what will your business look like? How will it change? How will it grow?
Step #1. Describe Your Ideal Client. Carve out a narrow target market or narrow market segment and find out everything you can about what people in that market segment want to buy and why they want to buy it. Build a marketing strategy just for this market and make sure that the world hears that you are better at serving that market than any other business. Describe the ideal client and market as though he or she is sitting across the table from you at this moment.
You can choose to attract clients that value what you offer, view working with you as a partnership, and want you to succeed, but only if you have a picture of what that ideal client looks like. Identify, describe, and focus on a narrow target of clients or segments that are perfectly suited for your business.
One of the easiest ways to start to get this picture of who or what makes an ideal client is to take a close look at the customers your business has attracted to date.
Physical Characteristics: Are, Employment Status, Gender, Occupation, Income, Education, Industry, Number of employees, Type of business, Geographic scope of business, Revenue levels.
Emotional Characteristics: Discovering common emotional characteristics is more of an art than science. What you are looking for are things like values, fears, desires, and goals. What do they want out of life? What are they not getting? What do they need to know to feel comfortable? What is holding them back?
One of the best way to accumulate this type of information is to retrace many of your sales calls, including the ones where you did not get the results you had hoped for. Another clue is to understand lifestyle patterns of your Ideal Prospects. Find out about their hobbies, interests, books and magazines they read, musical preferences, and travel tastes. This can provide a deeper glimpse into what your Ideal Prospect really cares about.
Know, Like and Trust–It’s a fact that people often like people who have the same interests. All things being equal or unequal, a buying decision will tip to the business or salesperson who the buyer likes the most–It’s called human nature.
Without a need or problem, you don’t really have a market. So, what’s the problem? What are your customers attempting to solve when they buy your products or retain your services? You don’t sell goods and services, you sell solutions to problems. What you really sell is peace of mind, status, pain relief, etc. State this revelation as bluntly as possible, and your marketing business will benefit immediately.
A guiding principle of marketing is the ability to charge a premium for your products and services within a chosen target market. You must determine if this market values what you have to offer enough to pay a premium for your expertise and understanding of this given market.
Factors to consider if it is a viable market:
- Is the market large enough to support your business growth goals?
- Can you easily promote your business to the decision makers in this market?
- Does this market value what you do enough to pay a premium?
When you are searching for a target market that is hungry for a solution, there are three questions that must be considered:
- Do they want what I have? It does not matter if they desperately need what you have. If they do not want it for one reason or another, then you are sunk. People rarely act to their own benefit unless they want to.
- Do they value what I do? You must look for people who are already investing in the type, or at least the category of service you have.
- Are they willing to pay a premium for what I do?
The Ideal Prospect Profile: Using the information you have gathered about an ideal customer you create an Ideal Prospect Profile. This is one or two paragraphs you write that describe a picture of your ideal client, almost as though you were describing someone sitting across a table from you.
Try this formula: Physical description+What they want+Their problem+How they buy+Best way to communicate with them=Ideal Prospect.
- Look for common characteristics such as age and gender among your best clients.
- Uncover a common frustration among your target market.
- Write a description of your ideal target market in terms that are easy to communicate.
- Determine whether your ideal target market is large enough to support your business.
Step#2. Write Your Core Message Points. Uncover three or four unique benefits that your business or product can provide to your ideal target market, and then make these points of difference your central marketing themes. If need be, change your entire business model to take advantage of an opportunity to serve a narrow market.
Get Out of the Commodity Business. You’ve got to uncover and communicate a way in which your business is different from every other business that says they do what you do. You’ve got to find a way to stand out and stake your claim on a simple idea or position in the mind of your prospective clients. This claim must be powerful and intentional.
Find something that separates you from your competition become it and speak it to everyone you meet. Quality isn’t it, good service isn’t it, fair pricing isn’t it. The difference needs to be in the way you do business, the way you package your product, the way you sell your service, the fact that you send cookies to your clients, the fact that you show people how to transform their lives–It’s in the experience you provide.
The Core Message Process:
- Discover capture, and commit to a unique position.
- Create a Marketing Purpose Statement.
- Turn your purpose statement into a Talking Logo.
- Craft a simple Core Message to use in all of your marketing.
It’s worth noting that being different for difference’s sake isn’t enough. An identifiable target market must value the difference! Example: Trust With Your House Keys.”
These are some ways to communicate your core message:
Unique habit, Customer service, A way of doing business, A memorable personality.
The best way to get your positioning is to ask your clients.
- Why did you hire us in the first place?
- What do we do that others don’t?
- What’s missing from our industry as a whole?
- What could we do that would thrill you?
- What do you find yourself simply putting up with in this industry?
- What would you do if you owned a business like ours?
What you really sell is what the eventual buyer think they are going to get from your product or service.
Your Marketing Purpose Statement: This statement is not meant to be communicated to your clients, but rather is meant to be the basis for your marketing and customer service activity. Your Marketing Purpose Statement should become not just a goal but the overriding purpose for the business. A powerful Marketing Purpose Statement should give you and your staff a vision for the future of the business.
Create a Talking Logo: This is a short statement that quickly communicates your firm’s position and forces the listener to want to know more. The Talking Logo is created in two distinct parts. Part 1 addresses your target market, and Part 2 zeros in on a problem, frustration, or want that market has.
Example: I show small service professionals how to triple what they charge.
Step one: Create a compelling answer to “What do you do for a Living?” one that focuses on a benefit or solution and forces them to want to know more.
Step two: Prepare a simple supplementary answer that tells them the unique way you get them that benefit or solution.
Your Core Marketing Message: This is the message all of the activity you have performed to create. Now that you have discovered the marketing purpose for your firm and answered what you do for a living, it is time to fashion the creative marketing messages you will use to communicate your purpose in a way the clearly demonstrates the benefit of doing business with your firm. Example: Electrical contractor: Marketing Purpose Statement: We want to be known as the one electrical contractor who will show up when we say we will and do the work right the first time.
Talking Logo: We help homebuilders eliminate callbacks.
Core Message: Wired Right on Time.
Step #3. Develop Educational Marketing Materials: Create a list of the educational marketing materials your ideal client might find helpful in an attempt to understand the value that your firm has to offer.
Attempt to move your target prospects along a logical path toward a group of offerings geared to addressed the various stages of client development. This gradual, trust building approach allows businesses to charge much more for their products and services while enjoying a much greater relationship with their clients.
Step #4. Outline Your Lead Generation Strategy: Create a list of every conceivable way you can reach your target market. This is not limited to mail, public relations, referrals, e mail or advertising.
The Client Stages Defined:
- Suspects– The list of people who fit your target description.
- Prospects– The list of people who have responded to an offer for more information.
- Clients– The list of people who have tried your product or service.
- Repeat Clients– The list of people who have upgraded or purchased more.
- Champions– The list of people who tell others and sell for you.
Marketing Offer for Suspects: Your suspect database responds to offers of complete information designed to help them solve a problem or answer a question. These take the form of free reports, tips, white papers, workshops, demonstrations, evaluations, newsletters, books, guides and checklists.
Example: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Hire a Roofing Contractor.
Marketing Offer for Prospects: Once your suspects raise their hands and request your fee report, they are giving you permission to market to them. Your prospect list is now ready for an offer to become a client. In many cases this requires a low cost or trial service offering to gain the ultimate trust needed to become a premium client. You may need to create an introductory product or version of your service that can be priced low enough to offer a low barrier to becoming a client.
Your Clients Become Premium Clients: Once your clients move to premium status, the focus is to also find specific ways to turn them into a referral source.
Premium Clients Become Champions: Some amount of your clients will automatically become champions. These are repeat clients who voluntarily look for way to promote your business. In effect, this potent group can become your informal sales force.
- Understand the client stages.
- Develop marketing, products, and service offerings that address every aspect of the marketing funnel.
- Map every point of customer contact and look for holes in the funnel
Produce Marketing Materials That Educate: Done well marketing can eliminate the need to sell.
Educate, Don’t Sell.
Create a Marketing Kit. This should include your case statement, your difference summary, your ideal client/customer description, your marketing story, and your offerings.
Your Case Statement should address the following:
- A statement of a challenge, frustration, or problem that your target market experiences.
- An image of what life is like when the problem is solved.
- How they got here in the first place.
- A path for them to follow.
- A directed call to action.
Your Difference Summary:
Don’t tell them what you do; focus on how you do it. Tell them about your unique approach, your processes, and the little things you do. If you have studied your competition and you know what your target market craves, make a point to summarize you solution.
Your Marketing Story:
Tell them your story in an open, honest, and entertaining way, and you will win their hearts as well as their heads. The ability to connect by way of personal stories is one of the greatest advantages that small businesses possess over big businesses. Most importantly—stories build trust.
Your Product/Service Offerings:
This page should outline the various services, products, and packages that you have available. Clearly describe and detail the benefits of each.
Your Marketing Kit may also include Case Studies, Client experiences, Testimonials, FAQ, Processes and Checklists, Articles, and anything you believe would be of value to the prospect.
Marketing kits are not intended for mass, direct-mail campaigns. They are much more effective once you have generated a lead and want to proceed to fully educating the prospects.
MARKETING IS MOSTLY YOUR JOB, BUT GET YOUR ENTIRE COMPANY INVOLVED. EDUCATE THEM!
LEAD GENERATION PROGRAM:
Use a two step lead generation program whether it be advertising, direct mail public relations, web, etc. This is simply to set into motion by advertising an offer, such as a free how to report, tip sheet, industry insider scoop, or survey results. The goal is to have suspects request information and thus giving you permission to market to them.
Step #5. Describe Your Sales/Education Process: Write down the steps you will take when a prospect contacts your business by way of one of your lead generation strategies.
Have a process for Discovery, Presentation and Transaction. Sales should not be off the cuff, but a planned process. Create several questions you will ask prospects during the discovery phase that will allow you to get a feel for how ready they are to understand the need for your products or services.
The Discovery phase may be done over the phone. The Presentation or Internal seminar is a planned approach. When you take control of the meeting and present your points in a structured way, you will either connect or you won’t, but when you do it will be the right connection.
The Presentation consists of weaving the key elements into a concise message that includes: The Problem, Your Solution, Your Core Difference, Your Story, A Real Client Example, How You Work and The Expected Results.