Entrepreneurs and business leaders all have one thing in common: they want to feel confident and competent about their business growth strategy.

Sometimes they feel that they are able to find that confidence in popular short-term marketing tactics like promotions, ads, and offers. 

These tactics can accomplish short-term goals by giving you a temporary boost, but when companies rely on these short-term tactics for too long, often, the same thing inevitably happens: “The way we’ve always done it” stops working and their marketing ROI begins to disappear.  

When that happens, it’s time to get back to fundamentals.

There are only 3 marketing fundamentals every business leader needs to learn and master in order to be successful.

Knowing The 3 Marketing Fundamentals For Success

Marketing is an area that business leaders often find the most challenging. Every business wants to grow, but far too many of them waste money on disorganized marketing tactics that, in the end, don’t support that goal. 

Long-term growth requires a long-term strategy. Marketing tactics drive sales, but a well-formed marketing strategy has the power to grow businesses. 

Developing a strategy that will move the needle in your business means taking a hard look at these 3 fundamentals:

  • Buyer

What is their journey to purchasing from you? What are their current pain points struggles? What are their desires and motivations? 

  • Message

How is what you offer different from the competition? Your single point of differentiation is what you want to focus on portraying in your brand message.

  • X-factor

What is the point in your sales process where you should focus your energy? Where can you make the biggest impact with effective marketing?

Step #1: Get To Know Your Buyer.

When you’re developing a new strategy for better growth, the first thing you need to do is dig down into your buyer’s journey. Learn their journey, their pain points, and their struggles.  

In her book, “Buyer Personas”, Adele Revella shares a framework of what that journey looks like, so you can gain real insights that will drive your marketing decisions. Because understanding the journey our customers take is one way for us to understand them better. Getting to know our customers better is always a good idea. 

Revella’s framework is called The Buyer Interview and it’s a 30-minute interview she recommends you have with 5-10 of your existing customers. (Don’t try to overdo it. 5-10 is the perfect number for the insight you need. Any more will lead to a waste of your valuable time.) 

Revella recommends starting the interview by saying: “Take me back to when you first started looking for this product or service.” 

With that one prompt, you begin at the start of their journey. As they describe their journey, look for trigger points where it may be a good idea to focus a lot of your marketing. 

The other questions you ask may sound like this:

  • What will you do next? 
  • What were some of your fears? 
  • What were some of your concerns? 
  • Who did you go talk to? 
  • What were some of the barriers? 
  • What were some of your hesitations?

The last question is arguably the most important and a way to find what matters most to your customers: Why did you end up choosing my product or service? 

Sometimes they will say price, and that is an opportunity to dig down deeper to find the entire reason they chose your product or service. Challenge them on this, by asking what else matters? Was it service? Availability? Trust? Options? Try to pinpoint it. 

Buyer interviews provide invaluable information for the marketing process, and it’s a very simple framework, one that we use regularly. If you haven’t started performing buyer interviews, I highly recommend doing this yourself as a business owner or having your existing marketing team do these interviews. 

Then take those triggers, journeys, and decision criteria back to your marketing team, so you can begin developing a new, stronger marketing campaign.

Here is an interview with Adelle, in case you’d like to learn more:

Step #2: Focus On Your Message. 

Now it’s time to identify the unique points in your business. In his book, “This is Marketing,” Seth Godin talks about a simple thought process for doing this called “owning edges.” 

With Godin’s concept, you pick the two best attributes of your business that matter to your customers (from your buyers’ preferences and criteria) and plot them on the XY axes of a quadrant.

The XY axes are at the edges, and your single point of differentiation should come from the upper right corner of those two axes. That’s what you will focus your marketing message on. 

When choosing the attributes you will plot, be sure to consider who your competitors are and where they fall. You want to find your point of differentiation – the way in which you are different from the competition – and develop your message around that.

Owning the edges ensures you stand out from the competition. 

Step #3: Identify The X-Factor. 

We call it the X-Factor. In engineering, it’s called the driving force. The driving force has the most impact. So now it’s time to figure out where your marketing efforts can make the most impact. 

Think about your sales process, your buyer’s journey, and all the steps along the way. What sales process do you have in place? How do you capture that buyer along that journey? 

The goal is to find the one point in that sales process where marketing can make the most impact on the outcome of the sales. Once you can identify that point in your sales process, the driving force – you’ve found the X factor.

Now your marketing team knows where to focus a significant amount of energy so that you’re able to make the biggest impact in driving more sales and growing your business. 

How a Fractional CMO Can Help:

A fractional CMO – one of the great weapons for success in business – are uniquely skilled to guide you through these 3 key marketing fundamentals you need to master in order to bust through brick wall-type revenue plateaus and finally start hitting those elusive ROI targets. 

Since 2016, CEOs have come to us for…

  • Our seasoned marketing professionals
  • Our proven process 
  • Our customized solutions
  • Our owner mindset and level of commitment

And with our Fractional Model, we’ve figured out how to make all of that affordable for you.

Seem too good to be true? Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today