A couple weeks ago I was on a call with one of our SEO Jumpstart customers and we were joking about how easy marketing appears to be from the outside. It all looks so simple. You advertise and make sales. Or in our example, you set up your SEO and make sales.
But then when you really dive in and learn the psychology behind marketing and see all the moving parts, your jaw drops. That’s one of the main reasons I’m in this industry. I get bored easily, but with marketing there’s ALWAYS something more I can learn and improve.
So let’s take another look at that example I used above where you advertise and make sales. There are two things wrong with that statement:
- First, the goal of marketing is NOT to make sales
- Second, marketing does NOT end when the sale is made.
Both are common misconceptions and both are detrimental to your business. Let’s take a look a closer look.
The Goal of Marketing is to Generate Customers
One of the most important lessons I learned from Dan Kennedy is the difference between a sale and a customer. They appear to be the same thing and often we use them interchangeably in discussions, but there is a HUGE difference. It’s mainly a difference in your mindset and how you approach marketing.
A sale is simply a one-time transaction. Someone hands you money in exchange for a product or service and that’s that. End of story.
I’ve worked with many business owners that had the mindset of generating sales, instead of customers, and each and every one of them was stressed out. On the first of the month, they were always right back to square one with a clean slate of zero sales. And the cycle never ends.
Let’s compare that to a business focused on generating customers. A customer is not just a one-time transaction. In fact, when done right, a customer is for life.
I like to use the analogy of a rechargeable battery. You pay a little extra for rechargeable batteries because you don’t use them once and throw them away. Instead, you invest a little time and energy recharging them so you can reuse them in the future. Same is true when you generate customers. As long as you invest time and energy into recharging them, you’ll continue to to get value long after that initial sale.
So let’s talk about what it means to recharge your customers…
Marketing Never Ends
Marketing does not end at the point of sale. It also does not end when you fulfill on the product or service. And it certainly does not end when you make a repeat sale or receive a referral. It never ends…ever.
In my analogy above, each and every customer has stored value, like stored energy, that can be released and recharged for as long as you want. The value comes in the form of repeat purchases, word of mouth referrals, free publicity if you create zealots, feedback to improve your offers, and priceless insight into your market. That’s the real lifetime value of a customer that needs to be factored into your return on investment calculations for every marketing campaign.
Now, you have to be careful when marketing to customers. Like batteries, they will wear out and eventually die on you if you don’t recharge them. That’s why you need marketing systems in place to nurture, educate, reward, and provide real value to your customers on an ongoing basis.
Remember, if the goal of your marketing is to generate customers, not one-time sales, then you need to make sure you have methods to keep those customers for life. A lost customer costs a whole lot more to your business than a lost sale!