Marketing: Reach, Engage, Connect Deliver Value
Robin Harris, DesignerLife Marketing is painted up to be a big deal, let’s get rid of the smoke and mirrors and see “The Marketing Wizard of Oz” for what he really is … a form of communication that we already know how to do. Once we get past the illusion that marketing is a mysterious activity that stands between us and success… the next thing we need to do is reduce marketing to language we can understand and then create activities around its intention. I like to use the RECDV acronym to make it very simple. RECDV stands for Reach, Engage, Connect, and Deliver Value. Once you have identified your Ideal Customer (IC) and the problem or desire you are going to address for her or him then you must plan how you will RECDV. Reaching is about getting in front of your ideal customer. To do this you have to know where your ideal customer gathers, physically or metaphorically. Where do they gather, what web sites do they visit, what search terms do they use when searching for help, who is already in contact with them, what causes do they support, what organizations do they belong to, what publications do they read, what mailing lists are they on, what hobbies do they have, where do they eat, where do they shop, where do they live, where do they work, and this list of questions go on and on. Be an IC detective and start asking questions that take you deeper into your IC’s world. If you don’t know who your IC is, your first assignment is to find out. If your customer doesn’t have natural affinity for your solution, you have a mismatch and this is not an IC. If your product or service does not solve or address the IC’s concerns and needs, you have a mismatch, and you don’t have an IC. Reaching is about locating the IC and positioning yourself in front of them so that they know you are there. Engaging is about eliciting their interest in you and what you have to offer to help them solve their pressing problems or fulfill their strong desires. Notice the focus is on them not you. How you get their attention is by speaking to their wants and needs and temporarily setting yours aside. Standing in their shoes, ask yourself, what form of communication would be most appropriate and most effective. How do you engage your IC into going on the “first date”, i.e. to check out your offer to see if it meets their needs? This is where your knock-out 30-second elevator speech comes in. When someone asks you what do you do, your answer should be intriguing, interesting to someone who is your IC or someone who knows people who are, it should create curiosity and cause the person to ask for more info, it should be on-target – no being vague allowed, it should be professional, and credible, and you should feel passionate about telling people – “this is what I do”. Don’t try and create demand, reach for those who are already want what you have. Connecting is about making sure that once you have your IC’s attention, you carry-through with the communication so that it resonates with them. It’s the follow-up that reels them in and makes them feel you totally understand the problem and probably have just the solution they were looking for. Don’t ask for marriage on the first date, inject the appropriate amount of time to move the person from the first date, to dating, to engagement, then to marriage… you get the point don’t you? Have you ever gone on a first date with someone who seemed like a good fit only to discover they were from another planet? That’s called disconnecting … in marketing it looks like you trying to sell ice to an Eskimo. Although some sales-types pride themselves on forcing or manipulating a sale, that is not the way to deliver genuine value – not to mention such tactics lack integrity. When you know who your IC is and the value you can bring to them, these kinds of tactics are totally unnecessary. Delivering Value is the way I recommend making the connection and then when you make the sale, deliver even more value. I highly recommend using strategies to allow your IC to receive some value prior to beginning an official “sales cycle”. This can be accomplished with samples, free newsletters, free classes, informational website, brochures, audio CDs, public speaking, consultations, and more. The point is that you begin to deliver value to your IC before you ask for money. Once they know you have something of value to offer, you can begin the sales cycle but without any pressure tactics. Delivering value is critical to maintaining a relationship with your IC and it is absolutely essential for follow-up sales and future referrals. It includes good customer service but goes far beyond that – you treat your IC as if they matter not just when you are trying to make the first sale but throughout the relationship. That’s RECDV. It makes good marketing sense, doesn’t it? There is no shortage of ways to RECVD. Don’t box yourself in and don’t be afraid to try something new. You will have to test everything you do – marketing is experiential and no one can teach you to be successful at it if you won’t get on the court and take some risks. Even experienced marketers have to venture out and try new things when the old things stop working or new techniques emerge. Let this be okay and you will be okay. RECDV is not a one size fits all approach to marketing. Your RECVD is going to be unique and will have to be constantly refined as you grow and as the world changes.
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