We’re not talking about NFTs, Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality, or anything along those lines today.
Instead, let’s focus on the tried-and-true marketing tactics or tricks that have been used for decades, yet nobody talks about them, not even us that often.
That’s because these tricks are a little bit more complicated or nuanced than the quick hits we’re used to — like “use this kind of colour or font to create a certain feel” or “put a minimum of ten hashtags on each post.”
Instead, these are deep-rooted strategies that involve taking the long view and understanding how our customers think, behave and want to be marketed to.
When people think about marketing, they think it’s all about creating Facebook ads, YouTube videos, Google Ads, or magazine ads and then waiting to become the next viral sensation.
But, as a whole, marketing is just a business function, the same as HR, finance, legal, etc. That means it takes time, money, investment, and a lot of planning to work.
That explains why many people get frustrated when they don’t see results immediately. They’ll make that one post on social media, and when it fails to get them the results they were hoping for, they’ll swear it away and immediately hop onto the next trend.
And when that too fails, they’ll just give up, when in reality, things aren’t working because they just haven’t given it enough time.
So, to help you get the results you’re looking for in 2023, here are a few marketing secrets that no one ever talks about but can help you achieve the marketing success you’ve been chasing around over the years.
1. Identify the Marketing Sweat Spot:
In the most rudimentary art drawing class, let’s show you what we mean by “marketing sweet spot.”
We must start by saying this is where most businesses fall, and if you ever find yourself here, the answer is to keep pushing through, not dial back, not to pivot — just keep moving forward.
Let’s imagine the standard bell curve:
Let’s divide the bell curve into three, A and B, and the middle section (our sweet spot).
A = The Minimum Effective Dose
A is what we call the “Minimum Effective Dose.”
Nothing you do matters until you’re out of this range.
You can try a million different strategies and tactics, but until you’re out of here, it won’t matter.
You can spend on Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Google Ads, and magazine ads, but nothing you do, translates to immediate sales.
That’s because your business has to generate enough exposure; there’s not enough momentum, reach, engagement, touchpoints, and messaging to generate the results you want.
So, until you’ve reached this “Minimum Effective Dose,” don’t expect any miracles.
As it turns out, this is where 90% of businesses fall. They’re stuck in this no man’s land, not getting the results they want and spinning their wheels.
The answer to everything they’re doing is to keep pushing forward and get out of here as soon as possible. They want to keep moving forward until they reach the sweet spot.
The Sweet Spot
This is when things start to take off, and you see your efforts finally paying off.
You can now see that marketing is starting to work for you, as all the touchpoints, messaging, and exposure are finally working together to generate results.
But even though this looks good, there’s more that you can do.
Remember, the sweet spot is huge, and you’re competing with multi-million-dollar industries and companies.
So, if you want to compete in the sweet spot, you must go all out and get out of this “comfortable” area as soon as possible.
A common mistake most businesses do at this stage is that they just stay in the sweet spot and wait for something magical to happen.
So, they start posting one video a week, a post a day, or an ad here and there. Everything appears maxed out, and they’re making a million dollars a year, so why push it any further?
But imagine this:
You’re in the fitness industry, saturated with multi-million-dollar businesses, but you’re only raking in a million a year. That shows that you’re barely scratching the surface.
You might think you are already maxed out with what you’re doing, but there’s still plenty of room to grow and scale.
You have the potential that you’re not looking into, and pretty soon, your competitors will catch on, and then you’ll be playing catch up.
Enters the Next Stage of the Bell Curve:
The Area of Diminishing Returns
After the sweet spot, there’ll come a time when more money, effort, and time, won’t pay off anymore.
The returns diminish, and you won’t get the same results for the same amount of money and effort.
Ramping up your marketing efforts at this stage can cost you more money with fewer results.
So, when you reach the area of diminishing returns, it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy and do more.
For example, if you’ve been reaping big with PPC ads, but now it’s not getting you the same results, it’s time to do more.
After all, you can’t make people search for more keywords or bid higher when the potential market is already saturated.
So, take this as a warning. When you reach the area of diminishing returns, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy and try something else.
But until that, keep pushing forward and keep working on getting to the sweet spot, and when you do get to this spot, go all in until you reach the area of diminishing returns. That’s when you want to re-evaluate your strategy and do more.
That leads us to the next marketing secret that nobody ever talks about.
2. The Rule of 7
The Rule of 7 is an old marketing trick, but it’s so powerful that it’s still used today. This rule states that a potential customer needs to be exposed to your message and brand at least 7 times before they make a purchase decision.
That means you must get your message and brand out in as many different places as possible.
The more expensive the purchase, the more touchpoints you’ll need.
So, if you’re selling a high-ticket item, like a car or a house, you may need around 7-14 touchpoints before someone can decide.
This Rule forces you not to give up early but to keep pushing and reaching out to new potential customers until they have enough reasons to purchase.
It’s a numbers game; you must play it until you strike gold. So, keep pushing your message out there in different places, and you’ll eventually get the results you’re looking for.
So, how do we do this?
We do this by showing up in front of our ideal target market, where they’re present and active.
That means we must be selective with the platform, the content, and the message we’re sending out.
Focus on platforms your ideal target market is active on, and go after them with laser focus.
Create content that speaks directly to your target market, and deliver it in the places where they’re most likely to be, and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.
3. The Mere Exposure Effect
The Mere Exposure Effective is more of a psychological phenomenon. The idea is simple: we tend to associate frequency with trust as humans.
The more we’re exposed to something, the more familiar and comfortable we become with it. This level of comfort eventually leads to trust and then to sales.
So, the Mere Exposure Effect is a great way to get people comfortable with your brand and product.
It’s ingrained in the human psyche — and can be traced back to the cave-dwelling days when seeing the same wild animal every day meant that it wasn’t trying to kill us or eat us.
So, to use the Mere Exposure Effect in your favour, keep reaching out to potential customers with your message and brand.
You want to develop a solid email marketing strategy and use PPC ads and content marketing to get your message out.
The two most important marketing strategies at this stage are email marketing and content marketing.
Send out at least two to three emails every week.
You also want to consistently produce valuable content that speaks directly to your ideal target market. These can be blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, or webinars.
4. Go Deep, Not Broad
When it comes to marketing, many people make the mistake of trying to reach everyone. But that’s not how the game works.
You don’t want to appeal to everyone, just a small subset of people most likely to purchase from you.
The easiest way to do this is to take a look at yourself. You might not be a customer, but you’re solving a problem you had at some point.
Figure out what motivated you to purchase the product, and use that information to create content and ads that speak directly to your ideal customer.
Going after everyone means you’ll have to water down your message. But going deep allows you to craft a unique, impactful message that resonates with your target market.
So, how do you go deep?
That moves us to the next point.
5. Creating an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA)
An ideal customer avatar is an in-depth analysis of who your target audience is.
By ICA, we’re not saying that you should look into your customers and give them a name, hair colour, and a backstory. What we’re saying is that you should look at the commonalities that they have and craft a customer persona around them.
Look at the characteristics, behaviour, tendencies, and goals your top customers or audience have in common.
We can divide these commonalties into three different categories:
Demographic: By demographic, we’re referring to the age, gender, location, occupation, and other factors related to your target market.
Geographical: Geographical data refers to where your target market is located. What city, province, and country do they live in?
Psychographic: Psychographics refers to the motivations, interests, and lifestyle of your target market — all of the head stuff. That’s where most of your ICA stuff should come from — what are the values, dreams, interests, political affiliations, habits, lifestyles, etc. (things that make them, them).
A common mistake marketers make when creating an ICA is to make it too general or vague. You don’t want to group your target audience as either male or female, or 18-35, and leave it at that.
You want to get as specific as you can with your ICA.
For example, you might say that your ideal customer is a 45-year-old father of two who lives in the suburbs, works in finance, and likes to golf on the weekends.
The idea is to have multiple ICAs, each representing a segment of your target market.
Like the example above, you can have one ICA for stay-at-home moms, another for working professionals, gamers, and so on.
You can serve the same product to all of these audiences, but you’ll have to craft a message that speaks to each of them. That way, you won’t turn the other groups away by talking about things that are irrelevant to them.
That way, you’ll be able to craft a message that speaks directly to each one of your target customers. And the only way to pull this off is to talk about their psychographic details.
So, how do you go about this?
The next point will answer that question.
6. Miracles and Miseries
Here is an expression I love, “Customers don’t buy what they understand. They buy what makes them feel understood.”
So, how do you make customers feel understood?
The answer is simple: talk about their miracles and miseries.
Miracles are the things that they wish would happen — the desired end-state. The miseries are the things that they want to avoid — the undesired end-state (their fears, worries, and anxieties).
After which, you want to drill down to the core of their questions and craft a message around them. Things like “how can I get X result in Y amount of time?” or “how can I do X without Y?”
Remember, your business has one simple mission: to move customers from their current state to the desired end state (their miracle).
At the same time, you want to assure them that you can help them avert all miseries (their fears, worries, and anxieties).
The conversion happens when they get to their miracle and avoid their miseries.
That’s the essence of effective communication — you have to make them feel understood and create a sense of trust and confidence in you and your product.
Once you understand this, it’s time to move on to the next point.
7. Sell the Sizzle
We all know the phrase “sell the sizzle, not the steak”.
Features aren’t as good selling points as their outcomes.
In other words, you don’t want to tell customers about your product’s features; instead, tell them why they should buy it — how will it benefit them, and what will it help them achieve?
Give your customers value. Show them that your product or service is the answer to their problems.
Demonstrate how it solves their pains and positions itself as a viable solution.
Using the famous example of “sell me this pen.” You wouldn’t just say, “It’s a pen with a pen cap.” You want to sell the sizzle, so you wouldn’t say this pen has a pen cap and leave it at that. You would instead say, “This pen is designed for smooth, clean writing that won’t smudge or fade; it has a comfortable grip, and its cap prevents the ink from drying out.”
Benefits sell better than features because they’re tied to human emotions. They inch the customer closer to the desired end-state and paint a picture of how their life could be made better with your product or service.
Benefits Vs. Features
Both sell. It’s just that benefits sell better.
While benefits target customers at an emotional level, features tend to be more fact-based. They’re logical points of reference but don’t always make a strong connection.
Every time you sell something, you want to focus on the benefits and not just rattle off features.
But there’ll come a time when it makes more sense to sell the features.
Remember, while humans are emotional beings, they still want to see the logical side of things, so you want to focus on both.
Sell them the benefits, and when they don’t convert, flip it around and show them the features. Keep doing this until you figure out what works best.
Go Back to Point #1: Minimum Effective Dose
If you’re doing all this and still not seeing results, the chances are you’re not doing enough. Keep doing and pushing until you get to the minimum effective dose, then push a bit more.
It’s about finding that balance between effort and results. Find out what works for your business, and keep doing it.
Keep testing and refining your message, testing different types of content, and seeing what resonates with your audience. Keep experimenting until you find that sweet spot.
Also, try to look for new opportunities and keep your eyes open for new trends. The world around us is constantly changing, so you want to be on the lookout for new techniques, strategies, and tactics.
Once you find something that works, don’t stop there. Keep pushing, exploring, and innovating.