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Where Will Your Next Customer Come From?

In grad school, I learned one of the most resounding truths of my professional life--that to get more customers, your business needs to reach more people. It's simple, right? Add more to get more. This principle is most commonly illustrated as a sales or marketing funnel.

The traditional sales funnel was created by an advertising pioneer in 1898 to illustrate how a prospect moves from being one of a large group of people with “Awareness” of a product or service at the top of the funnel to becoming one of a smaller group of customers who take a purchase "Action" at the bottom of the funnel.

For over a century, this model taught marketers that to get the most "Action" at the bottom, you need the broadest possible "Awareness" at the top. Too often, that has driven companies to target the broadest possible audience for their services. In marketing, we call this "targeting everyone." And it's the first part of the adage "Targeting everyone is targeting no one," one of the cardinal sins of marketing.

Is There Another Way?

But is this long-held model of "targeting as many people as you can" the best method for finding clients? Sangram Vajre, author of "Account-based Marketing for Dummies," says it no longer works.

“The traditional funnel starts broad – everyone is a target. Its greatest flaw is it treats people as numbers. Today’s buyer expects marketing to be targeted and personalized on her or his terms.”

Using this method, less than 1% of leads turn into customers and less than 2% of cold calls convert into appointments. These types of conversion rates should be evidence enough that the idea of "marketing to everyone” is obsolete.

What Works Now?

Instead of marketing to everyone, what if you only marketed to the people that are interested in your service? Wouldn't this save you a lot of time, money, and effort? Yes, there is a way to market that begins by identifying the businesses or industry your service benefits, then only reach out to decision makers in that audience.

Using this model, your company can stop targeting the vast quantity of people who will never become your customer and stop barraging them with messaging that will never matter to them. Instead, laser focus your marketing effort on the people your company can actually help. Not to mention who will actually want your service!

The New Model

By micro-targeting your most relevant audience, your business is better able to create marketing messages that provide value. Then, invite your prospects to travel down the sales funnel independently and qualify themselves to become a purchaser.

What this looks like from the sales perspective is that a prospect that raises his hand to tell your sales team that he is interested in buying has already informed himself about your business and the service you offer. Often, he will already know how much it costs, how it works, and how soon he can get started.

Are you ready to flip the script and create a new marketing funnel? At Relevant, we don't ask "How do you find new clients?" but instead "How do your new clients find you?" By knowing who you want to work with and how you can help that prospect, your micro-targeted marketing efforts will only put your best possible customers into the top of your sales funnel. And your new marketing maxim will be "Marketing to only the best prospects gives you only the best customers."

Learn how to get a Micro-targeted Multi-touch Campaign started today!

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