Message Sharpening Tip - Market To Who Pays You

A key part of our internet marketing coaching is working with business owners to sharpen the message and bring laser focus to their marketing strategy.

To achieve this objective we help clients answer 3 key questions:

  1. Who pays you for the work you do?
  2. What do they pay you for?
  3. Why do they choose you over a competitor?

While these sound like simple questions, knowing what to do with the answer is sometimes quite complex. For example, one of our clients is a direct mail company (let's call them "D.M.C.") whose main business is creating and mailing advertising postcards to homeowners - you know, those colorful postcard decks you get in the mail from time to time that offer you deals on deck building, kitchen remodeling, landscaping services... etc.

When we asked D.M.C. “Who pays you for the work you do?”, they quickly told us “local businesses who want to sell products/services to homeowners” (Let’s collectively call those businesses “Happy Home Inc.”). So, we go to D.M.C’s website expecting to see it focused on attracting "Happy Home Inc." companies who are looking for a cost effective way to get new leads and clients -  but nnnoooooo! Instead, D.M.C.’s website is focused on attracting homeowners that want the services of Happy Home Inc. Nearly the entire front page of their site is filled with on-line versions of the postcards D.M.C. mails out to you and your neighbors.

The thought was that if someone was looking for a landscaper, the online card would show up in the search results and help generate more leads for D.M.C.’s clients.  We can’t argue with the idea of going the extra mile for your clients (we certainly always try to) but we thought it unlikely that D.M.C. would rank high in search engines for any of the small businesses they represent because D.M.C. isn't a specialized provider of "Happy Home Inc." type services. And D.M.C. could only point to random anecdotal evidence that this was a winning strategy.

So we reset the goal to be to drive more "Happy Home Inc" companies to D.M.C.'s site and make it a resource for helping the "Happy Home Inc.s" of the world generate more leads, with a small section of the site still dedicated to current "Happy Home Inc." offers for consumers. This inbound marketing strategy will build D.M.C.'s search engine ranking as an expert provider of small business postcard advertising and lead generation services. D.M.C. will also help existing clients like Happy Home Inc. generate more leads than before by using Facebook and email marketing to showcase deals for homeowners. Plus, every link is trackable, so we can see what is popular and what is not. 

It's too soon in the transition to see the results, but you can see how business owners like D.M.C. sometimes make something as simple as "Who pays you?" more complicated as they keep all the balls in the air. We will explore the other two questions in each of the next couple of weeks, so subscribe to the blog updates via RSS or email on the right side of this page.

Would you like us to provide an outside perspective and help you answer these questions? Send us an email with what you think your answers are. Think these aren't the right questions? Please let us know in the comments below!