Palo Alto Software is proud to welcome Joe Dager, one of the Duct Tape Marketing Coaches that will be posting over the next several months.

Your marketing is ultimately measured by your client. The goal is to meet the client’s requirements and expectations in selling your product. There is a tendency to think that marketing means a great looking ad, a great event or a direct mail piece. But a brilliantly designed ad that fails to provide a ROI is well, wasteful? The purpose of marketing, using the Duct Tape Marketing definition is getting someone with a need to know, like and trust you. But to do that, you must first understand the customer’s buying process and put a proactive plan and process in place to meet those criteria.

Since the buying process is defined by the customer, it may seem to you that it is completely subjective. However, there is a lot about any buying process that can be made objective. This requires first breaking down the term of ‘buying or purchasing’ into a number of areas that define its characteristics. Look at each of the individual characteristics and determine your reaction to that process. For instance, one of the features of your product may be testing the solution in their environment. Having a case study, testimonial in place may accelerate the solution or even prevent a full test having to be conducted. One such tool you can use for reviewing your marketing process is a marketing hourglass or sales funnel. It will allow documenting the customer’s process and determine the marketing reaction to it. Eventually, you may create numerous hour glasses based on products and sales channels to be effective.

Marketing is not an event – it is a process, and a mindset. A consistently high quality marketing effort cannot be produced by a faulty process. Not only do have to have products or services in place to meet your customer expectations, there also needs to be a repetitive cycle of measuring value and updating processes that must take place. To make the process work, you must collect metrics along the way. This requires measurement. Without, it will be very hard to improve any process through any initiative. You have to start somewhere, even if the metrics prove to be faulty, without any, you will never start. That is why a proven system or plan is imperative. Most people get bogged down in the lack of planning structure and many good ideas are wasted because of a poor plan. But that is a topic for another time. For now, try making your marketing reactive. You might be surprised by its effectiveness.

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Joe Dager

Joe Dager is president of Business901, a progressive company providing practical, information-rich services and product offerings designed as implementable systems that work in the real, not enough time, not enough people world we operate in. Business901 tools simplify the marketing process, not complicate it. Joe's experience includes manufacturing, retail, and professional services and has been through several start-ups and turnarounds. Joe is an authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach and specializes in Product Marketing. The Business901 blog is rated Technorati in the top 1% of all blogs worldwide, and his nonproft blog, FundingYourNonprofit is rated in the top 5%. Joe has a bi-monthly local television program, Connecting Your Passion and is also a contributor to the American Express Open Forum and Business Week Forum. FundingYourNonprofit.com.