After helping to promote and coordinate the You Can Heal Yourself expo I have to say I realise that there is obviously still a lot of misconceptions about how marketing works on many levels.

Marketing is about “Awareness” first and foremost not sales!

Why?

Because consumers and prospects need to first be made aware of your products and services (what’s in it for them), and then your brand or business. Not only that, they also need to be exposed to or become aware over and over again before purchasing, often up to 20 times!!

Thomas Smith wrote a guide called Successful Advertising in 1885, that is still being used today, because this is just how our human brains work.

The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.

Researchers have also found that we need to become aware of a brand in connection to something we perceive we want or need. This is even more important in today’s world where we are all constantly being bombarded with information about products “we have to have” and brands. It has been estimated that the average person is now exposed to over 2000 forms or more of advertising A DAY!! This takes into consideration many we don’t even remember seeing including: internet ads, newspaper, social media ads and posts, billboards, shop windows, television, radio…

The first few times someone sees your message its likely it won’t completely register with them. We all have marketing blinders we’ve built up over time – otherwise we’d be overwhelmed with the constant noise from businesses clamoring to be heard.

It’s no different with your prospects. They’re not sitting around waiting for you to show up. They’re busy living their lives and you may not even be a blip on their radar.

There are many ways you can increase your exposure and just as importantly stand out in consumer memory, but you have to keep at it. Social Media, Expo’s and Trade Shows, advertising, posters, flyers, business cards, content, radio, television, presentations, seminars,workshops, events, networking… all of these are needed in the modern social marketing mix. Knowing that just one of these may not work in isolation for you, but over time people will come to know, like and trust you and then buy from you.

So marketing is more about being seen, and more importantly being seen in connection with your target audience as in the exhibitors at the recent You Can Heal Yourself Expo. Their target market is individuals who want to be healthier, more energetic and want to find ways and means to heal their health challenges. Being seen in this context allows your target audience to make the connection between your business and their needs. Once you have done this you will often find that your custom increases slowly and perhaps when one of the show’s visitors comes into your shop months later you may not even realise that their original awareness came from the Expo or whatever original moment it was.

Remember it takes time for people to get to know you – remember your name, your offer, your message. Once they know you, they need time to get to like you – and your business. Over time, they’ll eventually start to trust you. Once they trust you – trust that you’re honest and provide true value – then, and only then, will they be ready to buy.

My message to you is

  1. Be seen
  2. Be seen in context
  3. Be approachable
  4. Be where your audience is
  5. Be likable, trustworthy and get to know your audience
  6. Earn respect by showcasing your expertise as often as possible in all ways

Some of what you do will be direct selling however most of what you do will be with a long term view, to connect, perhaps build a list and then wait until your audience has your business lodged in their memory as someone they trust, respect, like and with products or services they need. The next post will be on your Integrated Marketing Mix and I will describe to you why business owners need to think about how they ‘set the stage’ of being seen in all the right places and creating as many context related impressions as possible, what works well, what you would do often and what you would do less of and how to strategise it all.