SOMETHING MUST HAVE VALUE
When you go to buy something, why do you do it? Most of us would answer with something that boils down to one of the following, or some combination of the two:
- I want it
- I need it
After you've identified what you need or want, how do you make a choice about what to buy? A few common examples might be:
- It was cheap/sale/best price
- It was convenient
- it was the only option
- it was the brand I liked
- Something about the product/service was actually unique
- It made me feel cool/unique/individual/connected/understood/whatever
- my friends (read peers) have it
- It's THE one to get
What makes you go back again? No matter what drove you to make the purchase, the value attainted must be sufficient or you won't go back and make the same purchase again.
Now, as far as I know, there aren't many businesses that thrive off of selling one thing only once to one person. As a result, whatever you are selling (and you're always selling something), your must provide some value. Remember, value can be (and more):
- Right location (convience)
- Right price
- Right image/feeling/brand/etc.
- Right time
- Right product
- Right service level
Or some combination of these and other items....no matter what it is, it must equal value.
So, now that I've bored you to tears covering the basics of business, let me ask you this.
WHY DO YOU STILL THINK YOU CAN HAVE SUCCESS WITHOUT VALUE
The fact is, many businesses struggle to understand what their value is, and as a result, they struggle with marketing. They can't craft messaging, they don't know which channels matter, they see only tactics to invest some money in and (maybe) evaluate, and they never stop to understand the importance of their value and how it's tied to creating efficiency within marketing.
Let me explain.
There are really only a couple of ways to create value for your customers:
You have a killer product/service/or expertise that really is better/unique/more available/etc. than your competitors. Remember, in this could be your ability to create an excellent experience around a so-so product/service.
With your brilliant marketing, you are essentially able to create enough value to the consumer by helping them feel something (remember those items I listed out above? That's what I'm talking about). Emotional/mental value can be very real, and can be very worth $$ in the right situation.
Some companies have one of these, few have both. A good example (I believe) of both, is Apple of the ipod/iphone erra.
Beyond that, I don't know how you create value. Let's connect this to marketing.
The job of a marketer should be simple: Tell the consumer what they want/need to hear, when they need to hear it, in the way they need to hear it.
If your value is clear, this is not THAT challenging to do. And, everytime you win, you will win big because IF you have clear value, you'll likely hook a consumer for at least a few more pruchases..which is important as most businesses don't continually acquire new customers.
You see, if value is present, the marketer needs only to showcase the value. If it's not present, the marketer is then tasked with not only showcasing the value, but @#$%$# CREATING IT! Some can do this, and some companies understand what this means and invest that way (branding anyone?), but most don't. What they are left with is an inefficient mess and continual marketing consultant/employee/agency turnover because they are trying to dress up a pig. No matter how talented the marketer is, their will come a day when there just aren't any more customers to be had, AND/OR the cost of acquisition becomes so steep because of what's being asked, that the business just doesn't work.
There are only so many ways to create value. Make sure your business is actually creating some OR, you clearly understand how much value will need to be created by your marketing, so that you can appropriately build efficiency in your marketing and make sound marketing deciscions. That's it.