The world of business has changed much since my college days, and with E-mail, Social Networks, and Blogging added to the mix, my definition of marketing has definitely evolved. As a Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer, I know that Marketing is a process that start with any contact you make with anyone, because it is an opportunity to get exposure.
However, I broke down the process into 5 stages, because through my personal journey helping moms position themselves to make 6 figures from home so they can enjoy time with their children, I have learned that contact and exposure is necessary, but not enough, to brand yourself as the solution to your target market’s problems.
Contact means “an establishing of communication with someone or an observing or receiving of a significant signal from a person.” We make contact with hundreds, or even thousands of people daily, but because of all the noise out there, we must stand out and go beyond contact to be memorable and leave a mark.
Conversation is “a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people.” In marketing, we must be active listeners because our prospects are speaking and want to hear information that is relevant to their needs and desires. No one wants to be pitched at, everyone wants to be treated like they matter.
Connection is “a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.” It is not enough to start a conversation; it is imperative to find ways to connect with the audience, which is why being YOU is the best marketing plan! When you are authentic and vulnerable, your personal brand can shine through and you can create deep and lasting bonds.
Community refers to “a social unit of any size that shares common values.” When you go deep into a relationship and connect with people that share your beliefs, preferences, etc., you are able to create a community of people that follow you, subscribe to you, and want to actively listen to what you want to say. It takes 27 exposures before someone decides to buy from you, so this is a crucial step to the marketing process, and one that denotes that your audience deems your content to be of value.
Conversion is “the process of being converted.” Of course, as marketers, when we think of conversion, we go right to the definition that’s relevant to electronic commerce: “the act of converting site visitors into paying customers,“ or to achieve the tangible goal you set as success. When we focus on the dictionary definition, we realize that conversion is a change of heart that we cannot “make happen,” and we can only facilitate. When we converse and connect, our readers, our audience will decide to be a part of our community and, as the relationship grows, they will become our evangelists, sharing our products and services, or in a bloggers’ case, our ideas, with others. Conversion refers to lasting transformation.
Are you having a conversation with your audience that leads them to connect so deeply they become converted?
If you look at the words Conversion and Conversation, the difference are the letters AT. Because I’m a word-nerd, I can clearly see that in order to get others on board with our product, service, or ideas, we must stop speaking AT people and start conversing with them. Like I always say: The only way to convert is to converse.
What do you think about my 5 stages of the marketing process? How do you plan to use them in your blog or business?