You only need one marketing plan: Turn your customers into Raving Fans and advocates of your business.
Customers, marketing and business growth: To be able to grow, your business needs a marketing strategy and a marketing plan to implement the strategy. But that’s what you might call: “stating the bleedin obvious”, you knew that already but the problem is that you probably don’t know where to start.
So let me help you.
First: Let me give you your marketing strategy:
Second: Here’s your marketing plan:
Get them to love you.
Done, there’s your marketing strategy and your marketing plan.
In small business especially there is no more effective marketing strategy to grow your business than getting your customers to love you, truly love you. Famous business guru Ken Blanchard, author of the “One Minute Manager” books coined the term: Raving Fans. If you make the focus of your business to turn your customers, all of them into Raving Fans, you’ll never have to do any other marketing, because they’ll do it for you, and better yet, they’ll do it for free.
One of my favourite customers, let’s call him Eric has always done exactly that. Ever since I’ve known him and worked with him, he’s asked himself at every turn: “What else would my customers love”. Eric has stores, 8 of them by now, and these days, whenever he opens a new store, the neighbourhood comes and brings him flowers. That’s how happy people are to have one of his stores nearby. You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Two months prior to the opening of his latest new store in a suburb of Sydney, whenever Eric was in the store supervising the fitout, people would wave him over, excitedly asking.
All Eric has to do as far as marketing is concerned is hang a sign on the door announcing the imminent opening and hundreds of people will turn up on the first day.
You may say: My customers are very happy too, but they don’t come busting down my door.
The big disconnect
I read a really interesting statistic the other day:
80% of business owners believe they offer superior customer service, and 8% of customers believe the same thing.
There’s an enormous disconnect between how good we think we are and how good our customers think we are.
Eric, actually offers superior service while his competition merely think they do. Eric’s customers are Raving Fans in the true sense of the word, while most of his competitors merely have satisfied customers. Satisfied customers are simply not the kind of people who do your marketing for you. They’re merely satisfied… until something else, cheaper, more convenient or simply different comes along. Raving Fans on the other hand will go out of their way to do business with you, they look forward to buying from you, they drag their friends and family to your door, defend your honour against the competition and proclaim at dinner parties how wonderful you are.
The simplest customer measurement
There is a really simple system for discovering how happy your customers really are with your business. It’s called the Net Promoter question and it goes like this:
On a scale from 0 to 10 how likely is it that you’ll refer your friends and family to us?
If your customers answer anything less than 9 on that scale, they’re not Raving Fans and if they answer less than 7, they’re not even satisfied customers. (read more about the Net Promoter System here)
How would most of your customers answers the NPS question? Are your customers merely satisfied, or are they Raving Fans… Are they really?
I suggest you go and find out… it’s the most important marketing work you’ll ever do… I promise you.
Marketing, Customers and the 7 Big Questions of Small Business
Business owners frequently ask 7 Big Questions about how to Build a Beautiful Business and Life.
The first of these Big Questions is: How do I grow my business?
To answer that question I have identified the 11 most important strategies to create Business Growth.
The third of those strategies is Grow your business with Marketing. The seventh of those strategies is Grow your business with Customers. This article explains how Marketing, Customers and Growth hang together, in some depth.
- How to create Raving Fans for your business by Tony Robbins
- 4 Steps to create a community of Raving Fans on Entrepreneur.com
- How to turn your customers into Raving Fans on Forbes