Tricky Marketing Question

And a not-so-tricky answer!

I wrote this article as a reply to a forum member who wanted to know what kind of marketing campaign would work best for his established tree surgery business.

There’s an old saying that goes like this: “doing business without advertising is like winking at pretty girls in the dark… you may know what you’re doing, but nobody else does!”

I’ll go one better: “Advertising may be like winking at pretty girls in daylight, but without an effective marketing strategy to power and direct them, most of those winks will be wasted on all the wrong people, and most of the right people either won’t be looking at you when you wink or they won’t be interested!”

You need to identify your ideal customer. They’ll probably have several qualifying characteristics, such as…

  • they have trees on their property
  • they own that property (tenants may not have responsibility for tree maintenance)
  • one or more of those trees need surgery or preventative maintenance
  • you can reach them in an attention-grabbing, cost-effective way
  • they’re willing and able to pay for your services
  • you can get them to take action — to contact you, or to enter your Qualifying Funnel (safer, easier, better and smarter)

Your Qualifying Funnel will look something like this (these are conclusions that your ideal customer needs to make for themselves):

  1. Resident: “My tree/trees need remedial attention” — lopping, maintenance, remedial action of some kind.
  2. “This problem needs to be fixed NOW.”
  3. Tenant: “I need to contact the agent/landlord to authorize and pay for this”
    or Owner: “I need to authorize and pay for this treatment NOW.”
  4. Owner: “Whom do I know and trust to do this job properly and affordably, without being ripped off?”
    If the answer is “nobody”, the question becomes “Which so-called experts can I trust?” and “Which experts do my trusted friends recommend?”
  5. “I need the expert who makes it safer, easier, better and smarter for me to buy from them instead of anyone else — or to keep my money and not buy at all.”
  6. “I need to hire YOU because I see you as the safest, easiest, safest and smartest solution to my problem!”

So your advertising campaign (advertising is the highest-leverage form of SELLING) needs to do THREE crucial things up-front:

  1. Get itself noticed.
  2. Get itself read/watched/listened to.
  3. Get the prospective customer to take the desired ACTION!

You also need to understand some fundamentals of communicating with your target market:

  • They are BUSY! And this problem is just one more source of STRESS for them.
  • They receive between 1,000 and 3,000 incoming advertising messages every DAY.
    (To avoid neural overload, human beings automatically screen out signals — like ads — that don’t address something they need, want or are interested in at the moment they see or hear it.)
  • Very few buyers make a major buying decision on first contact.
  • YOU need to create an advertising campaign that leads them through your Qualifying Funnel in several safe, simple, persuasive stages — and every point of contact with your prospective customer must have only ONE objective: to sell the NEXT point of contact! (In other words, to keep them interested and keen to move to the next conclusion.)

Remember… you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time.

Hope this helps!

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