Anita over at Small Business Trends asked a bunch of marketing experts a simple question “Please share one of your best kept marketing secrets” and got a bunch of great responses.
Here are a few that rung true to me and may be relevant to you too.
- Seth Godin, SethGodin.com – “Make promises and keep them. So obvious, it’s become a secret.”
- Jackie Huba, Church of the Customer – “Attracting is the new selling. It is the least-visible, and least-examined principle behind most companies today that are growing quickly through word of mouth.”
- Andy Birol, Author of “The 5 Catalysts to 7 Figure Growth” – “In striving to please their customers, too many marketers believe they must exceed expectations. Better yet, marketers should just ask and listen, for what they will learn and hear is often a different, more modest need, which when fulfilled, will profitably delight the customer.”
- Siamak Taghaddos, GotVMail Communications – “People don’t like to be sold. If they did, they would spend all their free time in car dealerships. Instead, people want to be informed, they want to be educated. You’ll find your best customers are those you educate about your product or service and who then decide to purchase it because it is a good fit for them.
Prospects who buy your product/service but are not educated about your offering will be disappointed. They will not be return customers. Worse, they will tell others how they got ‘sold’ by you. In the Internet age, this can quickly be very destructive to your business.”
- John Battelle, Searchblog – “The best kept secret in marketing is to invest your time in eliciting and responding to your customer’s feedback, even if it’s negative. It’s the secret to building a network of evangelists who keep on giving back to your business ….”
- Guy Kawasaki, Truemors – “Do the opposite of what bloggers think you should do.”
- Matt McGee, Small Business SEM – “SEO is just like traditional marketing. In the “real world,” you want to create a great product and get people talking about it. Online, you want to create great content and get people linking to it. Same theory, and often the same techniques. Develop relationships with journalists offline; do the same with bloggers online. Engage with customers offline; engage in social communities online. Give people something to talk about (and link to), join the conversation, and you’re on the road to SEO success.”
- Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot – “The power of second-order Internet Marketing: Small businesses should consider the positive marketing impact of “second order” effects in Internet marketing. A second-order effect is when you do not promote yourself directly, but help promote others who have mentioned you, linked to you or referenced an idea or concept that you agree with. The simplest example is when a blogger mentions your business in an article they write (even if you are mentioned only incidentally). If you like the article, you should help promote the article in the social media sites (Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.). This is better than trying to promote yourself and can often create significant traffic, PR and marketing good-will.”
- Ivana Taylor, Strategy Stew – “Target those markets and customers that you love that love you back. In other words don’t work with jerks or people you don’t like. There are enough customers out there for everyone and the ones that love you value what you do and see so much value that working with you is literally priceless. The first step in doing this is knowing your strengths and special gifts that make you irresistible to your target audience. The next step is to love them enough to know what they want and then just give it to them lovingly and from the heart.”
- Tim Berry, Planning Startups Stories – “One of the most expensive myths in marketing is that lower price produces higher volume. That might be true for coal or gasoline, but not for most businesses. Lower price means, well, ask yourself: do you always eat at the lowest price restaurant? Buy the lowest price clothes? Do you drive the lowest priced car? Pricing is your best statement of value.”