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Conversion strategy – your marketing is dead without it!

By Tito Philips, Jnr.
20 January 2017   |   3:55 am
The importance of marketing is not alien to an entrepreneur. You already know without being told that marketing is how you get your products/services sold. So, this unusual article is not about marketing...
PHOTO: AccountingWEB

PHOTO: AccountingWEB

The importance of marketing is not alien to an entrepreneur. You already know without being told that marketing is how you get your products/services sold. So, this unusual article is not about marketing, it’s about why your marketing isn’t working. It’s about your conversion strategy, the critical missing link in your marketing arsenal. It’s about fixing your marketing strategy so that it can begin to work as it’s supposed to – bring in sales!

The Critical Missing Link in Your Marketing Arsenal
If you’ve been in business for about 3-5 years, I’m sure you would be familiar with what I am about to say next.

Sales are NOT made in an instant!
That you have some form of marketing system in place isn’t a guarantee that you will always make the sale. That you are running an ad, either online or offline doesn’t mean anyone who comes in contact with the ad will eventually buy. That you have a team of salespeople making presentations daily to your target customers doesn’t guarantee instant sales. The greatest deception that can ever happen to an entrepreneur is thinking or believing that sales can be made in an instant. Now, don’t get me wrong, as you know, there’s always an exception to every rule; both in life and in business.
So for this rule, let me quickly mention the exception. The only time sales are made in an instant is when you are selling a commodity. A commodity is a product/service that is as generic as sand and as common as air. In other words, there’s nothing really special or unique about the product/service. Such a product/service is not a brand and will ultimately be left to the mercy of price. But, if there’s any drop of uniqueness, difference or novelty about your product/service, then it has the potential of becoming a brand and you shouldn’t expect an instant sales from your marketing efforts. Between the first time a potential customer comes in contact with your product/service and the time they eventually buy, there’s a big gap. That gap is the buying decision making process and it needs to be deliberately guided. This is why you need a conversion strategy.

What’s Your Conversion Strategy?
The job of marketing is to create an attention or awareness for your products/services. This is what I refer to as the first encounter with your brand. Before anyone will buy a product/service, they must first know that such a product/service exists. It is the job of marketing to make sure that they do. And there are different ways of making this happen;

Advertisement: TV, Radio, Billboard, Online, Print, etc.
Word-of-Mouth: recommendation from family and friends, colleagues, etc.
Direct Marketing: one-on-one sales, telemarketing, SMS, email marketing, etc.

Retail Marketing: sales outlets, exhibitions, trade shows, shelf space branding, product packaging, etc.
All of these and many more are the several ways of creating that first initial exposure for your product/service with the intended target market. Expecting to make the sale on this first encounter with your brand is why so many marketing efforts fail. This doesn’t also mean that you cannot get lucky and make the sale on first contact, you can. But don’t always bet on it. Erroneously accepting this notion of making the sale on first contact as the norm is like expecting to take your date to bed on your first date.
While this may happen for some, it’s not the rule, but an exception and one that is completely subject to chance. And you shouldn’t leave your marketing to chance; this is the essence of a conversion strategy. Your conversion strategy is how to deliberately initiate, sustain and nurture the fragile relationship your marketing efforts has just helped you create with the potential buyers of your product/service. The most important keyword here is “deliberately”. Your conversion strategy is not automatic, it must be deliberately created.

In popular marketing terms, your conversion strategy is your sales funnel. It’s how you turn a PROSPECT [potential customer] to SALES [customer]. Without it, all your marketing efforts have failed. In fact, the whole essence of your marketing is to get the attention and interest of your target market in order to initiate, sustain and nurture a relationship with them. Your conversion strategy is how you take the attention and interest your marketing created and turn them into sales.

It’s not sufficient to just capture their attention and interest, a relationship with the potential customer must be initiated, sustained and nurtured. The end goal of this relationship is the eventual sale of your products/services. But if you attempt to force the sale on them on your first encounter, you will most certainly be resented and will ultimately lose the sale.

Tito Philips Jnr. is a young Nigerian that is M.A.D – Making A Difference

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