Guest Column: Solve More, Sell More
For example, we worked with a client who wanted to break through with social media and, in particular, reach massive amounts of moms quickly. One typical solution in this kind of situation is to purchase lots of "targeted" ads on social media sites that reach moms, and create enormous reach through scale.
Our solution was to create a whole new digital community (a custom social media site aimed at moms using our content knowledge, insights and analytics). This was combined with our existing social and digital media platforms to create a powerful platform for conversation among moms about what really matters to them in their daily lives. We then built regular questions that were asked of this community about what they needed to make their lives more manageable, or at least reduce their daily levels of stress. This conversation included blogs, video messages, Facebook chats, and e-newsletters, among other elements.
The result? A two-way conversation with moms and our client that offered our client insights into how their products could make moms' and women's lives more productive and less hectic. In other words, a solution-driven program to help our client achieve their marketing goal.
Building Long-term Partners
The second step requires you to remember that the best sales come from long-term relationships, not just short-term transactions. A partnership is built over the long haul.
We are all under enormous pressure in this fluctuating economy to meet tight budget levels, yet grow our businesses. But how often do we sacrifice long-term success for short-term gain?
In other words, if we really want to solve our clients' marketing challenges, we may not be selling them anything at all.
For example, often I will spend time with former clients consulting on their businesses, even though right now we are not working on anything together. I ask them, what is keeping them up at night? What is working for them right now, and what's not? Where do they see their efforts a year from now?