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Kim Clausen
Marketing Consulting/Coaching
Broomfield, Colorado
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The Best Kind of Marketing

Marketing is a very necessary and very fundamental strategy needed to grow a business. There are many marketers who teach blogging, social networking, speaking, and more. But at the heart of all good marketing is one thing - building relationships.
Written Sep 15, 2009, read 825 times since then.
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Marketing is a very necessary and very fundamental strategy needed to grow a business. There are many marketers who teach the necessity of blogging, social networking, posting articles such as this, speaking, and more.

But at the heart of all good marketing is one thing - building relationships. And the best way to build relationships is by providing value to your prospect in the form of training and education.

It is what I call "education based relationship marketing", and it is a solid principle for growing a business. It is what the most successful companies do who are engaged in transactions that are more relationship based than commodity based. And for most of us, if we provide a service for others, then we are in a relationship based business.

In most service based businesses, our prospects first need to establish some level of relationship with us before they will engage in a client relationship with us. Most of us are not in commodity businesses where our clients pick the red one or the blue one, and therefore the prospect needs time to grow with us in relationship, to get to know us, and to allow us to get to know them so that we can best serve their needs.

That is primarily done through giving of value over time through numerous mediums. And that value is usually provided in the form of training and education. Training and education comes in many forms, but with the evolution of technology, we are seeing much more in the form of video, webinars, teleseminars, and audio trainings. Despite the rise in technology, there is also still much to be said for the invaluable in person connection of seminars and workshops.  As much as we like the conveniences of technology, we still crave connection, collaboration and community.

The consumer buying pattern states that it takes 7-10-15 meaningful contacts with your prospect before they will be ready to buy. Initially, your prospect is only willing to spend a minimal amount of time, and then over time, they will invest more time and money with you if they see that you are a viable option for their needs. So it is important to have a way to stay in touch during these 7-10-15 times, and the best way to do that is to give value in the forms of education and training.

Most business owners are not consistent in their communication or in giving value and will stop communicating after just a few contacts, because they did not get the "sale", and therefore they just move on to the next prospect. This is not the way to build a thriving business, loyal clients, and life long friends.

If you approach your business with a spirit of give, give, give, people will actually contact you and ask to hire you. At the end of the day, they hire you because they like you, they feel that they have established enough of a relationship with you to invest their time and money, and they feel that you are the one who can best meet their needs. The spirit of serving and giving through training and education goes a long way toward growing our business, and if you combine that with gaining maximum exposure and always taking action, you've got a winning marketing strategy.

Learn more about the author, Kim Clausen.

Comment on this article

  • Strategy Advisor/ Growth Mentor/ Small Business Coach 
Boulder, Colorado 
Mark P Friedman
    Posted by Mark P Friedman, Boulder, Colorado | Dec 23, 2010

    Kim - you nailed it by calling Relationship the key driver in marketing. What is intriguing to me is how many forms relationship-in-marketing can take.

    For a marketing-driven product development program, the relationship is primarily one of listening, observing, testing, and clarifying - ensuring you have the insights to drive a successful new product.

    For B2B, the relationship is primarily 1-to-1, building common ground and shared interests, positioning oneself as the solution for the prospect's most pressing needs.

    For traditional B2C marketing, the relationship is brand-consumer, where the brand assumes the role of trusted companion in one of life's many activities.

    All of these require finely-honed communication skills, including listening, understanding, building a compelling message, and engaging delivery via the right medium.

    The marketer's job, then, can take many forms, is always challenging, and offers great satisfaction, ultimately, by satisfying the customer's needs.