Small biz owners feel compelled to drink from the fire hose of marketing ideas all the time. And who can blame you? With so much coming at you, it’s hard to pick which tactic is going to work. Why not try them all and see what sticks? What’s the harm?
The harm is in that drinking from the fire hose is that it doesn’t give you a chance to drink. It only causes you to drown in a chaotic sea of marketing tactics.
So what’s a business owner to do when visited by sales people promising a #1 position on Google searches? Get a filter. If you have a filter, now you can drink from the fire hose by slowing down the stream. One way to filter tactics is to think in terms of the customer buying experience. The Marketing Hourglass is a simple way of looking at the stages a customer goes through when making a purchasing decision. The stages in the hourglass go from Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, Refer. The Hourglass extends the traditional sales funnel beyond the “Buy” stage and the entire concept takes into account the customer’s touch points with your company. At each step, you can choose a tactic which achieves the objective. For example, the step for “Know” can be as simple as a direct mail postcard. Other tactics fit the rest of the steps continuing on to the last steps of Repeat and Refer. The infographic in this post gives more details on the Marketing Hourglass. (Psst… Click it to view it larger.)
If the marketing tactic you’re considering does not support any of these steps, chances are it is not a good fit for your business. That’s not to say that things can’t change later on, but without an overall plan it is hard to see whether it will help you move forward in your marketing. By following the Hourglass, you are setting up a nice easy filter to test whether a tactic makes sense. If a tactic isn’t adding to an excellent and complete customer experience, you know not to waste money on it. Now you don’t have to chase every shiny object that comes across your desk and you can sip from the fire hose at a comfortable pace.