Many business owners think that the purpose of marketing is to increase revenue.
Yes, that is what you want the end result of your marketing efforts to be. But it’s not actually the true purpose of marketing your business.
So, if not revenue, what is the point?
The true purpose of marketing is to build a relationship with your target audience.
Approaching marketing with the sole intent of making a sale means that all you will make is a sale.
You may be able to build a business with that approach, but the business will always be fragile because everything you have built is transactional. You won’t have developed relationships with your customer base, leaving them as easy targets for competitors or less forgiving if you make a mistake.
On the other hand, if you approach marketing with the mindset to build relationships first, you have the ability to turn potential customers into paying customers. But more than that, those customers will eventually become loyal advocates who are excited to sing your praises to whoever is listening.
Let’s dig into this idea a little more.
Customer Do Not Want to Be Sold
“Everyone is buying, but no one wants to be sold”. Even if you haven’t heard this phrase before (and you probably have), you probably know the feeling.
We have all been somewhere like a department store or car dealership where the salesperson is paid on commission. Their primary goal is to get you to buy something so they can earn money. The minute you walk through the door they are on top of you trying to close a deal.
Even if you are ready to buy, this can be off-putting (to say the least).
Marketing, through digital or traditional methods, is the same. If your audience feels like they are being sold, you run the risk of your message being rebuffed at worse and completely ignored at worst.
Build Trust in Your Brand
Your marketing efforts should be all about helping your audience build trust in your brand. You want your audience to look to you as an industry expert and a resource they can trust and come back to over and over.
Eventually, if the pain point they are dealing with becomes too much, they will contact you because you have taken the time to establish a relationship and build trust in your brand.
Turn Customers into Advocates
Turning customers into advocates is the Holy Grail for all marketers because now you have customers who are happily spreading the message of your business for FREE.
Because you looked at the customer as more than a sale and you have built trust in your brand, you have become an indispensable part of their life or business.
Case in point: We used to do our own graphic design for our blogs and social media. Truth be told, it was not good because we are not graphic designers. I finally decided to look for help, which led me to Design Pickle. Now, I save time on graphic design and have great looking graphics for my content. Whenever I get a chance to brag on Design Pickle, I do just that because they have earned my trust and my repeat business.
Become an Industry Expert
As you publish useful content relating to your business, your audience begins to seek out your insights on all matters relating to your industry. This makes you an industry expert.
Being an expert in your industry means your word carries extra weight. Imagine how many views a blog from Jeff Bezos that focuses on tips on running an online shopping business would receive.
While we cannot all be experts of a billion dollar industry, you can position yourself as the go-to resource in your corner of the industry.
Grow Your Base of Fans
If you are putting out content that is designed to build relationships, it will get shared by people who see it and forward it to friends, family, and associates they believe might benefit from it. As this happens you will see your audience grow over time.
You’ll begin to see a larger base of potential customers who you can eventually turn into advocates for your business.
Make Your Sales Process Easier
This is where it gets a little ironic. By not immediately resorting to sales during your marketing, you actually make the sales process easier.
When you are in sales-only mode, then you are trying to convince the potential customer to make a purchase whether they are ready to or not.
When you take the relationship path, then the sales becomes an afterthought because the customer will eventually need your service or product and actively seek you out. And because you have taken the time to build trust and establish yourself as an expert, they have little doubt as to where they will spend their money.
By turning potential customers into loyal advocates you make it hard for your competitors to get a foothold in your marketing. When you focus your marketing on developing relationships, it will truly open your business to a base of customers that will only continue to grow. As will your revenue.