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3 Key Mistakes Companies Make When Marketing Their Products

They call it the 'Larger Market Formula', a concept that has been around for some time, and one of the most over-looked aspects of marketing today. In 1948, Louis Engel published the famous Stock and Bond advert in the New York Times (, a long-form ad that contained ~6000 words giving detailed information on the Stock Market for those uninformed. The free publication went on to receive 10,000 new subscribers, back in the day where you couldn't target your nan's cleaner's cat via Facebook Ads.

It's probably safe to say that your company isn't aware of it, and even more likely that you're not implementing it.

So what is the Larger Market Formula?

Image from Sabri Suby's 'Sell Like Crazy'.

Most companies these days are totally fixated on the top 3% of clients that are in 'buy now' mode. Everyone is screaming via whatever platform they're using that they have the newest product, the biggest range, or the best prices.

The 3% are the easiest to sell to, and drive the majority of the business' revenue.

This leaves 97% of the market left to chance. The real money for businesses is in the 37% of warmish clients that know they have a problem, and they would like to solve it in some way or form.

So how do you bring the remaining 97% closer to becoming your customer? Introduction, discovery & nurturing.

Mistake 1 - Introduction - Bad first impressions

You're at a party, you see someone you like, you walk over, get down on one knee, and ask them "will you marry me?". Sounds like a great idea, right!? We can all look at that and laugh because it's ridiculous, but why are the majority of businesses doing exactly that right now?

The majority of customers are strangers, so it's only fair practice that you introduce yourself in a non-forceful way.

Solution: Turn them into your friends with a High-Value Content Offer (HVCO).

Give away something for free. If we look back to the stock & bonds ad from the 40's, Louis Engel gave away a whole heap of free information to help nurture a potential lead, rather than trying to sell something directly.

This differs per industry, but the psychology is the same. Give away something for free, a free eBook, a cheat-sheet, a mini-series helping a customer with a consideration of theirs, something relevant and related to what you're selling. In return you get an email, or contact, for someone that's interested in what you offer.

Mistake 2 - Discovery - You think you know your customer

Oftentimes businesses think they know who they're selling to, but they've never actually taken the time to figure out who it is they're selling to. The products are designed around a certain target consumer, but after production the effort does not continue to ensure a direct conversation with the target market. Facebook and Google have incredible precision with who your ads gets seen by, but if you don't know what they're thinking, it's wasted ad-spend.

Solution: Create the answers and solutions to the conversations they are having in their head. Research. Research. Research.

How do you do research, you ask? Use Facebook groups, forums, Quora, Reddit, Amazon reviews, social media posts. This process requires a lot of your time, but it will be one of the best investments you can do for your business in the long-run.

Document your dream client's fears, their hopes, their dreams, their desires, their barriers and their uncertainties. Make a list of sentences or reviews so you can get a better understanding of the vernacular that they use, and slang specific to your industry.

Without this, how can you ever cater to the needs of your clients when you market your items?

Mistake 3 - Nurturing - Selling yourself rather than your relationship

So now you know your customer. You know what keeps them up at night. It's time to launch that ad selling your product but in a targeted way, right!? If you hit the potential lead too early with a sales pitch, they'll feel that the relationship wasn't worth anything.

Solution: Invest in the relationship.

Much like relationships in real life, relationships with your clients take time. It takes time to create brand loyalty, it takes time to create a voice and messaging that your clients resonate with. This relationship must not be rushed. Much in the same way with the HVCO, to bring the client up the pyramid and towards the 3% of 'take my money', you'll want to build value by giving them more of what they want, slowly wooing them in.

An example is to run an email campaign giving great advice, or free content, or a weekly video series to all of those that raised their hand with the original HVCO. Make them feel heard, make them feel safe, offer them a guarantee of some description specific to what market you're in, and eventually those prospective clients will be knocking on your door.

There is an art to marketing that many agencies or marketers miss, a psychological one that surpasses the bounds of a Facebook Ads CTR. Understand your customer deeply and you will create better brand loyalty, and in turn more sales.

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