Find, Keep and Grow the right customer

Marketing and Sales

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel
– Joe Chernov.

One of my clients has built a $10 million dollar business in just over 2 years with a marketing budget
of just $200 a week, and next year their business will turnover of more than $20 million dollars.

In the past 12 months, I generated more than $300,000 in sales from one activity with an
expenditure of $1,200.

Both of these businesses have a marketing and sales strategy, and I think that a good place to start to
understand how we did this is to understand the process of marketing and sales.

This topic is often referred to as ‘sales and marketing’, but I believe you have to put the activities in
the right order, and marketing comes before sales. They are often intertwined or considered the
same thing, but there is a clear distinction between the two.

The goal of marketing is to generate interest in a product or services, and for that marketing to
generate leads or prospects. Marketing activities include:

  • Consumer research to identify the needs of the customers.
  • Product development – designing innovative products to meet existing or future needs.
  • Advertising the products to raise awareness and build the brand.
  • Pricing products and services to maximise the long-term revenue

On the other hand, sales actives are focused on converting prospects to actual paying customers.
Sales involves directly interacting with the prosects to persuade them to purchase the product.

Marketing thus tends to focus on the broader population (or in any case a large set of people),
whereas sales tends to focus on individuals or a small group of prospects.

Peter Drucker famously wrote in The Practice of Management that the purpose of a business is to
create and keep a customer, and while I agree with the elements of this, I believe it goes further than
that. I believe if purpose of business is to:

Find, Keep and Grow the Right Customer.

The ‘find’ is where the marketing comes in, the ‘keep’ and ‘grow’ is where the sales process comes
in, but by far the most important aspect of the marketing and sales process is ensuring that you have
the ‘right customer’. This is a combination of both marketing to them and sales; selling to them.

We’ve all heard the saying that the customer is always right, that’s not true if you’re dealing with the
wrong customer, that’s why identifying who your target customer is, is so important. Obviously, we
have to service them well as they put money in the bank but the key to good customer service is
targeting the right people with the right products.

I love that saying by Henry Ford:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is a waste, and the problem is I do not know which half.”

While there is no guarantee all of your marketing activity will work, there are always ways to ensure
it is more effective by talking to the right people about the right things. The way to do this is to
clearly define who your ideal customer is, or who the modern-day marketers refer to as your ‘avatar’
or ‘buyer persona’