In my mind, effective “marketing” really only has three stages. There is no beginning and no end, there is just the ongoing cyclical process of moving through these stages. I’ve referred to this marketing style as Group Hug Marketing and it is all about better communication and better relationships. Sales are just a side effect, albeit a very important one for business survival. So…
1) Invite people in – let them know you’re there and what you’ve got that fulfills a need. This is sometimes called “advertising”.
2) Make them comfortable – build trust and help them in any way you can. This is sometimes called “customer service”.
3) Send them on their way happy and with more than they expected. This is the win-win for everyone.
1) Invite them back in – let them know that you’re still there thinking of them and tell them what’s new.
2) Make them comfortable – remind them why they like and trust you.
3) Send them on their way happy (again) and more apt to spread the word about you or your product. This is sometimes called word-of-mouth advertising – or, free advertising.
This is how relationships are built and businesses grow and prosper.