Your Competitive Edge: Sure-Fire Rules For Success (Part Two)

*Sure-Fire Rules For Success (Part Two)*
**By Michael Hammond**

***Last week I started to tell you about an article by Karl Stark and Bill Stewart called “4 Rules for Better Marketing” that will help anyone serious about marketing get ahead. Let’s face it, everyone wants to get ahead, and you can succeed even in the current tense mortgage market. The first two rules detailed in the article advised companies to No. 1 know your client, and No. 2 create a compelling reason for that client to do business with you. Here’s the last two rules to help ensure your future marketing success:

****Rule No. 3: Hit Them Hard When They Are Ready to Buy

****With the right product at the right price and a promotion tailored to an attractive niche, you must be relentless in reaching out to potential buyers at the right time—when they’re most inclined to buy. A typical window during which a potential customer is willing to buy lasts from six months to two years. If you do not convert them in that time period, the prospect is likely to either choose a competitive offering or decide not to purchase.

****Therefore you need to redirect your marketing spend toward making repeated impressions on these customers. By better targeting high-potential customers, you can redirect spend away from lesser prospects, thus improving their campaign effectiveness without increasing overall spending.

****Rule No. 4: Experiment and Learn to Improve Your Mental Model of the Customer

****Your ability to predict a customer’s “ripeness” (willingness to buy) and “sweetness” (potential lifetime value) can be improved by taking a more experimental approach to the market. This requires:

****>> Running pilots of different marketing messages and four P (Product, Place, Price, Promotion) combinations

****>> Measuring the results of each pilot, uncontaminated by other marketing programs

****>> Analyzing the data deeply to extract the desired learnings

****>> Investing in ways to lower the cost of running these types of pilots

****>> Sharing the learnings across the organization

****These rules and actions are all easier said than done, but they can be a key source of value. By investing in this approach, you may be able to cut your cost per acquired customer in half and generate a positive return doing so. Great companies use this approach to marketing to create a sustainable competitive advantage. It can work for you too.