Two ways to update your marketing strategy to close more sales

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An in-depth understanding of how current and potential customers think, and how they make the decision to purchase a product or service, is integral for developing a more successful marketing strategy. After all, it will be very difficult to sell someone a product if you don’t understand their needs, thought process and motivations. By updating your marketing strategy to optimize the customer buying cycle, it is possible to improve your company’s visibility with potential customers, shorten your sales cycle and, most importantly, close more sales.ÊÊ

The customer buying cycle

STEP ONE: NEED RECOGNITION… The first step in the customer buying cycle is Ôneed recognition’, in which a potential customer identifies a problem and decides that it is necessary to look for a solution. In this stage, most potential customers will have little to no knowledge about the products or services currently available that could solve the problem (or the vendors who offer them); therefore, he/she will need to do research before making a purchase.

When a customers is in this phase, they are looking for information. Because they still don’t have answers for their most basic questions regarding their problem (ÒWhat caused the problem? How it can be solved? What will it cost? How do I prevent it from happening again?Ó), they will not be receptive your sales pitch. Instead, this is your opportunity to educate potential clients about the issue.

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By being the company who provides educational, unbiased information about the situation, a potential client is more likely to trust your company Ð and therefore, more likely to add your company to their shortlist of potential vendors to evaluate in step three.

How do I educate potential customers? The best way to provide this type of education is through content marketing; namely, drafting articles offering information and tips about your area of expertise and submitting them for publication to hospitality trade media.

Keep in mind that journalists will not accept or publish articles that are promotional in nature, so it’s important to keep your article informational and vendor neutral (not specifically mentioning any particular brand, product or service).

STEP TWO: RESEARCH… Once a customer has determined that they have a need, they will investigate the companies that they know provide a related product or service, before undertaking research into other companies offering similar services. By writing and publishing educational articles sharing your expertise (in step one), you will have already shown the potential customer that you are a trustworthy expert in the specific situation in which he/she currently finds himself/herself.

Now, it is the time for you to provide specific information about the benefits of your product or service, focusing on your unique sales proposition (USPs) – the features and benefits of your product/service that makes it better than the competition.Ê

What is the best way to communicate important information about your product/service with potential customers?ÊOnce again, public relations is here to save the day! For this step, media relations is the best marketing tactic, as the end goal is to encourage a journalist to write a story featuring your company and product or service.

STEPÊTHREEÊAND FOUR: EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVESÊAND PURCHASE… When creating a shortlist of vendors, most potential customers will select the vendors with a good reputation and pre-established expertise in the industry. The same applies for the final decision to purchase: potential customers who already have knowledge of and trust in your brand are more likely to decide to purchase your product or service.

By continuing to provide a high-quality product or service to every customer, publicizing your company’s good news (i.e. growth, new customers who sign up to use the product, sharing positive testimonials and current customer results, etc.) using media relations and providing vendor neutral, educational resources to potential customers using content marketing, you can positively influence the credibility that your company has in the minds of potential customers Ð and boost sales!

Check back next week for more PR/marketing tips and tricks. If you have any questions or if you have an idea for a future article topic, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time at jenn@jlnpr.com

Jennifer NagyBy Jennifer Nagy, President of JLNPR Inc.

JLNPR Inc. is a full-service public relations and marketing agency that lives and breathes all facets of the travel technology industry. From online travel agencies to revenue management systems, tablet-based aviation automation solutions to IFE technology, hotels to airlines and everything in between, JLNPR uses our knowledge and experience to get your B2B travel technology company noticed by media, influencers and potential customers Ð and whenever possible, without the overused, often abused press release. In addition to traditional media relations outreach, we also ghost-write exciting, informational copy that will be published (in our client’s name) by top hotel industry media outlets Ð in order to increase your company’s visibility with potential customers, boost brand awareness and increase sales. To find out more about JLNPR (including our services and out-of-the-box philosophy on press releases), please visit www.jlnpr.com

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