See how one company went from spinning their wheels to having a clear roadmap for the future in 2 days.

 

Today I’m going to show you how one company used the Stackable Marketing Formula to create a marketing strategy that gave them a clear plan for predictably growing their business.

I call it Stackable because each piece stacks on top of the other.

And they did this without having to:

  • Learn new skills.
  • Waste time with trial and error.
  • Waste a bunch of money.

In this case study, I’ll walk you through the exact step-by-step process they used.

The owners of this company both run their own successful businesses. One is in real estate and the other in technology. They came together to provide a training product to help residential realtors grow their business.

With their skills and experience, the result was an excellent product. Better than anything their competitors provide. Any realtor that signed up with this training received digital tools, templates, calculators, and access to a treasure trove of knowledge. They literally give realtors the opportunity to double their income. And yet no one was buying it.

They had the same problem so many businesses face.

  • They focused on too many niches at the same time.
  • Their brand was confusing.
  • Their messaging wasn’t clear.
  • No written marketing plan.
  • No strategy for predictable growth.

It is frustrating when you know you have a better product or service than your competition and yet they seem to be running circles around you.

What did they do?

They knew there had to be a better way so they reached out to Corridor Nine for help. Following is the process we went through.

* As a point of clarification, we did not go through this entire process in two days. Instead, we broke it down over the course of several 2 hour weekly meetings. However, this same process is one I lead companies through in a two-day workshop.

Step One – Define Your Niche

The material in the course this company provides is useful to both residential realtors and commercial property investors. Their marketing was trying to speak to both audiences.

Here is the problem: when you are speaking to everyone you are speaking to no one. This is an important marketing principle.

Every business I consult with has this problem and most get enormous heartburn when I tell them we have to focus on only one target audience.

This really is the hardest obstacle to overcome.

It is probably one you struggle with too.

But don’t worry. Once you dominate one niche you can move on to the next… and dominate that one too. You just have to do it one at a time because your approach of being all things to all people isn’t working.

With this client, we identified residential realtors as being the best audience we could start marketing to. It doesn’t mean we won’t also market to the commercial property investor but that will be done in a separate campaign. You see, the problem this course solves for the residential realtor is completely different than the problem it solves for commercial property investors. If we were to talk about both at the same time the message would be wimpy and muddy and ultimately confusing.

Most marketing messages are wimpy, muddy, and confusing. It’s one reason why most marketing doesn’t work.

Step Two – Develop the Messaging

Once we knew we were talking to residential realtors it was time to create the messaging. I use a framework created by a company called StoryBrand. You can read more about it in the book Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. I have been through StoryBrand’s training and am certified by StoryBrand to lead businesses in this transformative process.

The beauty of using a proven framework for developing messaging is that you aren’t guessing.

We know that the messaging we create is going to connect with the audience.

The messaging of your brand is the foundation for all of your marketing. And this is one of the most overlooked pieces of building a marketing plan or strategy.

We always want to jump right to the marketing tactics.

But that doesn’t work because you aren’t saying the right things.

It is the words that people read or hear that makes them want to buy your products or services.

Step Three – Create a Customer Journey

Now that we know what to say we need to know where we are going to say it.

There are lots of ways people describe the customer journey. It is also called a sales funnel.

The idea is that there is a process people go through in deciding to purchase your products or services. You have to honor that process. If you want to grow your sales you need to be intentional about developing that process.

Defining your customer journey does two things for your marketing efforts:

  • It gives you clarity on where you should be spending your marketing dollars.
  • It helps you identify the holes in your marketing.

When you know where you should be spending your marketing dollars you don’t have to spend money on every dumb marketing idea someone has. There are a lot of dumb ideas. But we spend money on them hoping one of them will work.

This kind of marketing is like a slot machine. You keep putting money in hoping a new client is going to drop out.

You want your marketing to be a vending machine where you know exactly what you are going to get for the money you put in.

This is roughly the journey we defined for our residential realtor clients.

  • First, they had to become aware of us. We use Facebook ads to create awareness.
  • Next, we need a way to identify who is interested so we can continue marketing to them. For this, we created a free case study that could be accessed by providing an email address.
  • Once we have their email address we send a series of 6 emails over the next several weeks. The emails are designed to address any objections someone might have to purchasing the course.
  • We also offer a low-cost entry point. In our case, this is an additional 3 case studies and several tools and templates for only $27.
  • As they move from one offer to the next we show different Facebook ads through retargeting.
  • All of this culminates in asking them to purchase the course for around $1000.

Notice how we don’t ask for the big sale upfront?

Instead, we warm them up. We provide lots and lots of value for free and for a low cost. By the end of the process they know we can be trusted to deliver on the value we promise.

We can measure the effectiveness and results of each stage of the customer journey. If we see conversions stall in any one of the steps we know we have an issue and can address it.

We know exactly when and where we have a hole in our marketing.

Most businesses are just guessing when it comes to their marketing.

Every business, no matter what kind of business it is, should have a clearly defined customer journey.

Then you don’t have to guess and you can actually grow.

Creating a Great Experience

The final piece of creating a great marketing strategy is defining how you will create a great customer experience.

Most businesses miss this vital piece of the marketing puzzle. We have all felt the effects of this.

I refinanced my house a couple of years ago. The mortgage banker I worked with did a great job and was a pleasure to work with. But as soon as the mortgage was finalized the small local bank I was dealing with sold my loan to some big national bank. I haven’t heard from the local bank since then. I knew my loan would be sold. But it still kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.

I felt kind of used.

Creating a great experience after the sale does two things:

  1. It increases customer lifetime value.
  2. It creates advocates who are going to refer business to you.

Part of the exercise I went through with my client was to talk through how we were going to make the experience of new clients a great experience. Here are a few things we are implementing:

  • An additional live coaching product at a reduced rate (increased lifetime value).
  • Automated requests for feedback.
  • Automated reminders to help onboard new clients and to get them into the training (the training doesn’t work if they just pay for it and don’t actually go through the modules).
  • We also set an action item for me to come back to this component once the rest of the marketing structure had been implemented.

Creating Your Own Marketing Plan or Strategy

If you are ready to grow your business with a marketing plan that works, here are the 3 parts of the Stackable Marketing Formula you will need.

First, you need the Foundation. This is the part of the marketing plan that isn’t seen but everything is built on. There are three parts to the foundation:

  1. Define your target market (niche).
  2. Develop your message that speaks to your market.
  3. Decide how you are going to create awareness.

The second item on the marketing stack is the Development. Again, I’ve broken this down into three parts:

  1. How are you going to capture leads (lead generator)?
  2. How will you nurture these leads (email campaign, retargeting)?
  3. How will you convert the leads into a customer (entry offers, main product or service ask)?

The final piece of our marketing stack is the Finish. This is where we turn our clients into advocates. The three parts of the Finish are:

  1. How will you deliver a great experience?
  2. What can you do to increase your customer lifetime value?
  3. How will you automate the collection of testimonials and referrals? And equally as important, what will you do with the testimonials and referrals?

I have one final thought on the last point since we didn’t cover it in much detail. I meet with clients who have literally hundreds of testimonials from their clients. They are all sitting in a physical folder or on a hard drive somewhere. They don’t know what to do with them. Your testimonials are an asset and can be leveraged to grow your business. Don’t waste them!

And if you don’t have testimonials or any way of collecting them, figure this out before you do anything else. Testimonials should be used in every part of your marketing.

If you need help with this, or with any part of creating a marketing plan that consistently and predictably grows your business, contact me today.