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Opportunity Maximizers • Articles • Drawing Them In

Seductive marketing is the art of enticing customers to come to you

BY I. MARTIN JACKNIS

Sales success is largely determined by a company's ability to consistently find, contact and close a sufficient number of potential customers in a timely manner at the lowest cost possible. In an ideal world, that would mean having a continuous stream of qualified decision-makers who fit the company profile, are ready to listen to the company's best presentation and make a positive buying decision. But this is not a perfect world. So what companies tend to do is rely on the traditional "fish" and "hunt" prospecting approach when it comes to their marketing initiatives. Although effective in small doses, these methods generally fall short in achieving the company's marketing goals.

MARKETING METHODOLOGIES
Typically, marketing strategies fall into one of two categories: fishing or hunting. In general, fishing includes media advertising such as newspaper ads, paid yellow page listings, banners on Internet websites and numerous social media postings. It is a common yet passive method of prospect identification that requires limited or no human contact with the prospect. Like a fisherman, companies bait their hooks with advertising messages promoting their products, and then cast them out into a sea of customers and prospects, hoping to get a few bites. But these marketing strategies usually take considerable time and effort and have a low rate of return. In addition, there is little control over the process: either customers take the bait or they don't. Although marketing in this manner can be valuable in some instances, because it relies on chance it rarely influences or persuades the ultimate decision-makers. The second category, hunting, is an active process involving contact with the target prospect. Although more focused than fishing, hunting utilizes older techniques, such as cold calls and exhibiting at tradeshows. Overall, it's based upon assumption. For instance, companies assume that because tradeshows cater to specific interests and attract certain types of customers, they provide the perfect selling environment. But with event costs, including booth and space rentals, travel, lodging and meals for company staff, expenses can outweigh the income from sales. In addition, with a myriad of companies vying for the attendees' attention, a company must steal the show for the experience to be truly profitable. Cold calling isn't much better. Although this practice doesn't require the financial outlay associated with tradeshows, the tactic is stress-filled and confrontational, resulting in apprehension for the hunter and prospect alike.

WHAT IS SEDUCTIVE MARKETING?
Unlike fishing and hunting methods that actively seek out prospects, seductive marketing entices prospects to come to them. By demonstrating the power and implications of the benefits of their products, services, ideas and technologies, seductive marketing helps prospects envision better ways to achieve their objectives, encouraging and motivating them to want to learn more. Seductive marketing relies on two important principles: one, all prospects have a problem or opportunity and often they are actually unaware of it; and two, all prospects are hungry for answers, options, solutions and success. Seductive marketing addresses these principles in two ways: first, by sharing knowledge, data and insight with potential customers to stimulate and maintain interest, and second, by fully utilizing and communicating the company's wide range of capabilities.

BENEFITS OF SEDUCTIVE MARKETING
Companies can vastly increase their marketing potential by incorporating a seductive marketing approach. The benefits include:
  • A highly productive marketing technique that rapidly increases revenue. Seductive marketing carefully considers every audience, eliminating wasteful advertising spending, which positively impacts the bottom line.
  • A way to better control and communicate ideas to qualified prospects. With seductive marketing, companies can zero in more effectively on the sale by influencing the amount, content, context and type of knowledge transfer that most effectively applies to individual prospects.
  • Amethod that results in little or no downside or conflict between the potential buyer and seller. Unlike fishing and hunting techniques that often frustrate prospects, seductive marketing provides a positive experience both for the prospect and the seller.
  • A strategic positioning that enables the company and its representatives to be seen as experts and thought leaders. Because people naturally gravitate toward knowledgeable individuals, seductive marketing increases selling opportunities.
  • A repeatable process that can become self-funding and produce more profitable sales. Like ripples in a pond, with seductive marketing, one successful event typically results in multiple paid selling opportunities.
EFFECTIVE MARKETING INITIATIVES
Seductive marketing can be effectively utilized in numerous situations. Speaking engagements, for example, are ideal. Forums such as tradeshows, civic or social gatherings, talk shows, radio programs and webinars increase chances for immediate sales and set the stage for future revenueearning opportunities. Ron Beilin, president of Opportunity Inc., reports, "After presenting to 500 CEOs, we actually had 323 bounce-back pieces requesting information and services. One effective speech yielded more business than our firm could handle that entire year." So, consider ways to stand out from the crowd. For instance, host a "Knowledge Suite" rather than a hospitality suite where alcohol is the main attraction. In this environment, provide a meaningful and thought-provoking question-and-answer forum that truly engages and leaves a lasting and memorable impression on guests. Another seductive marketing approach is to expand the reach of corporate messages. For example, a company that manufactures computer security software can achieve exposure by writing an article on the best ways to protect against piracy. But getting published is not an end in itself. Sending the published article to ideal prospects, including a note indicating how the subject will be of value to them, will entice the prospects to learn more. With this one action, the company further promotes its products, paves the way for new business relationships and increases sales opportunities. In addition, use seductive marketing to fully utilize the Internet. Launch a web site that includes a blog to share ideas and information, or post informative videos on YouTube to further promote the company as an expert in the field. In the same vein, create and maintain a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. Schedule posting days and times and be consistent. In every case, make prospects and customers alike aware of unaddressed problems or opportunities they may have, and then invite them to learn more about your solutions. Demonstrate a sense of capability by providing knowledge and insight, but don't undermine professionalism by being overly aggressive. Remember the goal is to entice.

END STRONG
Regardless of the forum, always end strong. Encourage prospects to take action. Offer take-away value in the form of ideas that plant marketing seeds and encourage repeat business. Monitor success by consistently tracking and measuring the results of all marketing methodologies. Additionally, audit and evaluate the methodology mix to make sure the costs-to-results ratio makes good business sense. When necessary, adjust the fishing, hunting and seductive marketing mix percentages to achieve greater success. Successful marketing is not a onetouch process but a series of synchronized, carefully timed methodologies that yield success. Although fishing and hunting marketing techniques are valuable in certain situations, today's businesses require more focused and efficient selling practices to remain competitive. With the addition of seductive marketing, companies can increase their marketing influence, operate more cost-effectively and stand out from their competition.

© Opportunity Maximizers