Chain of Marketing

The Chain of Marketing pictures how a stranger transforms into a repeat customer who gives referrals for you.

Chain of Marketing - How Marketing Works

Links of the Chain of Marketing

Stranger - Interest

Every customer is just a stranger at first. The first link in the chain of marketing is creating interest; you cannot sell - anything, to anyone, ever - without interest.

You usually create the interest with advertising, but it's not by any means the only marketing method for pulling customers to you. For example referrals create much more interest than any advertising.

Effective marketing does NOT aim at interesting as many people as possible. The goal is to interest the "right" people.

Well-planned marketing is aimed carefully to the right people. The way you create interest greatly affects the rest of the chain of marketing and how each link works.

Listener - Connection

When the bystander is interested, you can create a personal connection. You don't necessarily have to talk with them personally. You can create the connection with the properties of the product, placement of you marketing, packaging, etc. The point is to tell the customer that your product is a good choice for them.

Your primary goal in this link is to get the customer to trust you and your product. "Insecurity and doubt kill the sale"; you won't even take a look at a product you don't believe to fit your needs.

If you chose the people you interested well, creating the connection isn't all that difficult.

Friend - Offer

You should never make the offer (or the call to action) before you've created the connection to the listener and built trust. A strong trust that you built earlier leads to easier sales. In the base case the customer trusts your judgement even more than their own.

The call to action tells the person what to do next. The action may not be buying, but instead signing up for an email newsletter etc.

The greater the trust you've built, the greater the action you can ask for.

A poor offer is a sure way to lose sales, but the more common problem is poor trust building. How much and how you need to build trust varies a lot. The necessary trust is directly proportionate to the action you're asking for.

Customer - Escalation

Customers who have purchased from you previously, are always easier to sell to more. But getting return customers isn't obvious.

Conditions for getting return customers:
  1. You need to have something more to sell. Not just any other product, but something that's valuable for them specifically.
  2. You need to know how to make a re-call to action. Upselling is both profitable and effective, you cannot shy away from it.
  3. You need to leave the idea of coming back. It doesn't matter if you did upsell or didn't; your customers always have to leave with a positive feeling.

The goal of escalating your relationship is upselling, but the condition for it is increased trust. The trustworthyness of your customer service is usually the biggest incentive or the biggest obstacle for upselling.

Return Customer - Referral

All people avoid risks in most situations. The most usual risk we face is something new.

There's always a risk involved when you try something new, so you tend to stick to what you already is good enough. New products, services, people, and companies always need to convince you of their harmlessness first.

A trusted referral often gives you more trust towards a company than your own experience.

You can and you should encourage your customers to give referrals. Referral marketing is a great way to get a steady flow of customers, but most companies completely forget to think about it.

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