What's Your Marketing Model?

Last week I applauded the benefits of writing and performing an elevator pitch for your business model.

It’s a great way to check that the lean, mean and focused business model you created way back when is still on track today.

This week I’m suggesting that you apply the same exercise to your marketing model. But instead of 20 seconds, this time try to do the same thing in ten seconds.

Starting now… You’ve got ten seconds in which to describe your marketing model.

Finished? Two bad things could have happened here. The first bad thing is if you ran out of time. The second bad thing is if you finished after just two seconds.

Or you could be scratching your head, wondering what your marketing model should or could be.

Well, let’s call it the core of the process by which you get your message out to the folks you want to attract, in a way that makes them want to buy from your site, and at a cost that makes sense to you.

In its execution, your marketing model may include all kinds of things like banner ads, billboards, affiliate programs, sponsorships deals, opt-in email, and newsletters, etc., etc.

But right at the center of everything – just like with your business model – there’ll be a basic marketing “idea” that drives your business forward.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Let’s say I create nicksVases.com. I’m going to sell vases of every type and size for every kind of flower arrangement.

If I don’t have a marketing model clearly set in my mind, I’ll probably just end up buying lots of ads in an unfocussed way, and spending more than I make.

So here’s an idea I could think about. I’ll partner with every major online flower delivery service I can find. Places like 1800flowers.com.

Then I’ll figure out some kind of co-promotion deal that will work well for both parties.

For example, if a 1800flowers.com customer were to spend over $100 on flowers, they’d get a free vase from nicksVases.com. We’d have to work on all the details and the math. But the idea would be to delight the customer, add value to the 1800flowers.com brand, and acquire opt-in names for nicksVases.com.

So, if you were to ask me what my basic marketing model was, I might use my first few seconds to say something like:

“I acquire new customers through leveraging the existing reach of established online flower-delivery businesses.”

I could then use the rest of my ten seconds to fill in some details on how I would execute the plan.

This is just a single example, but the key is to be able to deliver a snappy description of what your entire marketing model is based on.

Try this now for your own business. What drives your marketing? Do you have a single, fundamental point from which all your marketing activities spring?

As I mentioned last week, it’s worth doing this kind of exercise on a regular basis for a couple of reasons.

First, to make sure that all your marketing efforts pull in the same direction.

Second, things change very fast online, and the model that worked for you 18 months ago may not be your best choice today.

One way or another, be aware. Watch for that center point in your marketing efforts. Change it, move it, adjust it.

But above all, just be sure you know what it is.

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