Education-Based Marketing

Education-Based Marketing 

During war, the military uses airplanes to bomb the enemy in order to soften their position before sending in ground forces to attack. A similar concept can be used in marketing. Messages that resonate can pre-dispose, pre-interest, pre-motivate and pre-qualify prospects before sellers call on them. The problem: Most marketing looks and sounds the same. Messages either lead with products and features or use the same language; e.g., “leading provider,” “solution,” etc. Because there is no differentiation between companies or sellers, most marketing is ignored.

Effective marketing must focus on the prospect, not the company or its product or service. Focusing on the prospect means helping them to solve problems, reduce costs or create impact. The fastest way to build rapport and establish trust with prospects is through education-based marketing. Its core principle is that you will attract more prospects by offering to teach something of value than by trying to sell something. Prospects want to make informed, intelligent buying decisions. Education-based marketing helps them do it.

Example 1: “I would like to schedule 30-minutes with you to better understand your business and see if there is a way that we can work together” (ineffective, tactical). Example 2: “Cost reduction continues to be a key initiative for manufacturing companies. To help ensure their success, we commissioned a report entitled, ‘The top ten ways that you are overspending on your software licenses.’ The CFOs that I have presented it to have all learned at least one new way to save money. I would like the opportunity to share the report with you” (effective, strategic).

When you offer to teach something of value, power shifts from the prospect to the seller. The seller becomes a consultant/teacher while removing any negative associations the prospect may have about feeling sold. By using market information versus product features, the seller can further set the buying criteria in their favor. Prospects are always more motivated and receptive to sellers that are experts in their market and industry. Sellers should position their product or service only after the prospect has been thoroughly educated.

All contents copyright © 2011, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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