This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Ultimate Sales Machine" by Chet Holmes. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What makes an effective marketing strategy? What are some things you should keep in mind when designing a marketing strategy for your brand?
A good marketing strategy builds both trust and awareness. If you have just awareness but no trust, your sales will be inconsistent and modest. If you have trust but little awareness, you’ll likely not sell enough.
Keep reading for tips on how to market your brand for maximum trust and exposure.
Chet Holmes: Marketing Tips
In his book The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes provides three tips on how to market your brand to achieve both: 1) showcase your value with instructional marketing, 2) make your presentations pop, and 3) earn media through great press releases.
Tip 1: Showcase Your Value With Instructional Marketing
The best way to showcase your value to the customer is through instructional marketing. Rather than just pitching how prestigious your company is or how great your products are, instructional marketing teaches your customers the value your company can provide to them. For example, if you’re selling cybersecurity services, you wouldn’t just create advertisements that talk about how many graduates from elite universities are on your engineering team or the awards you’ve won.
To really distinguish yourself, your marketing campaign should focus on the value you provide, specifically how you can help your customers meet their needs. Thus, as a cybersecurity company, you’d want to focus on how your products can ensure that their online activities will be private and secure—giving customers the peace of mind that comes with not having to worry about stolen data or identity theft.
Holmes recommends using techniques like free educational seminars to make your customers aware of the need for your products or services without overtly selling to them. An example of such an educational seminar for a cybersecurity firm might be to host a free online webinar titled “The Seven Most Dangerous Cyber Attacks of 2020” and promote it to prospective customers in its target market. The presentation should include data that shows how vulnerable most individuals and businesses are to cyber attacks, the financial costs of such attacks, and the frequency with which they occur.
(Shortform note: Marketing experts emphasize that today’s customers don’t care about how prestigious or well-credentialed your company is. The most sophisticated marketers have adopted what they call the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) mentality, with customer-facing messages focused solely on how their products and services can improve their lives or solve their problems. These experts point to the examples of companies like Uber and Instacart, neither of which invented revolutionary services, but which both skillfully presented themselves as making ordinary life easier for their customers. Accordingly, you should avoid phrases like “best-in-class” or “#1 rated” in your ad copy, because potential customers simply don’t care.)
Tip 2: Make Your Presentations Pop
Holmes writes that it’s also important to include eye-catching visuals and compelling stats in your instructional marketing presentations to keep your audience interested and teach them things about their own industry that they may not have known. For example, the cybersecurity company might throw out a stat like “⅓ of small businesses will experience a cyber attack in the next year,” which conveys need and urgency.
And Holmes stresses that you need to make sure your sales staff is adept at giving presentations. That means being active and engaged with the audience, controlling the flow of the presentation, and not just reading the text of the slides.
(Shortform note: Giving presentations can be a highly nerve-wracking experience for many people because they feel anxious about suffering public humiliation. To overcome presentation anxiety, experts recommend focusing on the content and ideas rather than yourself; having comprehensive notes on hand to give yourself some guidance; having a clear sense of the main ideas you’re trying to convey so that you don’t seem too stilted or scripted; and speaking in a louder voice than you normally would to present authority and confidence. They also recommend not putting on too much of a “performance” and being comfortable in your own skin. Your audience will be more receptive to your ideas if they think that they’re being delivered by an authentic person rather than an invented character or persona.)
Tip 3: Earn Media Through Great Press Releases
Holmes writes that you can skillfully supplement your paid advertising with earned or “free” media from newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. In fact, having a favorable story written about your company in a media outlet can be the most effective way to market, since it doesn’t seem like advertising at all and comes to the reader via a third-party validator. According to Holmes, the way to get this kind of coverage is through writing compelling press releases with interesting data points and friendly quotes, staging press events and press conferences, and cultivating relationships with editors and journalists.
Once you land a story in your targeted media outlet, you can then piggyback on their coverage in your paid marketing materials by including your press clippings in brochures, posters, and web ads.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Chet Holmes's "The Ultimate Sales Machine" at Shortform .
Here's what you'll find in our full The Ultimate Sales Machine summary :
- How to build a first-rate sales operation
- Why it's better to be an expert at a few things instead of adequate at a lot
- Why you should get rid of your "open door" policy