The Hawke Method lands on shelves March 8 as my company, Hawke Media, celebrates eight years of successfully growing brands. In that time, my team and I have grown more than 3,500 brands, using a tried and true formula. What are the elements of that formula?
Awareness + nurturing + trust = growth and success
These three pillars of marketing—awareness, nurturing, and trust—are not optional. If one element of the equation is missing or different, you will not get the sum you’re expecting.
You don’t want that and I don’t want to see it for your brand. If you’re reading this, you may be missing the mark on one of these three pillars.
The symptoms of a brand that isn’t utilizing these three pillars as part of its marketing strategy may include:
- You can’t explain your strategy to anyone because it’s either too complex or you don’t have one.
- Potential customers are going to cheaper alternatives.
- You just aren’t attracting new customers.
- Your traffic/engagement/conversions are dropping.
- You aren’t retaining existing customers.
Churn is natural. You can’t hang on to every customer forever. In the software as a service (SaaS) market, average churn is around 6%. That means that, even if you do everything right (including nurturing existing customers to keep them rebuying), customers will still drop off at a consistent rate of about 6 per 100 customers per year.
Bringing in new leads and converting those leads into customers is crucial. That’s what awareness is—making your target customer aware that you exist. This can be done through billboards, press relations, paid media, influencer and affiliate marketing, and more.
The Importance of Nurturing
If I had to pick a favorite principle, and one that was the most important, it is nurturing. Nurturing can not only reduce the amount of time it takes to get a customer to buy, but also increase the average customer lifetime value. That’s because nurturing existing customers makes it more likely that they’ll continue to be customers. A shorter purchase cycle increases the likelihood of purchase, meaning more leads are converted as a result of your efforts.
Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture their prospects see a 451% increase in qualified leads, according to Annuitas. On top of that, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Nurturing includes trigger-based and segmented email and SMS marketing, retargeting ads on display and social media, and more.
Building Trust for Better Results
Trust is key, as evidenced by the fact that 75% of people won’t buy from brands they don’t trust. Trust is what makes customers hit buy, sign the contract, or pay your invoice.
Trust is built on consistency. You wouldn’t buy from an organization that seems all over the place. Trust is the reason why companies like Panera, McDonalds, and Applebee’s have seen so much success over the years. People know they will get nearly identical experiences every time they frequent one of those establishments.
Trust also extends post-purchase, in having your offering line up with what you promised. That means following up with customers to ensure they have everything they need to succeed post-purchase and providing accessible customer service. Consistency between what you advertise and what you sell creates trust with your audience and customers.
Assess and Integrate the Three Pillars
Start looking honestly at your marketing today. If you aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to figure out the principle you’re missing that is muddying your equation. Ask yourself:
- Which of these three marketing principles is missing from my strategy?
- Am I using all of these principles, but maybe not executing them well?
- How can I do better?
After your honest assessment, I recommend sitting down and brainstorming with your team about your brand’s strengths and weaknesses within this system.
Then pick up a copy of The Hawke Method, where I dive into these three marketing principles, complete with anecdotes and examples of how to apply them successfully in practice. Buy it today on Amazon or The Hawke Method website.