The Ultimate Marketing Engine

(Episode 2 of 2 with John Jantsch)

The Ultimate Marketing Engine

Welcome back to another episode with John Jantsch, a marketing consultant, speaker, and author. In the last episode, we discussed duct tape marketing and how to implement better strategies. Today, we’re going to continue our conversation on marketing and discuss how we can create the ultimate marketing engine. 

Key Takeaways

We will cover the following key takeaways:

  1. The companies that really survive and thrive in the long haul are ones that are meaningful in the lives of their customers.
  2. Uncovering the main problem our customers face is the starting point for developing our overall strategy.
  3. We should narrow our focus to only the top 20% of our customers. 
  4. Once we develop our strategy, then we can begin to work on the tactics. 
  5. It is easier and more cost effective to get a referral than it is to get a brand new customer. 

The Ultimate Marketing Engine 

John is the author of The Ultimate Marketing Engine where he teaches proven principles on how to create and maintain a clear and effective marketing strategy that attracts clients. 

Today he shared five steps we can take to build a marketing engine that will help us grow:

   1. Understand Your Customers

John wrote The Ultimate Marketing Engine during the pandemic, when many companies were forced to make changes or lose business. 

He said, “Some people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and in the wrong industry. But, I also saw a lot of my customers not only survive, [but] actually thrive during this period because they had developed such a culture of getting close to their customers.” He continued, “The companies that really survive and thrive in the long haul are ones that are meaningful in the lives of their customers.”

The Companies_Blog

A large part of the ultimate marketing engine comes down to creating a strong relationship with our customers. When we establish strong relationships, our customers are willing to help us through difficult times such as the pandemic. 

John saw many customers actually reach out to businesses offering support. The businesses that established a strong relationship with their audience got emails from their customers saying, “What can I do to support you?” And “We’ll be here when things get back to normal.” Some customers even offered to pay in advance. 

We should ask ourselves, “How can we help our customers move from where they are today to where they want to be in the future? And how can we provide value at every step on their journey?” We should create a customer roadmap and track their progress. What are the biggest milestones? What stages take the most time? Once we know this, we can find ways to push them forward. 

One way to help build this customer success track is to focus on differentiating ourselves and showing them the long-term value of working with our brand. We create customers for life by consistently exceeding expectations for the long run. 

   2. Uncover Your Customers’ Problems 

As part of understanding our customers, we have to uncover the real problem they are facing. “Uncover[ing] the real problem . . .  [is] the starting point for developing your overall strategy, your overall messaging, and ultimately the content that you produce,” John said. 

As we already discussed this concept in depth in the last episode, if you want to learn more you can read the last blog. 

   3. Narrow Your Focus to the Top 20%

Once we know who our ideal customers are, we should review our current customers. Are we serving customers who don’t fit in our target audience? John recommends that we narrow our focus to only the top 20% of our customers. 

“Pick the top 20% of your customers and make all of your focus on them,” John said. “There is a customer out there that’s in your customer base that is profitable. . . . They probably refer business to you. . . . If you could show them what the next level of value looked like, some smaller percentage might even . . .  do 100 times more business with you.”

John explained that this is some of the most controversial advice he gives because he is essentially telling us to drop 80% of our customer base. He explained, “There’s people you should no longer do business with. . . . You can’t make every customer successful. Not every customer is a good fit.” 

As we review our current customer base we can ask ourselves, “Who do I provide the most value to the fastest?” These are our most profitable customers. While we may be dropping 80% of our customer base, we save a lot of expense and time. When we drop over half of our customers, we can double down on our work for the more profitable customers and then double our prices. As we do this, we will get ahead and have to do a lot less work for it. 

“Stop chasing today’s dollar. [It] can be hard because somebody shows up and says I’m going to give you $5 today to do this thing,” John said. “[But] we often overestimate the value of that and we terribly underestimate the cost, the lost opportunity in not being seen as the best solution provider for X type of client.”

   4. Focus on Tactics  

Once we have our strategy completed, then we can begin to look at the tactics. As we discussed in the last episode with John, putting strategy before tactics is key to our success. We should understand our customers, know their problems, and narrow our focus before we start building a website, email campaign, or social media campaign. 

“Without developing the first three steps, we are quite likely going to waste our time,” John said. “90% of the small business owners who have a website will tell you it does very little for them or they don’t know what it does for them. Part of that is because they’ve neglected to build the strategy that’s actually going to make pretty much every marketing tactic [work].” 

Our tactics can include working with influencers, paid ads, email campaigns, content marketing, focusing on testimonials, etc. Once we have our strategy it will be easier to choose which tactics we should focus on. 

“Strategy helps you to find why people should expect to pay a premium for what it is that you do,” John said. “Once you develop that strategy of how you want to be seen in the market, how you want to position yourself in the market, it sort of chooses the tactics that are most right to execute on that strategy or communicate that strategy.”

   5. Scale 

Step five is to scale. We can do this by serving our customers at every stage of their journey to gain referrals. 

“It is so much easier to get somebody who is already doing business with you that already trusts you, to give you the next dollar,” John said. “Yet we spend [so much] time chasing the person that we have to convince that we can get them a result, that we have to convince that we are trustworthy and credible.” 

It is easier and more cost effective to get a referral than it is to get a brand new customer. If we want to scale, we should stop wasting time trying to convince people we’re great and find the people who already believe it and get them to refer and recommend us. This is the ultimate end of the customer journey, not the sale. It all comes back to a referral engine. 

“[Referral generation] should be the ultimate end of a customer journey that you are growing with your customers,” John said. 

Referral Generation_Blog

Connect with John

Thank you so much John for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with John:

Next Steps

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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