Which Marketing Model is Right for You?
By Karyn Greenstreet
copyright © 2009, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.
A client sent me Adam Urbanski's blog post, "Outer Circle Marketing Target Exposed," and asked my opinion on it. Here's what I said:
Neither marketing model is wrong, and both offer you insights into creating a marketing strategy that will work for your business.
By the way, NONE of these ideas and models are new; we've been talking about these concepts in marketing classes for decades. Let me explain…
Whether you are using a bulls-eye target as your visual model or a funnel as your visual model, the concept is similar: you are going from a large audience (top of funnel, outer circle) of people towards a smaller audience of people.
In Adam's Outer Circle Marketing analogy, the picture that defines the model is a bulls-eye target. The outer circle represents the freebie offer you're giving away to introduce yourself to new prospects. The next circle in is your products: audio programs, ebooks, etc. The closer to the inside circle you get, the higher the price is for the service/product, and the more personal access you get to the service provider (coach, consultant, professional organizer, graphic artist, etc.)…the "inner circle."
In the Funnel Marketing analogy, the picture that defines the model is a funnel, but there are two different funnels you need to be aware of.
- The marketing/sales funnel (aka "sales pipeline") is the movement of a person from "not knowing me at all" to "purchasing from me" to "a raving fan who talks about me to others." It's a completely different animal from a product/service funnel. The marketing/sales funnel allows you to choose the right marketing techniques for the audience you're targeting. For instance, I use different marketing techniques with someone who has already hired me as a small business coach, and other marketing techniques with a stranger I meet when I'm giving a speech at a national conference.
- The product/service funnel allows you to have an array of offerings to serve the many types of people who might purchase from you, all at different price points. You've heard of this as multiple streams of income.
I see Adam's bulls-eye model and the product/service funnel model as essentially the same thing. Instead of seeing them as individual, distinct models, think of these models as ways to cover all your bases, in terms of:
- Determining whether the person knows enough about you and your products/services to be ready to purchase from you
- Determining where the person is in their decision-making process
- Price of products/services to allow for multiple streams of income across all price-points
- A customer's preferred method of receiving help/information (reading, listening, taking a class, doing a project, joining a group, working privately one-on-one)
- Making personal, one-on-one contact with you is the most expensive offering
- Having a way to capture contact information (and give them something free in return for that email address) so that you can do more targeted, long-term email marketing to the prospect
The sales/marketing funnel model really doesn't captures those people who are predisposed to purchase from you because they were referred by someone they trust. I've had lots of coaching/consulting clients buy my 90-day, one-on-one program without ever having been on my mailing list at all, but instead having heard great things about me from a fan. I've also had people on my mailing list for FIVE years who finally decide to take a teleclass with me. As long as your marketing strategy allows people to enter your product/service mix at any point they want, it's a viable strategy.
Note: I go into more detail about these models, and how to choose the right marketing technique for the right model phase in my Marketing Planning class, which will be offered again this year.
Take some time to learn more about these models, understand how the audience participates in them, then create a model for your own business. It will give you clarity and insight, and allow you do plan your marketing in a more powerful and effective way.