Your business can learn something about marketing by following this analogy about how attraction happens at a ball.

Imagine your perfect client is looking for you and you are both at the ball, looking to dance, looking to connect, looking to engage. 

Marketing is all about standing out. You see your perfect client from across the room and you are enchanted with their looks, their mannerisms and their obvious intelligence. But you notice that many other suitors are gathered around your perfect client, all dressed to impress and all making advances that give you a slight tinge of jealousy.


Marketing in the mirror

Marketing is all about appearances. Considering your next move, you decide to slip off to the bathroom to check your appearance - probably something you should have done before you came out to the ball.

When you look in the marketing mirror, you realise your hair is having a bad day, your clothes are a little wrinkled and you chose your comfy old shoes that are probably not the best choice for such a social occasion. You should have definitely brushed your teeth and taken that shower before you came out for the evening too.

But you don't have time to put any of this right. Your perfect client is out there. You are confident they are looking for you. You have to go out there and engage.

A poor marketing approach

Marketing is all about being memorable for the right reasons. After a nervous scan of the room, you spot your perfect client again. With a loud shout, you announce your intent to speak to them. But somehow your perfect client does not seem to hear you. So with great determination you push your way through the crowds and with little reserve you find yourself in front of your perfect client.

Patting your pockets, you realise you have no calling card, no introduction to present. So you start to talk and talk, pausing only briefly for breath, and then talking again some more. 

Bad marketing will result in rejection

Finally, you notice your perfect client’s gaze wandering around the room. In fact, you notice they've hardly even acknowledged your presence, not saying one word in response to your barrage of observations about how wonderful you are, and what a perfect client they would be for you. Talking at your perfect clients, telling them how wonderful you are, rather than how you can help them is bad marketing.

Then with a slightly puzzled look, your perfect client impatiently pushes past you and goes to chat with someone else. In a moment of pure horror, you realise they are talking to your direct competitor. Not only that, they are smiling at each other as they gaze into each others eyes!

As you dejectedly fall back until your back is up against the wall, your perfect client takes to the dance floor with you direct competitor. You are left dejectedly looking around, knowing that your perfect client passed you by when you would have been so good for them. You start to realise your competitor may have got a few more bits of the marketing puzzle right than you did. 

When your competitor gets their marketing right

With a feeling of envy, you start to have a good look at your competitor. You begin to do some direct comparisons and you notice some striking differences between yourself and their approach to marketing.

  1. They are dressed in crease free clothes - they have a nice clean functional website as part of their marketing communication tools.

  2. Their hair is neatly arranged and tidy - they market themselves professionally with have quality images.

  3. They have a calling card - they use video as a marketing tool that tells their story.

  4. They wear the right shoes and move in the right circles - they embrace new marketing techniques and are on Google+, and YouTube, and they blog regularly.

  5. They have brushed their teeth - their content on the internet is clean and fresh, their marketing is relevant to their clients needs.

As you make these comparisons, you realise something...

The perfect supplier has control over their marketing

... You realise that your competitor is the perfect supplier for your client. Not you. It dawns on you that it is not enough just to know what the perfect client looks like. It is not enough that they can even see you on the internet.

In business, first impressions last. If you do not look like the perfect supplier, you do not get to dance with the perfect client. You need to make sure you are dressed for success when that perfect client turns up looking to dance with someone. This is what your marketing should do for you.

SME Heroes

SME Heroes offers marketing packages to help you get dressed for the ball. We get you ready and show you the marketing etiquette you need to display when you encounter your perfect client. We help you mould and present your story so that when your perfect client comes along, it is you they will consider dancing with.

-Mark Timberlake

AuthorMark Timberlake