Wimbledon’s on and it still hasn’t rained? What the heck is going on?
The one defining feature of the British weather – a total lack of consistency.
One can’t help but compare this summer with the summer of 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Which she ‘celebrated’ by spending two hours on a sodden barge on the Thames, in thrashing rain, in JUNE. Incidentally, family Evan-Cook was supposed to be going camping that weekend. We didn’t even bother to pack the car, let alone put up a tent. The weather was forecast to be so dreadful.
Britain – four seasons in one day.
Santa Barbara, California – one season year-round.
According to Forbes Magazine: Santa Barbara is in the top five for the best and most consistent weather in the world. “283 days of sun, 36 days of rain, and brief winter lows in the high 40s at worst that get you excited to showcase your sweater collection (if you still have one).”
While the Santa Barbarans (?) are free to make plans to hold an outdoor party in five months’ time, we Brits have had to become masters of the gazebo-based, wet weather contingency plan. They are free to commit to any manner of picnic or festival, safe in the knowledge that the sun will consistently shine. We, on the other hand, must complete a weather-based risk assessment before purchasing any tickets to an al fresco event or creating an outdoor birthday celebration of ANY kind. (Of course, they’d dearly love more rain, but that’s a different matter. What I’m talking about is the reliability – they always know what to expect.)
When it comes to marketing, you don’t want to be Britain. You want to be Santa Barbara.
Because, in marketing, consistency is what delivers a result. And, critically, it’s consistency served in three ways:
Consistency of strategy
Basically – making a plan and sticking to it.
It sounds easy and obvious, but a surprising number of small businesses flip-flop around between various marketing strategies to find new clients, or to retain the ones they have.
A new (shiny) marketing opportunity comes along and suddenly they rush headlong into changing their client attraction method from Facebook Lives to tradeshows. For the best results, choose one or two things and stick with them consistently. The learning and improvements are compound and you will only get the best results once you’ve tried something multiple times and honed your style or technique.
And, when your prospects start to know where you are showing up regularly, they’ll come looking for you in that place. For example, existing clients might be recommending that their friends should look out for your Facebook Live appearances because they are so informative. If you have suddenly stopped doing them because you have limited time to prepare for a tradeshow, they’ll be making referrals that you aren’t getting.
Consistency of customer
Who is your ideal client? What kind of client are you in business to serve? Decide, and build your presence in that part of the market. If you are having success there, don’t change just because you suddenly see a great opportunity in another vertical. Whenever you opt to go after a new market your initial task will be to educate that market about your product and/or that you exist. Market education is very expensive and takes a long time. It may be months before you get any sales in that area.
If you are already having success in one particular market, or with a specific type of customer, stay focused on consistently building your reputation in that market until you’ve exhausted the opportunity.
Consistency of message
Refine the message that you are putting into the market and stick with it. You may be sure that you’ve delivered the same signature talk or piece of content SO many times that surely everyone in the world has heard and grown sick of hearing it. They almost certainly haven’t. I guarantee that even some of your most loved, and loyal clients don’t truly understand what you stand for and how you are positioned against your competitors.
Keep going with it. Boring or not. When you start hearing your prospects using your business language to ask for your help, you know you are on the right track.
Keeping these things consistent for at least a couple of years is the secret to a marketing model that works. If you are continually changing things up, you’ll confuse your audience. Confusion leads to non-sales. Your prospects need to be totally clear on what you do, and how you do it in order to buy from you.
Remember: Santa Barbara, not Britain.
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