7 Little Words That Sum Up the Entire Marketing Machine

Marketing is essentially getting someone that has a need to know, like and trust you. Of course then you must turn that know, like, and trust into try, buy, repeat and refer.

That my friends is the entire practice of marketing summed up in seven little words that make up what I call The Marketing Hourglass.TM

The idea behind the hourglass is that you look at each of the seven stages and intentionally plan products, services, processes and touches that logically move prospects along to the point where they become customers and then receive such a remarkable customer experience they become repeat customers and referral advocates. I talk a great deal about building your hourglass in my book The Referral Engine.

If you do nothing but spend the time to fill in the blanks in each of the stages in the infographic below you will be miles ahead in your thinking about a simple, yet powerful approach to your marketing. Feel free to print, share and use the graphic to help build your marketing hourglass

Click on the image to enlarge and get a bird’s eye view of your entire marketing machine.

Why Google Wanted Groupon and What It Means to Your Local Business

Local buying of products and services is starting to look a lot like this:

  • A person wonders where to find a product or how to get a deal.
  • They turn to a search engine or local deal site and try to find the item locally. (Sure, people also just buy the product online, but increasingly they are simply finding the item and a nearby shop that has it in stock.)
  • They stick their smart phone back in their pocket and go get the item.

Look no farther than Google’s recent modifications to local search and something they are calling Place Search to validate this pattern.

shopping local

Image Kelly Sue via Flickr

Or, they sign-up for services such as Groupon,, or Living Social so they can receive daily deal alerts on the products, services and entertainment they are seeking locally.

I’ve written in the past about this ideal of online to offline business or O2O as I think it’s an important competitive lever for the local small business. The idea is to drive people to your assets online (or at least make sure people find them when they search) and then use that awareness to drive them offline and into your local business where they can get the products and services they want conveniently and with a greater experience than a big box or online retailer can deliver. (I wrote about local businesses getting in location game here)

A couple striking news stories from last week highlight this trend in obvious ways. The local retailer must get their products and services featured in the new buying pattern and that clearly means being found online and on the mobile device.

  • Last week eBay bought shopping engine to help it reach more consumers looking for products in nearby stores and browsing for bargains with mobile phones. (Business Week story)
  • Rumors also swirled last week that Google had offered somewhere between $5-6 Billion for local deal site Groupon. It is reported that Groupon turned the deal down, but it certainly signals Google’s intent to make a much larger push in the local shopping space.
  • In what feels a bit like the start of a buying frenzy, Amazon invested $175 million in local coupon site Living Social. This move signaled Amazon’s desire to be in the local game as well.

Small, local businesses need to get very active in this angle of the local search game or you will get left behind.

The following is a list of action steps that you should consider working on right now!

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