Not just progress, but the momentum at which a business progresses can be measured by your key performance indicators. But how do we build traction in business to achieve those KPIs?
Often the traction begins during the ‘awareness’ stage of the customer journey. Where many businesses miss a trick is that they focus on sales as their main indicator, but by focusing on building a solid foundation of awareness marketing; social media, printed advertising, events and branded goods for example, you become interesting and people will begin to seek you out for help solving their problem, pain, fear, want or need.
For most businesses to have the confidence to take the next step, to level up, they often seek the positive gut feeling they have from the traction that they have built.
TIP: Report on your KPIs for early engagement to gain insight on how to take your customer through the next stages of their journey towards purchase and loyalty.
I simplify a marketing strategy with the analogy of fishing in the right pond, with the right tools with the right bait. So where are your audience? What marketing tactic or tool would help grab their attention? What is your value, offer, proposition to encourage a bite?
The book, ‘Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth’ by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares shares 19 channels to build traction towards your business. However for me there is a huge takeaway in the early chapters which I interpreted as ‘don’t dismiss certain traction channels because you don’t like them yourself’.
You may not like cold calling, pay-per-click advertising or social media, for example, but they may be the best platforms or tools through which to reach your ideal audience. Often, we don’t even consider these things due to the label we give them rather than paying proper consideration and testing them out.
TIP: If you discover your audience is ready and waiting somewhere you’re uncomfortable going, simply delegate or outsource the job to someone else.
Use marketing to build traction
Think of building traction as storytelling. You have to know your audience to pique that initial interest, then communicate with them in a way that is authentic and relevant, with consistency and enthusiasm so that they lean towards you for more.
Marketing plays a large part in building traction at every stage of the customer journey, so take time to map your marketing activities and sales process at every stage. Are you building followers, engagement, positive reviews and leads? Are you interacting with customers where you can? Are you actively seeking more customers to reach, and helping them to make that all important purchase decision?
Avoid the mistake often made when there is a tendency to look for the next sale or to a new prospect rather than exploring the opportunities we can create within the journey of our existing customers. This could be with a conversation or a systemised process.
My best advice for building traction can be summed up in three sentences.
- Start with a great product or service
- Market yourself in the right places, with a consistent brand
- Test your business model to see how you can scale it.
If you’d like advice from me about building traction in your business, I offer one hour of free business mentoring and I’m always interested to hear your story. In the meantime you may also like to read my article, ’10 Steps to Consider When Scaling Your Business Beyond Yourself’. Thanks for reading – Mike.