Tactics and strategies are not the same thing, and only one of them is an effective long-term plan for getting your customer to where they want to go.
In this episode, host Roland Frasier sits down with John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing and the author of the book by the same name. Duct Tape Marketing is one of those books Roland believes everybody should read. It’s in his all-time Top 5 and “fantastic.” John recently released a new book called The Ultimate Marketing Engine, and it’s filled with actual strategies (not tactics) for helping your customers along the Customer Success Track.
“The ultimate marketing engine is a successful customer,” he says, “and I think that’s the point of view that we often lose.”
Listen in to hear how John and his team take their customers through five stages on their way to lasting transformation.
The Key Difference Between Strategies and Tactics
John’s first book has met with fantastic success, and as he’s traveled the globe talking to businesses and entrepreneurs, he’s gotten a lot of feedback from larger organizations. “We want higher-level strategies,” they told him, and John delivered in his new book.
He believes a lot of people are confused when it comes to the difference between tactics and strategies. Not that he blames them. Google “marketing strategies” and it’s a bunch of blog posts with 15 tactics. People are often looking for the latest marketing hack, but the essence of strategy is a plan. Where do you want to go? Who can you bring value to? Who can you bring even more value to?
“Our job really, if we want to simplify it,” John says, “is to take somebody who has a need from where they are to where they want to go.”
A lot of marketers have a tendency to say, “I have this thing to sell. Here’s someone who said they’d buy it.” And that’s their marketing. But John and his team work hard to develop a Customer Success Track. They figure out where their customer is today—their characteristics, their struggles—and then plan out the tasks or milestones they need to achieve to get the result they want. It’s not about the next thing John can sell his customers, but what’s the next level of maturity for them?
The Five Stages on the Customer Success Track
In John’s marketing business, they have five stages they take their customers through. It’s like a value ladder, a roadmap. By building these stages and understanding what a business has to do to pass through each stage, John says they can “promise the rainbow.” They can promise, “Here’s where we’re going,” instead of just, “Here’s how we’re going to solve today’s problem.” Of course they still solve today’s problem, but it’s part of something bigger. When we solve x, we can do y. And so on and so on, stage after stage.
Here are the 5 stages in order:
- Foundation (basic marketing stuff—leads, customers, etc.)
- Level Up (pour money into lead generation because you have a foundation now)
- Organize (consistently convert those leads profitably)
- Monthly recurring revenue (this should always be a goal, no matter your industry)
- Build a team (so you can ultimately scale)
Of the five stages, team-building might be the biggest challenge for people. If you’re an entrepreneur who hates leading people, John says you either need to get someone who does want to lead people, or you need to go to work on yourself. You need to develop some self-awareness to realize you’re the problem. Know where your blindspots are and what your superpowers are. Then find and surround yourself with people who have what you lack.
Taking a Customer-Centric Approach
John says a lot of companies talk about being customer-centric, but not many of them truly are. His team is always thinking up practical ways to truly implement a customer-centric approach. We all know it’s easier to sell more stuff to people who already know and trust us than it is to go out there and find another universe of people who have to go through all the hoops of getting to know and trust you. Existing customers are 9 times more valuable than the prospective customer you don’t yet have.
He suggests narrowing your focus to the top 20% of your customers. A customer-centric approach is all about figuring out who your best customers are and creating a roadmap for them. He says some of these customers are standing around thinking, “How can I give you 10x more money because of the value you’re already giving me?” You’ve got to capitalize on that. In his business, this means actually adding services and approaches to offer to that business they want to help mature.
John has helped a lot of authors go to the next level by building courses for their program after they write a book. You write a book, then create a course, then some of those people in the course will want group time or one-on-one time, so you develop the $10k course. Some of those people will excel and only want to hang out with the cream of the crop, so you create an exclusive mastermind for $100k.
This is all great for info people, but what about someone who is selling tools? Roland says that brick and mortar companies often have trouble with the value ladder. How does John help them?
John shares a story of a client of his who is a dentist. Generally speaking, people will only drive so far to get their teeth cleaned. But this client added something very valuable to her repertoire. One of the things she was passionate about—and it’s a nascent part of the dental industry—is breathing. She’s done extensive studies on people’s incorrect bite or being tongue-tied and how that impacts your breathing.
She started writing about it, speaking about it, teaching people about it, and John’s team helped her develop courses and training as another form of income. As an added bonus, those courses have also gotten her more clients. People drive farther now to be seen by her. A couple clients even fly in. It’s no longer just about $129 to get their teeth cleaned. She’s now a dental consultant who will help your entire family’s holistic health. It has changed her practice by giving her more revenue streams and enhancing her existing revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about how to go next-level with John and his company, check out the links to his websites below, listen to his podcast (he’s been doing it for 16 years!), and pick up a copy of The Ultimate Marketing Engine today.
LINKS AND RESOURCES: