Marketing 101: Taming Feral Cats

Marketing 101: Taming Feral Cats image 08538a31.jpg1

By , Published October 23, 2014


I get calls all the time asking for marketing help. A typical conversation goes a lot like this:

“I need help.”

“Ok. What with?”

“I need a website,” or “I need my website updated.”

“Ok. What do you want it to do?”

“I want it to look like…”

“No. What do you want it to DO?”


“What is the purpose of your website?”

“For people to come to it,” with a “duh” inflection.

“Ok. Then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you want people to DO when they get to your website?”

This line of questioning continues until they realize they don’t know the answer. The perception is, “if I build a website, people will come.” While this belief is all well and good, it is completely unrealistic.

What is the point of people visiting your website?

The typical answers I receive are along the lines of, “learn about what it is I do.” And again, while all well and good, it’s not good enough. This is the point in the conversation I step back and ask about what they DO. Odds are I know what it is they “do,” but I need to hear it from them. Needless to say, most people are fairly passionate about what they do. There is always a wonderful back story. I enjoy passionate people. They are fun to work with and are sometimes a bit like feral cats when it comes to marketing. After asking a million more questions, I go for the jugular.

What makes you so special? Why should someone spend his or her money on you?

The typical answers simply aren’t good enough, and the line of questioning I ask tends to feel harsh. I always feel a little bad doing that to someone, but I do it for their own good. You see, the reality is the consumer is asking the same questions, and if you aren’t prepared to answer those questions they will move on to someone who will. There are thousands of websites and hundreds more people selling what you are selling or some version thereof or other options that may fit the solution they are seeking. My job is to make sure you don’t let that happen.

What is it you want them to do?

I always circle back to this question. Now the answer is, “buy from me.” Good! Now we are getting somewhere. THIS is the point of your website: conversion.

How are we going to do that?

Welcome to Marketing 102. Now, let’s get busy.

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