Talk to most of the old-school digital agencies and they will compound the problem. They’ll tell you the solution is “better ads” or “more content.”
The conventional strategy says to double down on tactics, and if they don’t work that well, just do more.
That’s the definition of insanity.
Your ads, content, and social media presence most likely aren’t the problem. At least, they aren’t the source of your struggle.
We watch brands obsess over tactics and brand awareness, and focus all their attention on the wrong problem.
More spend on a bad ad campaign will not make it a high-performing campaign. It just means you’re throwing good money after bad. More hustle, more grind, more spend, more risk, and more content and ads is not the way to scale growth.
When your marketing is not working, focus on identifying what is really holding you back.
Audit this for truth: When trying to outspend and outrank your competitors isn’t working, your problem is not your competitors.
It’s friction within your own brand.
You can get a lot of data from your content, your ad spend, and your social media metrics that tell you you’re not getting conversions. Conventional wisdom says something is wrong with your content, your ads, or your social posts. So, you should focus on fixing them first.
Conventional wisdom is wrong.
For most brands, their ads aren’t the problem. Their problem is friction in the process of customer acquisition.
Winning brands work tirelessly on eliminating friction from their sales and marketing in order to accelerate growth. Until friction is removed, marketing investments won’t be able to prove an ROI, which means you’ll never be equipped to outspend your competitors for customer acquisition.
Removing friction decreases the cost of customer acquisition and increases the effectiveness of all your marketing investments. And, when your competitive advantage is customer acquisition, you can spend more to acquire customers, and dominate the marketplace.
“When you deliver a frictionless brand experience, your target market will love you. And, you won’t need to worry a lot about growth because customer demand will require it.”
The real source of struggle and the right problems to solve to accelerate growth.
Our customers have spent more than $5 Million dollars on us to help them build their buyer journey (customer development, product positioning, brand narrative) that lines up with their website and marketing campaigns - and we’ve seen this produce a 10X growth in traffic, leads, and customers over and over again.
So you want to solve the problem, remove friction, and scale growth?
The common question here is “how do we start?”
The first step is to shift your paradigm so that you adopt a customer-centric focus for your brand. It sounds minor, but for most brands, it’s really a huge step.
Your website and marketing is not for you. It’s for them.
Creating marketing and websites that are designed to solve the brand’s problem is the number one cause of friction in the buyer journey. You want to promote your product, the customer wants to solve a problem. Your motivations, message, and movement are completely different.
When your marketing is for you, it naturally produces unnecessary (and often unnoticed) friction into the buyer journey. The secret to this shift is found in flipping the BDH Framework.
While most brands understand the customer journey, most of them think about it in the reverse order. This results in the natural creation of a lot of friction in that journey.
Great marketing changes and shifts the beliefs in the customer's mind with the intention of making a sale.
Great marketing is not about promoting the thing they need to have. Great marketing is shaping beliefs on what the prospect wants to do, which creates a gap between what they have now and what they need to be successful. This gap makes your solution the tool or vehicle to help them succeed with the new belief.
Sales is presenting offers that solve the physical, emotional, and social needs of the customer.
Sales is showing that they are at point A, and point B is where they want to be for their physical, emotional, and social goals.
Your product is the vehicle that moves them from point A to point B.
Great sales is not just about meeting the physical need of the JTBD. It’s showing the prospect what kind of person they will become by moving from point A to point B; the transformation they will experience (physically, emotionally, and socially) with your product.
Most friction is caused by a failure to address the prospect's pushes, pulls, habits, and beliefs. Marketing by nature drives anxieties and fears, and if you don’t address them you create friction.
You need to address the motivations that are pushing your prospect to change.
You also need to address the fears and anxieties that are pulling them back from change.
The only way to truly know what needs addressed is through comprehensive customer development that allows you to truly identify what their habits and beliefs are, the motivations that push them and the fears and anxieties that hold them back.
Then your product positioning and brand narrative make you stand out as different from your competitors because your entire messaging is for the customer, not the brand.
Ten years ago, marketing was about getting attention. And when you got attention, the prospect would convert and engage with sales, then sales would shift their beliefs, create them an offer, and then close the sale - which closing meant giving a reason why buying today is better than waiting for tomorrow.
Sales had the role of changing beliefs
But today, prospects aren’t giving you the time. They aren’t going to connect with sales to get their beliefs changed. If you’re going to win in today’s marketplace, you have to be great at shifting beliefs with your marketing.
Your marketing and website are your best salesman
Sales should be focused on creating better offers and giving people reasons to buy today.
The marketplace has experienced a tremendous shift.
There is little barrier to entry to create new products today. Which means there are more competitors than ever before, and new ones entering the marketplace every day.
The result of so many choices: the customer has all the power
If they are going to give you the time of day, you must show them what’s wrong with their current beliefs and habits -- only that will open up the conversation of whether or not you have what they need to solve their problems.
There is no relationship with having a great product and getting paid. In fact, customers don’t make your customers choose you, the product makes the customer keep you.
There is a huge relationship between having great marketing and getting paid.
Your #1 advantage in the marketplace is not your product
Your ability to acquire customers is your competitive advantage. When you can more profitably acquire customers than your competitors, then you can reinvest and ensure that you have the best product today, and for the future.
Now what? What you do next depends on what you want to do.
If you realize removing friction and doing great marketing is more than a one-person job, and you want help, we invite you to get in touch.
If you’re more analytical and want to do more research on how we accelerate growth, visit how we work.
Download our Growth Grader to get insight into the areas of your sales or marketing that are causing the most friction in your brand.
This free tool will help you see from a high-level view where your customer acquisition funnel is struggling the most, so you can identify where to focus your efforts, and you can get out of the struggle and experience growth.
If you want to get out of the false struggle that derails most brands, you need to focus first on getting the friction out of your brand. So, don’t rush to market with more ads, more SEO, or newer, prettier website design.
The look of your website impacts less than 5% of acquisition performance.
More ads, content, and social media work on a high-friction brand will not beat your competitors.
The only way to accelerate growth is to focus on the six levers of growth.
This is what we do at Lean Labs. And, if you would like to talk to us about your brand, and how we may possibly be a good fit to help you accelerate growth, get in touch.
Download the growth grader and identify how your brand is doing with the six levers of growth.
We help people grow lean. We eliminate waste and friction from the marketing and sales processes, and then we institute aggressive strategies focused on changing beliefs. You can learn exactly what that looks like here.
There are six total levers that impact growth. No matter how well the other levers are functioning, if just one lever is broken, the entire growth engine stalls. The growth grader helps you grade each of these six levers of growth, and track your progress toward accelerating growth.
At the professional level, champions play a game of inches. Mastering the fundamentals is the key to winning when the competition is fierce.
How long will you remain competitive if you have to spend more to acquire customers, and lose more potential digital leads if you have to wait longer because your customer journey is longer because of friction? We encourage you to learn how to grow lean.