The 5Ms of Marketing

For a long time now, I’ve been talking to clients about the importance of either 3 or 4-Ms in marketing their businesses. I realise now that there are 5Ms of marketing and the fifth ‘M’ comes before all the rest!

This fifth M has been thrust into the foreground most recently due to the pandemic but, in reality, it’s always been there as its Mindset. The reality is that it’s the first thing you need to get right to grow your business successfully.

 What are the 5Ms of Marketing?

I believe that you need to approach all your efforts to promote your business, i.e., your marketing, in the following order:

Mindset – accepting that you need to be a marketer FIRST and then a business owner;

Market – decide specifically who and where your perfect customer is, give them a personality – an avatar;

Message – make it compelling; how your service/product will benefit your target customer and solve their problem;

Media – don’t just rely on one form, try different things;

Measure – ensure you’ve built in how to find out which part of your approach is working.

 1. Mindset

The main goal of business is to make a profit. To do that you need to have a continual and consistent flow of clients; a pipeline full of prospects.  The reality though tends to be very different.

You usually end up promoting your business only when you need clients, and then, because you’re completely overwhelmed with work, you stop marketing and wait.

A few months later you’ve completed all the work you had and have nothing else coming through. So, to paraphrase a well-known song, you pick yourself up, dust your marketing off and start all over again! This is the typical rollercoaster of feast or famine that lots of businesses face.

The Roller Coaster of Feast or Famine

You need a marketing strategy and system to escape the rollercoaster of feast or famine in your business. Click To Tweet

That’s why having a system to promote your business consistently is critical to your business’ success. That system is a Marketing Strategy and Plan.

Marketing is the key to attracting new customers to your business. It’s the process of getting consumers interested in your products or services. This happens through market research, analysis, and a solid understanding of your ideal consumer’s wants and needs.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter F. Drucker

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. - Peter F. Drucker Click To Tweet

The biggest obstacle that stands in the way of busy business owners is implementation – either finding the time or having the knowledge to get ‘things’ done.

Shut Down Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic is the voice inside your head that shoots you down before you even get started. When setting goals, we all want to be realistic. Your inner critic goes far beyond ‘realistic’ and simply prevents you from taking action. When you’re about to take a risk or try something new, this voice stops you by focusing on mistakes you could make.

You can dispel your inner critic by identifying it and calling it out. Learn to recognize when you’re not being realistic but self-defeating. Once you know this is happening, you can remember that succeed or fail, you’ll learn something valuable, and ignore it.

Create a marketing system

By spending your time and energy creating a marketing system and really understanding who your customer is, you’ll have a plan that allows you to attract new clients and build the business you want. In today’s marketplace, online tools are immensely powerful and businesses need to be on the web in some form to become profitable and grow.

An effective marketing system doesn’t need to be complicated but you need to understand that this is a process and not about trying out whatever tactic is the flavour of the month. There are no silver bullets, magic wands or one-off activities that are going to deliver you the success you want. I wish I could tell you there are but they really don’t exist. What you need is a predictable, repeatable marketing system.

In the end, people buy from people they like, know and trust, and you need a system that will attract and then help you develop those relationships.

“Marketing is just sharing your passion”  Michael Hyatt

Marketing is just sharing your passion - Michael Hyatt Click To Tweet

You don’t need to become a super slick salesperson or spend every waking hour on your marketing but you do need to accept that you must spend time on developing a marketing process to build your business consistently. Make the decision to become the marketer of your business and not just the business owner or doer.

2. Market

The marketplace is jam-packed with competition in virtually every industry and sector. The more narrowly you define your target market, the more new and qualified customers you’ll attract into your business and the less your marketing efforts will cost!

If you say your target customer is “everybody” or “whoever’s willing to pay” then the likely result will be no customers. It also would cost a small fortune to cast your net that wide. You need to think in terms of being a big fish in a little pond.

You’ll also find it hard to build a relationship if you’re always discussing what you do and not what your prospect wants.

Many women want to lose weight but is that really what it’s about? Or do they want to feel more confident or sexy? Look better in their clothes? Get back into that dress they love or fit into some of that wardrobe full of different sizes as they have “nothing to wear”?

Your Target Niche

Choose a niche that interests you and is easy to contact or you’ll quickly get bored and frustrated. The more genuinely interested and enthusiastic you are about your niche the more you’ll understand what causes grief and pain to those customers. As a result, you’ll be able to solve those problems.

Niches can be geographic or customer-centric and they can cover almost anything:

Bullet Pointa professional group – accountants, doctors, dentists, florists

Bullet Pointlive in the UK or a county or a town

Bullet Pointlike a particular type of music or sport

Bullet Pointloves cats or dogs (or horses!)

Bullet Pointcollects stamps, railway timetables or any specific hobby

Bullet Pointhates the internet/loves the internet.

Just watch BBC’s “Not the Nine O’Clock News”. You’ll be amazed at how many niches and diverse publications they manage to find! The possibilities are endless but, as I said before, you need to make sure you can contact your chosen niche.

 Ideal Customer/Client Profile

Your next step is to take the time to expand on your niche and identify your ideal client. You’ll see this referred to as many different names such as Customer Avatar and ICP.

To do this you need to write out a detailed client profile. It’s important to make the time and effort to do this. If you already have customers, choose the one you really enjoy working with and base your client profile around that person.

I’m adding a step-by-step course on working out your ideal customer profile to my soon-to-be launched Marketing Membership Club but a great place to start is with the following two questions:

  1. Who do you enjoy working with?
  2. Who don’t you want to work with?

Remember, it’s your business and you want to enjoy it!

You need to think about the following to create your profile:

Bullet PointDemographic traits – age, sex, education, income, marital status, occupation, religion and average family size;

Bullet PointPsychographic traits – values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle;

Bullet PointName your person to humanize them;

Bullet PointPut a face to their name;

Bullet PointCreate a one-page dossier of the information you’ve collected;

Bullet PointWrite a story about your customer profile and how your product/service helps them.

Benefits of choosing a niche and creating a customer profile:

There are many benefits to choosing a niche and these are just a few:

Bullet PointYou understand your customer’s individual needs and motivations

Bullet PointYou speak their language

Bullet PointNews of your brand travels far more quickly

Bullet PointYou can establish yourself as an expert in your field, the person to go to.

Bullet PointYou’ll find you’ll be able to communicate more effectively and with a real level of clarity.

Your goal is a personalised conversation with a prospect. Remember it’s about them and not you – a bit like a first date!

People buy from people (and brands!) they know, like and trust.

3. Message

Developing a marketing message sounds like it might be the simplest of tasks. Your message is what you’re going to say to convince your market that you’re the best option to meet their needs.

You might think it’s a few hours of work with the end result being words on a page or screen, but your marketing message is a big deal. There are so many things to consider when developing a strong marketing message.

Your messaging needs to be laser-focused on your customer and their needs in order to be effective. Developing a strong, unique marketing message takes time and a lot of thought. The focus is always on your target audience and the goal is to communicate value.

Tips to help you develop your message

Bullet PointConsumers are looking for solutions. Communicate clearly how you can meet their needs. Make it about them.

Bullet PointTalk directly to your target audience. Make them feel special by validating the fact that you know who they are.

Bullet PointBe real and authentic. Tell your story in a way that creates an emotional connection.

Bullet PointUse a persuasive, active tone with customer testimonials to support it.

Bullet PointBe marketing-channel aware. Different messages are needed in different places, so build your messaging plan accordingly.

Bullet PointMake sure the brand message clearly states how you’re different. Your goal is to stand out from the competition.

Ensure your marketing messages aligns with your mission, vision, values and goals. Your marketing message is important. Your goal is to rise above the noise. You need to make sure you tell a unique and impactful story.

Sell the Sizzle not the Sausage

Remember it’s not all about your service or product. People normally buy benefits and not features – and the benefit must match a need/want/hurt. However, people don’t usually buy what they need, they buy what they want…it’s an emotional pull.

The following are the key motivators that make people buy, the first four being the main ones:

1.   Make money
2.   Save money
3.   Save time
4.   Avoid effort
5.   Escape physical and/or emotional pain
6.   Gain praise
7.   Be popular
8.   Get more comfort
9.   Achieve greater cleanliness
10. Attain better health.

4. Media

There are so many ways to market your business now that it can feel overwhelming! Having worked out your market niche you know need to work out where you’ll find these potential customers.

You should have covered this in identifying your ideal customer.

Although online methods are valuable and you can create an entire client list out of them, please don’t forget offline tactics as well. It’s important to employ as many tactics as possible and there are excellent opportunities offline as well as online.

Here are some online tactics you might want to use:

Bullet PointOnline Marketing TacticsYour Website

Bullet PointBlogging

Bullet PointSocial Media

Bullet PointEmail Marketing

Bullet PointWebinars

Bullet PointPodcasts

Bullet PointAdvertising

Bullet PointOnline Groups and Forums

Bullet PointBusiness Listing and Review Sites

Bullet PointBecome a Published Author

Bullet PointMake Videos

Bullet PointJoint Partnerships

You shouldn’t restrict yourself to only online tactics. When you meet people offline, you have the opportunity to create an even stronger relationship with them. You can also find potential clients you wouldn’t have found online.

Bullet PointOffline Marketing TacticsEvents and Meetups

Bullet PointYour Local Chamber of Commerce

Bullet PointPublic Speaking

Bullet PointDemonstrations and Educational Events

Bullet PointWorkshops

Bullet PointReferrals

Bullet PointLocal Media.


You need to beware of two temptations.

1. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

The first is BSOS – Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. This is when someone focuses all their attention on something new and current. Usually, this is at the expense of whatever they have been or are currently doing.

If you’re marketing is working, keep going. By all means, try something new but don’t spend all your time playing with this new toy. It might not be where your target audience is or short gimmicky videos might not suit either your business or your personality.

2. Doing it All

The second temptation is trying to do it all. You don’t need to be on every social media platform, in every magazine or newspaper or attend every networking event. Select a few, test and measure the results to see how they’re working for you and which you enjoy doing. If you attempt too many you won’t have time to deliver your service or products if you do…and you don’t need to find your ideal customers.

5. Measure

Most of us are great at creating products and services. This is because we’re ‘ideas people’ at our core. Some of us are even great at developing an initial customer base. Unfortunately, we often either ignore or don’t know the crucial ins and outs of business management.

When I started as a humble Marketing Assistant for a well-known cosmetics company many years ago, I had to go through stacks and stacks of computer printouts to analyse where and what was selling. It’s much easier now so don’t forget to review them! Use Google Analytics and you’ll find great analytics on all the social media platforms.

You should also track the following 7 metrics so you have a much better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t in your business.

1. Customer acquisition cost

How much does it cost for you to acquire a new customer? This important business metric can include a lot of factors. Your personal time, marketing efforts, business insurance, utilities, payroll, and several other expenses come into play here.

2. Lifetime customer value

How much revenue does every new customer generate for you over their lifetime? We often fixate on the amount of profit in a single sale.

 3. Sales revenue

This is the fun one. Everyone likes seeing cash coming in at the end of the day. Your sales revenue is simply the amount of income you receive for the products and services you provide, minus any returns and merchandise you have yet to deliver.

4. Level of customer loyalty

How loyal are your customers? Do they buy once and then go away? Do they talk to their friends about your company positively or negatively?

5. Product or services cost

This is also referred to as the cost of goods sold (COGS). If you don’t know the true cost of producing a product or delivery service, how do you know if you’re profitable or not? If you’re in a service industry, your time will be a big component of that cost.

 6. Gross margin

Gross margin is defined as the difference between sales revenue and the cost of goods or services sold.

7. Sales cycle length

How long does it take for you to turn a prospect into a lead, and then into a purchasing customer?

If any of these 5 key areas of your marketing are an issue for you then click this link to book a complimentary 30-minute focus call with me to see how your marketing could get you the results you want.


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