The Moving Parade: Maximizing the 5 M’s of Marketing  

“You aren’t marketing to a permanent object; you are marketing to a moving parade.”

David Ogilvy

People’s wants and needs are like a moving parade; they constantly change. People who aren’t interested in your service today may become red hot to make their purchase a few days, weeks, months, or even years from now. Each person has their reasons for when they have the need, the desire, and the motivation to consider buying your service.   

 This “Moving Parade” of need and want is a fluid timeline. Having more buying conversations and closing service contracts is all about the timing. Do you want to be part of their selection process? Then Your marketing campaigns must sync with your prospect’s desires before and when they are ready to buy.  

Just because someone isn’t interested in buying your product or service today doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be interested sometime in the future. The problem is you have no idea when that will be. So, how do you stay at the top of their minds, so they call you when they are ready to act? 

The key to maximizing the number of sales conversations and closes is ensuring that the “5 M’s” are in your marketing. You must have the…  

  1. Right Market, receiving the…  
  1. Right Message, using the…  
  1. Right Media, at the…  
  1. Right Moment, with the…  
  1. Right Motivation 

If these items are not solidly in place, you will not optimize your sales conversations and new customers sold that you otherwise could.  

The Right Market 

You must know precisely who you want to have as your customer. That is your ideal target customer or customer avatar. The best place to start is your current customer base. Review all your existing customers and decide who makes up your best customers. Or who would like to attract a different type of customer?   

An ideal customer differs from one company to the next. They are based on services and expertise offered, just like those who purchase the services have varying wants and needs. One size does not fit all. 

This is very easy to do and a step that small businesses inherently skip. Here are a few critical questions you will want to use to build your ideal customer or customer avatar.  

Starting with your customers, ask the following questions about each one: what industry are they in, how did they find us, how are they to work with, do they pay on time, are they profitable, would they refer you to other people, and what precisely do they like about us. If you are unhappy with the answers you get about your current customer base, it may be time to rethink your marketing strategy.  

TEDx speakers, YouTubers, conference speakers, comedians, and actors know exactly who their audience is, what they want to hear, and what attracts them and keeps them coming back. It is no different for you. How do you know your message will resonate with them if you don’t know who you are talking to? Do you read messages that are of no interest to you? 

Having a clear and defined understanding of the customers you want to deal with will help ensure that your marketing dollars are spent and deliver an acceptable return on your investment.  


Description automatically generatedThe Right Message 

Knowing who your market is, you need to ensure that the message you send them is clearly and directly applicable to them. What is it that you want to let your market know about? What problems, challenges or obstacles do they want to minimize, solve, satisfy, or eliminate, and how can you help them do that?   

So often, businesses send wrong sales messages to their clients or prospects. The message is about what the company does, the business owner, the salesperson, and what they want. And has little (if anything) to do with the reader’s needs, wants, or desires.  

One way to evaluate who your message is about is to count the number of times “I,” “I’ve,” “I’d,” “Me,” “Mine,” or any reference to you appears. Then count the number of times you include “You,” “Yours,” “You’re,” or other references to the reader.  

Sorry, nobody cares about what you do—marketing and Sales 101. The only thing interesting to a prospect or customer is what you can do to help them with their problems, wants, or needs. If you want the reader to be interested in your message, you should always make it more about them and the solutions you provide than about you.  

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Description automatically generatedThe Right Media

There are many ways to get your message in front of your market. These are called marketing channels. 

You can use LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Dubb video messaging, email, websites, lead pages, direct mail letters, postcards, Fed-X services, phone calls, cold calling, third party endorsements or referrals, or personal introductions. The possibilities are limitless today. 

It all depends on where your prospects are looking for the information you want them to see. Effective marketing uses multiple channels to reach its audience. Which ones are the best is only found through testing to see where you get your best results? 

Different markets prefer to receive information differently than other markets. And different people within a specific market may choose a different delivery method than another person in that market.  

Surveying your clients and prospects and asking them how they prefer to receive information can help you get more of your messages read and acted on.  

 The Right Moment

We all operate on our schedules. Someone may be interested in buying a product today, but another person in the same market may not be interested today. Who knows, right? 

Then, a week later, a month later, or at some other time, the situation reverses itself, and the person who was interested before is no longer interested. And the person who wasn’t interested before is suddenly very interested. 

The key to success in marketing is to reach people when they are most receptive to your message. That’s why it’s essential to have a system that allows you to stay in front of your ideal customers automatically. 

People buy things when they are ready, not when you want to make a sale. They care about how they can solve or eliminate the problem or challenge they face. A serious sales conversation is likely to occur if what you’re offering them is a viable solution when they need it.  

Therefore, it’s essential to constantly market your services, even if you don’t think people are ready to buy right now. You never know when someone will come across your solution to their problem and want to hear more. 

The only way to be there at the right moment with your prospective buyers is to provide new, relevant, and helpful information continuously and consistently. This way, you will be top of mind when they are ready to buy. 

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Description automatically generatedThe Right Motivation

So, what is the right buyer motivation? 

The answer, of course, is that it depends. And it depends on a lot of factors. But here are five key considerations:  

1. The severity of the problem they must solve or overcome.  

2. Their awareness of the problem and its potential consequences.  

3. The personal stakes that are involved in solving the problem.  

4. How confident they are in your ability to have the right solutions.  

5. Their perceived benefits in finding the right solutions from you.  

The reason people buy any service is because it solves, satisfies, minimizes, reduces, or eliminates a particular problem, obstacle, or challenge they’re having. Or it gives them benefits or advantages that they do not now have.   

 So, they look to you and the business services to help them effectively deal with an existing (or potential) problem or gain a new advantage or benefit. If you or what you offer can help them get what they’re looking for, and getting it is less expensive or can reduce their worry, stress, or workload, you have a good chance of making a sale.  

 Top-notch salespeople and savvy business owners realize that “selling” can be met with challenges, obstacles, and often an uncomfortable experience in today’s world.  

So rather than “sell” someone something, they have replaced the four-letter word “Sell” with another four-letter, “Help.” Now it’s not a matter of selling instead of helping someone solve a problem they’re dealing with and want to get rid of.