Lesson 1: How Your Marketing Strategy Can Really Work

21 Sep 2017
| Last update: 22 Sep 2017
Alexandra Nicola
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Alexandra Nicola

Happily typing great stuff for our site and our customers. Helps with business development and has become the COO of the company. Loves Super Mario games, reading SF and fantasy novels and having a great time with friends.
Alexandra Nicola
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In the digital world, there have been several trends that have come and gone. That’s why the winning companies have found a Marketing Strategy that works well regardless of the dynamic nature of the world wide web.

We see that all these changes, as well as the whole experience of the internet, have changed our customer’s behaviors. Not just online, but offline as well.

I’m talking about the immediate urge to check your phone when searching in a shop. Or browsing for a coupon online before buying a new product.

This is what the audience expects to find. The companies that monetize on this aspect use Expectation Marketing, the strategy that actually works.

This is what we’ve learned by researching brands, perfecting the strategy and applying this to our own clients. Now we’ve created this 5 lesson series, where we’ll give you the basics of identifying and applying this strategy.

What Do People Search For and What Do They Expect to Find?

Imagine this scenario. You need a new phone. So you start searching for it. And you have multiple options. Buying it from a shop online, or even from the manufacturer. You can even go to a shop, at the mall. Regardless of what option you choose, you’ll end up searching for details about the possible model you’d like to buy.

And of course the company. Especially if it’s a brand you’ve never used before, you’ll start to search for information online. This will help you make the decision on your own after you know more about the company. You’ll end up on the brand’s site to find one or more of these details:

  • Details on the product
  • Process information (repair, refund, support)
  • Brand description
  • Pricing
  • Contact details in case you’ll need them in the future
  • See if the brand is still around. See how active they still are on the web. (if they’re not, then that’s a very bad sign).

Here’s where good and updated content will help the phone manufacturer to get you to buy their product by offering you the right information… The key information you need to make your decision.

The truth is, if you can not find all the right details on their website, you will most certainly drop the current research you are doing and start looking at the alternatives.

In this example, we see how the expectation marketing strategy actually works. Its main principle is offering your audience the content they expect to find. They need to find it in order to reach the right decision: the decision of getting in touch with you (becoming a customer or starting a business relationship).

The scenario, we’ve talked about is very common. Actually, 81% of shoppers research online before buying.

According to Retailer Today on online shops, most buyers search for: Warranty information (66%), Pricing (52%), Model Information (51%), Payment information (47%). And do this across 79 days in cases of major purchases.

That’s why expectation marketing is a good approach. Because it offers the potential buyer the content that will help them make the right decision in those 79 days. But let’s dwell more on this topic.

What Is Expectation Marketing?

Expectation Marketing is a consumer based digital marketing strategy that focuses on the type of content and information the consumer expects to find in connection to a brand they want to buy from.

Now that we got the definition out of the way let’s focus on how it works.

Expectation Marketing is based on some premises that you can see presented in the example above as well.

The Premise:

  1. That the customer has a need, to begin with. In the example the need is that you want a phone. This is important because the Expectation Marketing Strategy does not focus on creating a need for the customer.
  2. That the customer, in his journey of finding a product or service, will search for information. This is a simple assumption, that is backed up by customer behavior studies. Most customers want to know they are making an informed decision. Impulse buyers are very rare compared to buyers who plan and research.
  3. That the customer has some expectation regarding the information they will want to find on the brand’s site. Some customers search for those details consciously, while others do it involuntarily. Finding the information they expect to find works well for the brand. It offers buyers a feeling of trust. They see that the brand is active on the web, it knows what it is talking about and it is interested in the evolution of the industry. Now that’s a brand you could trust.

The most important of these premises and the one that Expectation Marketing answers best is the third one. In order for the possible clients to choose your product or service, they need to find the information they are searching for.

Therefore, the expectation marketing strategy focused on creating the right content and the amount that the customers expect to see.

But enough theory, let’s see how you can put this into action.

How Does The Strategy Work?

Expectation Marketing means that you’ll focus on creating the content that answers the most frequent questions customers have. This is most of the time evergreen content. You’ll offer the information people actually need and that you can keep on reusing throughout time.

That’s why this strategy is productive and efficient. You and your marketing team will focus on creating very useful content that you can promote continuously.

Let’s take one popular product. Let’s say Coca-Cola. Now think how many times you’ve seen the same content (ad, image, video) reused in their marketing strategy? The answer is simple: several times.

Many of their Christmas campaigns revolves around the same video material.

marketing strategy

You can do the exact same thing digitally with Expectation Marketing. You will create pieces of content in order to make sure people never forget about your brand.

Now you have to keep in mind that like most content marketing strategies, this is a long-term one. It will take time to see measurable results of this strategy. But it is a stable strategy that will bring results with little effort in the long run.

Once you set it up, keeping it running takes minimal effort. It’s just about a continuous stream of content.

It’s also a low-risk marketing strategy. You don’t have a lot of changing aspects within the strategy. It’s not connected to this month’s or year’s trend. It’s stable.

My favorite part about this strategy: it helps people who are already interested in your business to gain trust regarding your brand and decide to work with you.

If you can keep them with you during their research phase and meet their expectations, you will never lose them.

How Did We Learn So Much About The Expectation Marketing Strategy?

You might be wondering how we came to learn so much about Expectation Marketing. It’s simple. We’ve been applying it for years (5 years to be exact) and it brought us so much success that we decided it is time to share it with all of you.

You can find out the details of our journey and how to apply this strategy in detail from our book : Expectation Marketing – the New Marketing System That Redefines Trust for Digital Brands.

Expectation Marketing

To get a short overview of our story you have to understand that at Squirrly, we’ve always believed that good content has the greatest benefits for our community.

We’ve always focused on generating content that would both help and educate our buyers.

We’ve decided early on that in our marketing efforts we’d create content that was written with the needs and focus of the reader in mind. So we’ve always tried to answer our audience’s questions, our customer’s issues and clarify any ambiguous subject in the industry as best we could.

That’s how we soon realized that our Content Marketing strategy was different than what most Software as a Service companies, in our industry, were doing.

We created content based on :

  • request in comment sections on our blog
  • discussions with followers on Twitter
  • email discussions with possible clients
  • particular support challenges
  • industry questions

We then pushed further and searched what others were having a problem with, in our field, and created content that answered those problems and questions as well.

Our benefits were numerous :

  • It made people that heard of Squirrly, trust it as a brand. They always saw that we were active. We post constantly on our blog. On all of our social media profiles, we always post and respond to comments.
  • It gave us the opportunity to focus on developing and creating better products. With the information we learned from our audience, it helped us focus on creating better software. We responded to our community’s needs with content and updates. They kept writing to us, because we were so active and they felt that they could really communicate with us, not just the other way around.
  • We had a clear back line for larger events. With time we’ve started creating larger marketing events, like webinars, giveaway campaigns and video launches of our products. The reason we could focus on creating the best for these events, was that we had clear and constant posting schedules for our channels.
  • It helped us understand our audience better. As we published content that answered people’s answers, we received a lot of feedback that helped us create content better than before. It also offered us a lot of needed feedback on our software and services.

And this is how we came to establish what Expectation Marketing is and how you can apply it to your own brand and site. Our book explains how you can start creating your own strategy for your site.

But in this Lesson series, we’ll focus on the main steps.

Takeaways

Our main focus in this article was to make you see how your marketing strategy can really work out amazingly for you. Regardless of the changes in the digital world, big brands manage to always be in the mind of their audiences. At Squirrly, we’ve learned how they do it and applied it as well. Now we’re here to teach you all about it.

We’ve talked about:

  • The changing behavior of audiences online and what you can do to meet their needs.
  • What Expectation Marketing is and what its core principles are
  • How the strategy works and how big brands apply it
  • What we’ve learned about Expectation Marketing over the last 5 years

You can also count on our services to help you create constant and clear content that answers your audience’s needs. In the next article of the series, we’ll focus more on why expectation marketing is important for your business.

28 Comments

  • Jessica Taylor

    September 22, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    This is such a confusing topic for me. I never know where to begin with a marketing strategy. Thanks for the tips!

    • Florin Muresan

      September 22, 2017 at 7:20 PM

      You’re welcome, Jessica. I hope that this article helps clarify a couple of things. Buyer behaviour is one of the most important things to understand. If you can meet people’s expectations you will easily get a sale.

  • Terri Beavers

    September 22, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    I need to learn how to make marketing work in my favour. You have a lot of great tips and hopefully, I can use them to help me. Looking forward to your next lesson.

    • Florin Muresan

      September 22, 2017 at 7:21 PM

      Thank you! I’m happy to hear that. The lessons will become much more actionable soon.

  • Jennifer Walker

    September 22, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    I can’t tell you how many times I tried to find information on a website and gave up when I just couldn’t find the information I wanted! It seems so obvious to include certain details, but it must not be the case if I see it so much!

    • Florin Muresan

      September 22, 2017 at 7:25 PM

      I totally understand what you mean!

      We see it ourselves so often. We’ve tried to purchase WordPress themes for a couple of customers at one point and we ended up on so many sites where you had absolutely no way of getting in touch with the owners. We couldn’t find any of the details we needed, so we just gave up.

      And, to be fair, yesterday I did a stream on Youtube Live where I showed how I audit my site on florinmuresan.com for Expectation Marketing. Sadly, I’m one of those people with lots of missing information. See it here (it’s fun to watch): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ROeW7XQCI4

  • Jenne

    September 22, 2017 at 4:44 PM

    I really like the idea of Expectation Marketing. My undergrad is in Marketing, and even though it’s only been ten years since I graduated SO much has changed in the marketing world with e-commerce. You’ve listed out some fantastic strategies!

    • Florin Muresan

      September 22, 2017 at 7:27 PM

      Thank you, Jenne!

      Yes, I agree. A lot of things have changed, that’s why we tried to go and identify a winning strategy that would last longer than the rest.

  • Gingermommy

    September 22, 2017 at 4:47 PM

    This is all fabulous information! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Amber Myers

    September 23, 2017 at 1:15 AM

    Thank you for this. I’m always trying to market my blog in a smart way!

    • Florin Muresan

      September 25, 2017 at 12:09 AM

      That’s great! Most of the top bloggers and blogging networks use Expectation Marketing to build trust. TechCrunch even has a pretty impressive about us page, where you get to learn a lot about why they started it.

  • MICHELLE GWYNN JONES

    September 23, 2017 at 1:41 AM

    You know what gets me – I have a question about a product and go to the site and the answer is not there. So I call and they still don’t know. Why? Because the person on the phone has no more knowledge about the product than what is on the site

  • Sự Đinh

    September 23, 2017 at 5:21 AM

    I am learning about Marketing. and your post is so helpful. I have a clearer look in this topic. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sarah Bailey

    September 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    This is such an informative post, for people trying to sell a product marketing most definitely is everything.

  • Denay DeGuzman

    September 23, 2017 at 5:00 PM

    Before buying an expensive household product I search for product reviews online as well as pricing and specific information on the item. I can’t count how many times I’ve found the information difficult to find! There are so many companies out there that need to implement your marketing strategies!

    • Florin Muresan

      September 25, 2017 at 12:07 AM

      Thank you, Denay! They really should.

      I can definitely relate and it’s really good that you mentioned the lack of pricing information on websites. I should expand on that in the next lessons, because it’s a good point.

  • Mark Rudder

    September 23, 2017 at 9:50 PM

    Great job Florin and Alexandra.
    Your strategies are working because I have come to trust your brand and you.

    I added the book to the cart, but the View Cart button in the WooCommerce notice area
    is redirecting back to the homepage.
    Same for the Cart link in the Top Nav bar.

    • Florin Muresan

      September 25, 2017 at 12:04 AM

      Hey Mark,

      Thank you very much! I’ve just fixed the issue with woocommerce and now it works. I’m really happy you brought it up and I appreciate it.

      You can try it now.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      September 25, 2017 at 7:26 AM

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s great to know that people appreciate the things we do in our marketing. We try to always think about what you need. Hopefully, more brands will apply Expectation Marketing and do the same.

  • Dena S.

    September 24, 2017 at 2:15 AM

    This post is so informative! I have learned so much and I will apply it to my business soon. Thank you for sharing.

    • Squirrly

      September 25, 2017 at 7:30 AM

      Great to hear, Dena! There are many more actionable articles coming up in this series. That way you’ll learn how to apply the Expectation Marketing Strategy.

  • Ruth I.

    September 24, 2017 at 2:16 AM

    I can say that this has been helpful. I have zero knowledge about this topic. Very informative!

    • Squirrly

      September 25, 2017 at 7:39 AM

      Good to know that we answered your need, Ruth!

  • Rosey

    September 25, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    What a smart idea to write content based on questions customers most have. That is being proactive, and a sure way to draw new readers too (if one person is asking, surely others have the same question too).

    • Alexandra Nicola

      September 25, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      You’re absolutely right Rosey! Question-based content will answer to more people than just the ones that post the issue. As most Customer Support teams know that for every client that ask or points out a problem there are at least 5 that haven’t said anything.

  • Angela Milnes

    September 25, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Wow, this is absolutely an awesome post and I love to read more about this glad you share this informative post I will keep this in my mind

  • Lynnette Joselly

    September 27, 2017 at 4:01 PM

    As a small business owner these tips were very helpful. Thank you for sharing the strategies!