In Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You branding expert John Hall helps readers build a business that continually generates leads, customers and referrals in a marketplace that is growing more crowded by the day.
What is Top of Mind About?
Top of Mind addresses the rise of a customer-driven market, where customers have more options to choose from than ever. With the rise of technology, customers can now research your company, compare it to others, and make a decision before your sales staff even knows what happened. Technology has also changed the tolerance level of most customers as well. Because customers can get the information they need on their own, they are becoming less and less tolerant of traditional advertising like pop-up ads, commercials and banners.
Competition for customers isn’t the only thing changed by technology. Technology has also changed the way that businesses compete with each other. Because of rapid advances in technology, decreasing production costs, and faster production times, competitors can duplicate your product faster than you ever thought possible.
These two factors are changing the way that businesses have to market in order to survive. The key, according to Hall, is to win the battle for your customers from the inside, their brains. Winning this battle starts by shifting your business tactics from a business-focused, “Me-Marketing” approach to a customer-focused, “You-Marketing” approach that addresses customers’ needs and wants.
To adopt a customer-focused approach, businesses should rely more on the intangible — like trust, consistency and communication — and less on tangible things — like price and technical features. Tangible features are still important but they aren’t strong enough to retain customers. The thing that retains customer loyalty is internal. It is marketing that is designed to help customers remember you, see your value, and connect your marketing messages to their needs. This kind of marketing only comes through consistent focus on your customers’ realities, not yours.
Hall is the co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co, a sought-after keynote speaker and Forbes columnist who was named by Business Journal as one of the publication’s Top 100 Business Visionaries. In addition to being applauded by Business Journal, he has also been recognized by the United Nations.
What Was Best About Top of Mind?
Top of Mind applies a natural and relaxed tone to one of the top marketing problems of modern times. Hall’s examples and insights break down complicated marketing topics into understandable chunks of knowledge that make marketing easy to understand and apply. In particular, Hall connects the world of content marketing (something every business is hearing about) with the overall marketing strategy of customer acquisition.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Top of Mind focuses on the broad, overarching issues behind the transition away from traditional marketing — loud commercials, pop-ups, and attention-grabbing banners. It helps business leaders understand why this transition needs to be made and the initial first steps to take. The book does not delve into more advanced matters, such as analytics or omni-channel marketing, however.
Why Read Top of Mind?
Top of Mind is designed for the business leader who realizes his or her marketing may not be as effective as it used to be. The book establishes why this problem is happening and provides the initial steps for making the transition to a customer-focused approach. Using examples and clear language, the book shows how to combine inbound marketing, content marketing and basic customer psychology to help businesses establish a “top-of-mind” presence in their customers’ minds.
The book’s primary audience seems to be owners of medium-sized and large-sized businesses who have established teams — social media marketing, PR, and advertising professionals. These teams are generally engaged in creating a multi-pronged strategy. That being said, the book provides information that can be adapted for any-sized business. This feature of the book is important because “top of mind” marketing is crucial for every business now and in the future.