You seem to be great at what you do. You have a terrific product. Your media coverage has been impressive. You’ve been serving the industry for decades.
But, what does it mean to your customers? What’s in it for me?
Yes, all those points about your business are important. And, they’re certainly worth sharing. But, they each have a time and place. That time is not at the beginning of our conversation. That place is not at the top of your home page.
What I care about is how you solve my problem. Do you even know my problem? Do you know me?
You see, I can’t answer any of those questions if I’m reading only about you.
Keep in mind that I’m here because I’m needy. I need to feel an emotional — maybe even empathetic — connection in your message. I need to know that you understand me, my pain points and what keeps me up at night. And I need to believe that you can make my life easier.
I’m not getting it from, “We do this” and “We do that.”
Sure, we’ll eventually get around to you. But, we’ll never get there without first talking about me. So, for now, it’s all about me.
If your product does XYZ, why should it matter to me? What will I gain from it? What are my long-term benefits that transcend what you’re selling?
How should I view you differently than I view your competitors? If you’re offering widgets I can get just about anywhere, what do you bring to the table that adds extra value? (Here’s a tip: It’s not always about the price.) I might be willing to pay more for that little extra peace of mind. In fact, I might even pay a premium.
But, there’s more to it than that. Your marketing should engage me and make me want to learn more. If I find I’m learning from you, instead of just about you, my comfort level goes way up. And, I’m much more inclined to jump into your sales funnel.
I’d also like to hear your voice, not just read your words. Instead of dry product or service descriptions, how about some personality in your marketing? If you’re excited about what you do, I should feel it coming through in your message and graphics. I could use some excitement. Remember, I’m looking for help. Let’s have a real conversation.
Oh, and those contact forms? Way too long.
I recently visited the websites of some of the top design firms in the world. It was both inspiring and, truth be told, slightly intimidating. However, despite that, I did notice one consistent problem with a majority of them.
In many ways, your website is the face of our business. It’s usually your first and best opportunity to distinguish yourself, connect with your prospects and tell your story. If it’s not engaging, well-designed, easy to navigate and informative, it could undermine your marketing efforts.
We’ve collected a number of the more salient points from our blog and are presenting them as a marketing reality check list. A good number of these apply to new or small businesses. But you’ll also find that some of the largest corporations in the world make many of the same missteps.
We often get too close to our business to see it the way others do. We build a virtual bubble around ourselves and lose the perspective needed to make sound strategic decisions.
When you meet new prospects, network or attend industry events, the moment you hand out your business card, your credibility will be on the line. If you’ve taken a long time to build a first-rate reputation, don’t let a second-rate website undo it.
Common clichés, tired sales pitches and unrealistic claims no longer work. In fact, they’ll likely be viewed as disingenuous and undermine your marketing efforts. Here, we’ve outlined five ineffective marketing messages and what you can do to avoid using them.
Even if you’ve been able to put a check mark next to that spanking-new website on your marketing to-do list, get out your eraser. Your work has only just begun. A successful website is never once-and-done.
As the calendar year winds down, it always a good idea to take a step back to revisit and refresh your marketing. Your business will be better off by doing so. But, don’t go overboard and be too disruptive.
Never Make Assumptions about Your Audience. That seems like an obvious rule, right? But, we all do it to some degree. It’s human nature. We follow our gut instincts. We proceed without having the data to back up our actions. Remember New Coke?