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.
In order to be an effective marketer, it’s imperative that we continually remind ourselves of the true value we bring to our markets. Usually, that customer benefit is intangible. Quite often, we learn that it’s an emotional one.
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.
Evolving technology keeps all of us on our collective toes, makes us more aware of our competitors and presents more opportunities to distinguish ourselves than ever before. Moreover, it adversely impacts those who fail to embrace it.
Your circle of influence should not be confined to your immediate sales prospects. That’s not what marketing in the 21st Century is about.
To succeed in marketing, we need to avoid the distractions and focus on the fundamentals. We need to pull ourselves out of the bubble in which we live to see ourselves the way others see us. It’s this uncluttered view that helps bring the clarity and objectivity that lead us to a sound strategy.
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?
It’s always a good idea to take a step back and be more introspective about your unique qualities and strengths. By looking beyond short-term distractions, we often discover that we still have a place to fit in.
Spring is a season of renewal and rejuvenation. So, shake off the rust, get out the broom and add some polish to your business. Here are a few things you should consider at least once a year to tidy up your marketing.
Price, style, features and convenience will always be important factors to closing a sale. However, there’s a lot more to promoting your business than what your goods or services mean to your direct consumers. In fact, your audience is likely much broader than you realize.