As a marketer, you spend hours upon hours perfecting your blog, creating the perfect ad, and planning the world’s most amazing explainer videos. You pour your heart and soul into everything that you create. You’re thrilled out of your mind to click “publish,” but here’s what happens:
As much as you care about your marketing program, your customers’ priorities (and attention spans) are elsewhere. They’re looking for ways to save money, maximize time with family, succeed in their careers, and live happier lives. Your marketing message is likely to go ignored unless it fits into this life-puzzle.
If your marketing isn’t about your customer, it will fall flat – guaranteed. Your marketing team can avoid this pitfall by paying attention to the following steps:
Step 1: Identify Your Customers’ Pain Points
Your brand, products, and services exist for a reason – to solve a specific customer pain point or need. It’s this laser-focus that inspired your idea in the first place. But have you taken the time to articulate your vision from the perspective of your audience?
You’ve probably perfected your elevator pitch for your investors, friends – and even your mom. Your product’s messaging likely communicates a compelling value proposition.
Even the most compelling value propositions, however, have the potential to become even stronger. What you need to do is get inside your customers’ heads to speak to the exact pain point that brought them to your brand in the first place. Communicate your product or service as the most compelling answer.
Step 2: Stop Selling
This tip may seem counterintuitive – but it’s critical. The more that you try to force a sale, the more likely you are to potentially scare away your customers. They are constantly bombarded with sales messaging and know that you’re trying to sell.
They want more than a sale, however. They want to be empowered.
As Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun and Bradstreet and former executive director of global marketing at Dell points out, today’s consumers are research-driven and self-directed.
They want resources to make intelligent, informed, and high-impact decisions. The more that you focus on educating and empowering your audiences, the more that your sales will grow.
Chris Savage, CEO and founder of Wistia, encourages marketers to embrace a concept called ‘mission-based marketing.’
“Mission-based marketing focuses on creating content that furthers your mission, instead of making content that sells your product,” he says.
As Savage points out, mission-based marketing isn’t new. Brands like Nike have been embracing the concept for decades.
Take a look at this ad, as an example:
As marketers, we make a stronger impact when we engage people on a human level. People see enough ads. They want to be empowered with educational and inspiring material — something more than a sale.
Step 3: Be Community Minded
It’s an understatement to say that social media has transformed communication online – especially between brands and their audiences. Through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other “niche,’ channels, brands can have an instant, direct relationship with their customers.
Social media provides a valuable platform for brands to reach and be ever-present in their customers’ lives. Think of your organization as less of a ‘brand’ and more of a socially-minded thought leader
Your sales will experience a direct benefit from this mindset.
Aberdeen Research Group recently released a study on social selling in which they revealed that sales reps who have leveraged social selling in their sales process are 79% more likely to attain their quota than those who don’t use social selling in their sales process (15%). The industry average for sales reps that meet their quotas is only 43%.
Step 4: Focus on Value
Nobody cares about what you do. Ultimately, they want to know what you can deliver. Instead of advertising your products and services, emphasize the direct benefits that your company is able to provide:
- Money saved
- ROI generated
- Time saved
- Happiness delivered
As an example, take a look at the following explainer video from branding and design firm Motto, a company that has built its brand around the concept of building value – the idea that ‘value beyond money’ is crucial to a business’s long-term health:
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They care about direct benefits and results – not sales pitches.
Step 5: Delight
Make your audiences smile – add value to their lives. Design brand experiences that bring joy to peoples’ lives through humor, enlightenment, and entertainment. Don’t be afraid to let your brand’s personality shine through within your marketing messages.
As an example, look no further than Poo Pourri’s hilarious ‘Girls Don’t Poop’ ad:
It’s shameless, awkward, and wildly funny at the same time. The brand — elegantly — takes us to the edge of our comfort zones.
Be yourself. Be quirky. You may not make everyone happy, but you will, at the very least, build a core, dedicated fan base of loyal customers.
Delight doesn’t happen by accident. It’s planned – through a careful process of listening to and learning about your target customer base.
Final Thoughts; Listen Intently
The only way to know what your customers want is to listen to them – beyond what they’re telling you. Read between the lines – beyond the direct feedback that you’re receiving. Non-verbal cues can help you pre-empt problems and develop compelling marketing programs. Think with your heart. Be empathetic. These two ‘tricks’ will amplify your customer based marketing. Just wait and see.