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Your customers are no different from you. If you want to know what your customers are thinking about your business, product or service, just notice what you tell yourself when you are the customer.
Today, I’m going to help you bust a few customer myths that might be holding you back AND I’m also going to give you some marketing ideas that you can use to attract even more profitable customers.
Admit That You’re Lying to Yourself
Our brains are really good at creating stories and meanings that sometimes get in the way of our success. In other words, we see what we want to see.
You know and I know that your product and service is AMAZING, but your customer doesn’t know and they really don’t care.
They are interested in their favorite subject — themselves, their life, their business, their money, their time. If you’re not speaking to what they are interested in, they aren’t listening.
Here are a few marketing ideas to find out what interests your customers:
Lie #1: Your Customers Have Time to Think About What You’re Selling
Just because your customer is interested in what you are selling, that doesn’t mean they have the time to explore all the details. Remember, they are juggling a lot of priorities, just like you.
So, think about exactly what your ideal customers’ day is like and then engineer your product or service marketing in a way that makes it easy for them to insert you into their day.
This is a trend that first appeared around 2010 and if you’d like to learn more about it, you have to check out one of my favorite books “The 24-Hour Customer” by Adrian Ott. I’ve written a book review of it over at SmallBizTrends that you can read here.
Marketing Ideas to Insert Yourself Into Your Customer’s Life
If your site isn’t mobile optimized, you’ll want to do that as soon as you can. You can update to a responsive website design (check out WIX, or if you’re a local business, GoDaddy has a wonderful Small Business, SEO friendly platform)
Map out a purchase process funnel.
You hear a lot of people talking about marketing funnels, but the conversation I like most is one that starts with what happens to your customer that triggers them to think of you. That’s called a Trigger Event and it starts a conversation inside your customers head that you need to participate in.
Map out this conversation and use that information in your web site copy, marketing materials, etc. Check out Mint.com — you can see exactly how they followed what the customer was thinking and gave them a path to get their questions answered.
They have heard of you or what you’re selling
Many years ago, NBC ran this campaign called “If you haven’t seen it before…it’s new to you”
They were spinning the idea that catching summer reruns was a great way to catch your favorite shows that you missed. While the idea of watching reruns to catch up is pass? today, the idea is still a really great one.You may think and feel like your’e constantly talking about your company, product or service, but remember you aren’t talking to the same customers every day.
So what seems old and stale to you — is NEW to them. Don’t assume that your audience knows what you’re talking about or remembers you or your company.
A few marketing ideas to keep your message fresh
Attach your offer to your company name.
Whenever you use your company name (especially if it isn’t descriptive of your product or service) be sure to attach an offer description. For example: AFV – Natural Gas Vehicle Fuel Systems or Mint – And easy way to manage your money.
This will remind your prospects and customers of why they should choose you.
Swim in the same pond as your customers.
Be everywhere your customers are having a conversation about you. If your customers are on Facebook, be there. If they are on Twitter, engage them there and be helpful. Be a helpful resource and don’t be afraid of talking about the competition. Interact with your customers on a social and a professional level.
They speak your language
Do we really still have to talk about acronyms and jargon? ?Yes! ?Just the other day, I was on a very well known inbound marketing site and noticed that they kept using a specific acronym — I had NO IDEA what they were talking about. None. I actually had to google the acronym with their name so that I could find a reference to what it was.
They care about price:
If your customer is complaining about price, they have NO IDEA why they should choose you. Price is only a real reason if and when you are selling to people who truly, truly can’t afford what you’re selling. But assuming that you are dealing with QUALIFIED prospects meaning that they are ready, willing and able to purchase from you and they say that PRICE is the issue. NO WAY.Here are a few marketing ideas:?First – Be clear about who your target is and how much money they need to have available to comfortable purchase what you are selling. Next be clear about what’s truly important to them — what are they missing out on by not having this product or service, what would be possible for them if they had this product or service, be clear, be visual, trigger their imagination of what’s possible. When those two things are aligned, price isn’t the issue.?
More interactions are better:
Nope. I know! We’ve been reading and preaching more engagement is better, but that’s ONLY if your customers share your brand values. Check out this interesting article from Harvard Business Review! Just because prospects interact and engage with you, doesn’t mean that they will BUY from you. Of the consumers in this?study who said they have a brand relationship, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason. That’s far and away the largest driver. Meanwhile, only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for having a relationship.[Tweet “Just engaging with your customers won’t make them buy”]Marketing ideas to turn conversations to conversions
Marketing ideas to make your customer feel like part of the in-crowd:
Do an online survey with your customer list.
This doesn’t have to be a huge project, make it no more than 3 questions such as: What is your biggest challenge this week, If you had $500 to spend on your business where would you spend it, If you could only do one task today, what would it be? ?Make the questions both fun and revealing. The idea is to get to know your customers better. Also, be sure to make your questions multiple choice and have them choose only one — this will increase your response rate. Use QuestionPro to run your survey — it’s cheaper than SurveyMonkey and it has more tools and great reporting!
Search amazon.com for content in your area of expertise.
If you’re clear on who your customer is and you’re clear on what you provide them, but your just not sure how to position it – try searching amazon.com.
Check out the magazine isle!
This is another often forgotten way to get into your customers’ heads. Head over to a local bookstore and stand in front of the magazine rack. Now go and select the magazines that your ideal customer would be most interested in — remember, these don’t have to be professional, they can be magazines like Real Simple, Oprah, Golf Digest, Atlantic Monthly. These magazines have done all the research for you, they’ve tested the headlines, the articles, the colors, the pictures — everything. It’s ready for you to use in your marketing.
Write out acronyms.
If you’re writing for an industry insider audience, you will want to use some acronyms to show you’re part of the industry. But don’t forget to write out the acronym at least ONCE at the beginning of the content so that potential customers can get in on content.
Define features and benefits.? Explain yourself. Follow a sentence structure that looks like this: Problem your customer is having + how the industry says the problem is solved+how you say the problem is solved. This draws them into the content because you’re focusing on their problem then leads them into the unique features and benefits you offer.
Show and teach. You have potential customers lurking on your site and around your products and services — just waiting for you to engage with them. The quality of the interaction is going to determine the level of conversion and not the quantity of the interaction. Recently I tried a blogging tool that looked really terrific. I signed up for the free trial and received an automated email that asked me how it was going and what I liked. I responded and within minutes was in a conversation withe the CEO — on a weekend! I didn’t end up using the tool — at least not yet, but I can tell you that the quality of that engagement has made me a fan and I will recommend this tool.
If there’s anything I wanted you to get from this, it’s that your customers are thinking what they are thinking. Don’t let what you think you know about your customers get in the way of making a lasting and profitable connection.Photo courtesy of a_whisper_of_unremitting_demand(CC Attribution)