Talk about your customers, not you!
Here’s a common problem we face when talking to clients.
They have a great product, at a reasonable price, and they are positioned well in the market. They want to expand and so they create marketing materials that focus on the strengths of the product/service and them as a company.
Your customers do want to hear about you and your product/service, but what they really want to know is what will it do for them. These two things may overlap but there is a subtle difference.
This often stems from a very simple problem …
…experts are focused on their expertise
This is perhaps obvious. When you start a business, you are focused on developing the product/service and your ability to deliver it. Naturally, you do consider the customer but only in terms of their requirements and your ability to fulfil them. This is the basis of any business.
Over the years we’ve worked with several highly specialised companies, in a variety of sectors – pest control, finance, industrial research, publishing, online entrepreneurs, forestry and timber, etc. Some of the people working in these businesses have a natural flare for promotion; you can put them in front of the camera, and they shine. But that isn’t always the case.
…and why should it be?
They have built a successful business through hard work and an intrinsic knowledge of their product, industry and market. They are focused on their product/service because without that there is no business. Thinking in this way becomes their default position, because it is the way they have always worked, and it has always worked for them.
This is the ideal way to start a business but once you have captured your immediate market, what do you do?
Too many businesses will fall back on this default way of thinking.
Over the years, I have received so many proposals from clients that essentially use this structure:
Our business is the best
Our product/service is great
It is the most advanced/cheapest, etc.
You should buy our product
Here are our contact details
1, 2 and 3 may be interchangeable but essentially this is the structure we see again and again.
I cannot deny it does follow a logical structure and it does end with the all-important call-to-action with contact details. The only problem is they probably won’t reach the end because they will have switched off during the first line.
Just as any business selling a product is naturally focused on themselves, so is the potential customer. They want to know what the product will do for them and the best way to grab their attention is to make a statement that resonates with them. It could be:
They need greater efficiencies
They want a cheaper alternative
Their industry/sector is facing a problem
If you can identify their problem, you get their interest. Now you can tell them about your product. Not about its development, etc. but about what it will do for them. For example, it will solve the industry problem or reduce time to market.
They now know your product will do the job, but you haven’t made them desire it. This is the place where you can talk about the ground-breaking nature of your product or how it brings cost-saving benefits. You might also want to mention your company’s success to build a context in which that desire can exist.
They know how you understand their problem. They also know your product will do the job. They even know that in a crowded market your product or service is the best one for them. What they need now is a call-to-action:
Contact us today
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Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – AIDA.
When you want to grow your business, make sure you always start by considering what the customer wants rather than how good your product is.
If you need help with your marketing campaign, contact Suzi Christie on 07590 591140 or email@example.com