The Single Most Important Marketing Lesson You’ve Probably Forgotten
Marketing fascinates me.
It’s such a complex subject. There’s multiple moving parts. Everyday there’s a new tactic you ‘can’t ignore’. With so much going on it’s easy to forget the basics and get lost in the overwhelming number of tasks on your to-do list.
So every now and again I like to take a step back and re-visit principles that are as true today as they ever have been, using this to refocus on what is important, not just urgent.
Marketing is fascinating as when you really look in to it, ignore all the ‘bells and whistles’, today’s ‘next great’ digital tool or ‘tactic of the month’, strip it down to bare fundamentals, you’ll find that at it’s core; marketing is about people.
And people are fascinating.
That’s because we’re all in the same boat, yet all of us are unique. We all come with our own set of hopes, dreams and fears. But dig deeper and you’ll find that among the sea of unique individuals there are behavioral commonalities that group us all together.
Identifying these commonalities is at the heart of understanding how to communicate with anyone. Whether that’s your friends, family or customers.
That’s why I believe part of the art of marketing is in how you understand these commonalities, yet communicate on an individual and personal level. It’s a huge subject, so today I’ll focus on the one I feel is THE most important.
I wonder whether you would put this at the top of your list?
People are strange?
In other words, people have the desire to Transform. From what or who they are now, into a vision of what or who they want to be in the future.
So how does that apply to business and marketing? Well think about it…
What kind of products or services creates a stampede among your customers who scramble to buy in droves? What kind of products or services does every human being on the planet scramble to buy?
They scramble to buy products or services that puts an end to their pain/problem/struggle.
Any product or service that successfully transforms a person from…
…will have maximum chance of being your next home run. This is the lesson. It is what every business in the world is selling.
The TRANSFORMATION your customers will experience after purchasing from you.
Principles are timeless
It is your job to understand where your customers are now and where they want to be. It is also your job to really understand the internal narrative in your customers mind.
This is nothing new. Robert Collier is quoted as saying this better than I ever could years ago, when he said:
“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind”
If you can do this then you can understand their true challenges and create products and services that can achieve the transformation they’re after. You can then communicate how people will feel like when they engage with your business, and what their lives will look like afterwards.
You do this by focusing communication on the results your business/product/service delivers for people.
The hardest part of this?
It means leaving your ego at the door.
Your customers don’t care about you, how long you’ve been in business or your glossy brochure, at least not at first. They care about their own issues. So position your solution from their point of view, not yours. Build rapport and emotional connection in your communication by showing that you understand them, and what they’re going through.
There is a place for you, just know where it is
Of course there is a place for talking about your business.That’s part of adding credibility down the line.
Though this is best introduced after someone has connected emotionally with you, and uses these details about your business; your credibility, qualifications etc. to rationalise the decision they’ve already made.
However if you’ve got the first part right, you’ll have credit in the bank. Even if you make a mistake or two, or other companies have more experience, staff or resources.
Ever heard someone say they hired someone because they just ‘felt’ a better fit? Even though from your objective perspective you can see plenty of reasons why you’d choose a different option in front of them?
Yes, it’s completely possible to lose a customer here. You need to be able to back up your claims, deliver on your promises and follow through.
Remember, If you’re selling sh*t in a box you’ll get found out.
Though if you’re authentic in your desire to add value to every customer you serve, and your product/service genuinely makes the improvements that you claim, then this can become a relative formality.
To use a cliche, this means you no longer ‘sell’, but help people buy, so that in the process you are simultaneously building a legion of happy customers that talk about you to others with passion and enthusiasm. And that’s just good for business.
Just think Apple, Harley Davidson, KISS, Disney, P90X, Weight Watchers, to name but a few that understand this at their core. Whatever you think of these companies it’s hard to argue against the fact that they know their customer, communicate the transformation and results they deliver, and connect well beyond a simple transaction.
And their customers love them for it.
That’s because all people respond emotionally to the perception they have about how their future will be after engaging with them. They actually ‘see’ the transformation they can achieve in their mind. They see themselves succeeding.
It’s no accident. These companies constantly communicate the results in various forms. Whether that’s breaking the status quo, others thinking they’re cool, escapism or a body transformation (and that’s just scratching the surface). They put these at the centre of their sales and marketing conversations.
Key Takeaway: Make it about your customers, not about you. Talk about the positive emotions your customers will feel when they have used your products or services. Show how the lives of others just like them have been transformed after engaging with you.
Show your customers the results.
Sell the TRANSFORMATION.
What do you think? Perhaps you agree with me, perhaps you have other ideas? I’d love to hear what the single most important marketing lesson you think would be worth remembering that you know will help others.
Leave a comment below or send me a message!