Winning Marketing Strategies
It’s good to Get Naked; but you need to get Emotional too!
Great sales … repeat orders … serious return on investment.
All these should be yours! After all, you’ve got a great product or service, right – with the best features out there. You did the market research, discovered your market niche and what your customers wanted, followed the advice and ‘built a better mousetrap’, but the world isn’t ‘beating a pathway to your door’. Instead to say that business is slow is an understatement. The thought of that next telephone call or the postman calling fills you, not with a tingling pleasant expectation, but with absolute dread. The time and money you ‘invested’ in design and development seems to be money down the drain. What’s going on?
Your customers just don’t know (yet) that you’re compatible
Your customers don’t know that they really want your product or service. They don’t know how good it will make them feel to own it or to use it; that it will really float their boat. One of the crucial 8Ps of your marketing mix is letting you down big time. You have the right Product, at the right Price, in the right Place (whether this is in supermarkets, specialist boutiques, catalogues, hotels, websites, other outlets, or a combination of these), and your Promotion (e.g. advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling, online communications) is getting out there, so in terms of the original marketing mix, you’re pushing all the buttons. You’re upbeat and out there too, so 21st century marketing that you’ve also got to grips with the Planet (working to create social impact), Profit (or bottom line), People (promoting people-centric values that reflect concern for individuals, communities and the environment) but there’s just something about the last P, the Pleasure principle, that’s letting you down.
Quite simply, you’re not revealing your best side
How often have you set out to buy a new laptop, a car, a mobile phone or a Broadband and TV package and been subjected to a barrage of facts about processors and interfaces; aerodynamic efficiency and horsepower; pixel density and resolution; speeds and downloads? Did these turn you on? Did they excite you into a buying frenzy? Almost certainly, unless you consider yourself a bit of an ‘anorak’, the answer to this question will be ‘No’.
While specifications and features may be important in defining a product or service, and what it delivers, they’re not what our customers focus on, nor, more importantly, what they spend money on. People are always searching for meaning, personal fulfilment and quality of life, and so, as far as possible, they spend their money on goods and services that meet lifestyle choices. No product or service per se is an end in itself, but it can be a means to that end.
Potential customers want to know how buying from you is going to enrich their lives by solving a problem and/or affording them a better quality of life. In other words, how will your product or service contribute to well-being, romance, adventure, excitement, peace of mind, a sense of hope, status, or whatever else creates happiness and satisfaction in their lives?
Choosing your best profile
For your customer to see your product or service in this way, you need to map your product specifications and features clearly to the benefits or solutions they offer.
Put yourself in the place of a customer. Take each of your product features and specifications in turn, starting with your ‘unique’ selling propositions, describe them one by one, and ask yourself what benefits each delivers. In other words, ask yourself: “If I buy this product, what’s in it for me? In what way(s) will I be better off?” If possible, to get a breadth of perspective and ideas, undertake this process as a brainstorming session with your colleagues and/or friends. During the brainstorming phase simply note all responses, don’t attempt to rationalize at this stage. There will be plenty of time to edit ideas later. As well as quizzing yourself and your team, ask past and current customers which benefits stood out to them and clinched the sales deal; and study your competitors’ marketing campaigns, noting any benefits they’re promoting. Once you have your list of benefits, prioritize them in descending order of importance.
From your ranked list, you need to choose and promote the key benefits that your customers are looking for, and can have by investing in your product. Remember at this stage that customers’ psychological needs (for example status or excitement) frequently have to be balanced with often-conflicting practical needs (such as cost and pragmatics), so although someone might hanker after the status achieved through sporting a six pack and improved level of fitness gained by working regularly with their own personal coach, they might well settle for a general improvement in fitness enabled by the use of a home rowing machine!
As human beings, our buying decisions, whether at work, in the community, for the family, or individually, although frequently backed by logic, are usually driven by emotions. The next task, then, is to decide how to depict your product or service benefits in a way that will arouse your potential buyer’s emotional motivations. Appeal to all the senses in your marketing promotion: use emotive language; include case studies of happy customers, and testimonials; incorporate audio and video; and use vibrant and compelling images.
Finally, if you can, give your customer a sense of what your product or service looks like in the buff, right up close. Can you use the ‘puppy-dog close’ and give your customers the opportunity to really experience how it would be to have your product or service? Imagine you’re in a pet shop, really interested in buying a puppy, but not quite sure. How much easier if the sales assistant assured you that you could take the puppy home, but if he didn’t work out in the family, bring him back, for a full, no questions asked, refund. How much more likely are you to buy, and are you really likely to return your furry friend once he has spent a night on (or under) your duvet? Perhaps you can let your customer take your product home, or make up some trial samples, or arrange a test drive, or make a chapter of a book available for download, or supply a recipe to try out. Once your customer experiences the benefits of your product or service first-hand, they are much more likely to buy, especially when their emotional motivations are satisfied.
I’d like to thank Danny Iny, author of Naked Marketing who is the inspiration for, and the link to, the ‘naked’ thread that runs through this post. If you didn’t get here through his Manifesto, be sure to check it out! In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please comment below or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to address them. If you’ve enjoyed reading this short article and it has offered you some useful insights, then why not bookmark this page and re-visit it on a regular basis for more ideas about successful marketing, including an exploration of each of the 8Ps outlined above. If you don’t want to have to remember to do this and you want to save time, why not click to follow my blog by email (in the top right-hand corner)? You can also opt in to receive my regular email marketing bytes– just cut and paste the words “sign me up to marketing btyes” into the subject line of an email to email@example.com and I’ll add you to my mailing list.
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In the meantime, thanks for reading this, and happy marketing!