Most marketers obsess with who they’re targeting. What demographic? Location? Income?
All good questions. However, we can’t afford to ignore our current customers.
In fact, a qualifier for looking for more sales should be an intimate understanding about who our existing customers are.
How do they think? Why did they stick around? How do they feel about us?
This helps us reach similar people and help spread the word in already existing communities.
There’s no point reaching a new segment if one exists, untapped, right before your eyes.
What makes a great ad?
No mention of a product
Apple didn’t directly try to sell us anything. No prices, sales or loud people screaming at us to rush into store.
A story that connects
It’s about emotion, a simple story of family, creativity, love and a unique shared experience. It captures something we all hope for each Christmas. No complications, villians or heros – just a kid who uses his phone to make something special.
This ad is great because it makes us feel something without being sold something, but we still remember it’s from Apple.
People say the best authors write in a way that makes us think we could’ve written it. For marketers, this ad gives us similar hope. Anyone could’ve made this ad.
What story are you going to tell next year?
It’s too easy to forget why we do what we do. We’re distracted by logos, colour, budgets, planning, ads and if the media will ever feature our business.
All of that makes a difference, but we shouldn’t forget the purpose behind what we do.
Whether we are selling, buying, changing or leading – we can never afford to lose sight of the outcome.
‘Are we succeeding?’ should be the most asked question.
Why do most call centre’s seem out of touch?
Is it the robotic voices that ask you to reveal your personal details out loud on public transport?
Could it be when they pretend to check with their supervisor before coming back with ‘no, we can’t do that’?
Or is it when we are transferred to 5 different departments before someone can help?
One overlooked reason why our customers become so frustrated with our service is how we structure our teams.
The people tasked with delivering and improving what we offer (marketing) are completely separate from the team that helps support that offer (customer service). In fact, they’re not only separated on the organisational chart, but often by countries and time zones too.
As a marketer, the best thing you can do to truly understand your user’s experience is not to spend time on social media listening, send out surveys or cold call customers – it’s to spend one day in your support centre.
Suddenly, you will see the frustration gap. You’ll see why quality support staff are essential to any business and why so many businesses fail.
You’ll see where potential customers drop out, why carts are abandoned and how a 1-step process can morph into 20.
The positive: we can fix it.
What are you doing to close the gap?
See what I did there?
It’s true, though. Most of the time, most of the people will act the way we expect.
However most of the time we aren’t trying to get most of the people to do what we want. (to change their thinking, perceptions, behaviours)
We usually target very specific segments, commonly referred to as niche’s. They’re the kendo club, the amateur cartoonist or karaoke restaurant enthusiasts.
Most of the time, those people are weird. Different to the norm.
Generalisations are useful, but let’s keep in mind who we’re really trying to connect with.
You chase, advertise, pitch and door-knock. Then, finally, the customers start coming in.
We celebrate, set the next sales target and repeat.
But wait, what about those new customers? Did they get what they wanted? Did they buy something else? Do you have their contact details? What was their experience like?
We forget that it’s so much easier to retain customers who are already inclined to buy from us (based on past behaviour).
Instead, we search for the new, unconquered land of more. More targets + more ads = profit. Right?
We can’t afford to treat a transaction as the finish line. It’s only the beginning.
Marketers must cast off the Indiana Jones mentality and focus on delighting the customers they worked so hard to persuade.
Looking for more sales isn’t bad, but your previous customers are important too.
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The Growth Hacker Marketing movement is gaining momentum. ‘Growth Hacking’ isn’t the easy way to reach your customers, because that doesn’t exist.
It’s the recognition that the most successful new startups don’t rely on big media and advertising budgets to reach their customers. Instead, they target precisely the right segment.
Communities of people who naturally look our for a type of product you offer.
Then, using digital channels, they:
- create buzz and scarcity (e.g. invite only for the launch of gmail)
- optimise the customer experience
- constantly improve their product
- use customer feedback to grow
This slideshare includes some of the tools we can all use to optimise our marketing. I hope you find it valuable.
My recommended reading list includes a book on Growth Hacking by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great read.
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As cavemen (and women) we stuck together. Or tribe was our family and without one you didn’t have protection, food or connection.
Now our tribes are our passions. It’s the stand up board riders, banjo players, local tennis club and yoga class.
If you can align your business with a tribe and connect with that community on a personal level (not selling to them) you can totally change the way your fans think about you. If you contribute to the tribe, you’re one of them.
You can earn trust by being authentic. By being human. Where’s your tribe?
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We know it’s wrong but we can’t avoid it. When we make new products we always bring our own interests to the table.
‘Those people don’t use Twitter.’
‘We should charge 99c. That’s how Apple price their apps!’
‘Our market prefers to contact us on Social Media.’
Of course, these assumptions are based on ourselves, and we try hard to apply them to our market because we desperately want to be our target market. But we’re not.
That leaves us with two choices. Drop the assumptions and make products for the market (not like us) or keep making products that we like and go bankrupt.
The 80/20 rule is one of the most well-known theories of management and marketing.
20% of your customers, messages, employees or time give you 80% of sales, conversions and output.
It’s ironic that this is one of the rules we get wrong so often.
Why? We chase our losses. It’s a common reason for problem gambling where we fail to recognise what’s causing us so much damage.
Every time you ignore the evidence that your social media marketing is draining your time, or that your sales mainly come from a demographic you don’t particularly like, you chase your losses.
Refusing to accept where your 20% is and cutting out the ineffective 80% is a quick road to disappointment.
Let’s be more honest with ourselves and make sure our efforts are spend in the most valuable places.