November 16 2017
Consumerism begins in our heads.
“What should I buy?”
“Who’s the best company to buy from?”
“Why should I buy from this brand — can I even trust their service?”
“Oh, their customer service is awesome!”
If you’ll understand your customer’s thought process — through the campaigns you run — chances are high you’ll win their hearts, convert them, and drive growth for your business in no time.
And this isn’t that hard to do.
Sometimes, you only need to see how something affects you to understand how it would impact your target customers. Other times, you might need to send out surveys, study forums to get a feel for what’s pertinent to them, consume research papers, and really spend some time putting together a reliable customer profile.
This article shares four tried and true strategies aimed at understanding your customers’ thought process and winning their hearts.
#1 Start from Market History
Market histories are goldmines.
They hold information about your industry that, if leveraged, can make you an overnight success.
I was once a forex (foreign exchange) trader. And in the forex market, there’s always a lot of volatility (price fluctuations), especially for high-value currencies like the USD, GBP and JPY (Japanese Yen). When prices of these currencies move, it’s either going up or down. Traders are tasked with predicting this movement before it happens. If they predict wrongly, they lose money. If they predict right, they make money.
So how do they predict right? Market history. Traders study how prices moved in the past to predict how they will in the future.
It’s the same for marketing. If you’re able to study how your customers reacted to certain events in the past, you can better position your business to convince them to convert or buy.
Start with market history, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Which brands are most successful in this industry?
- How can we compete with them?
- What methods and strategies have they been using to grow so far?
- What keywords are fetching customers and users for them?
There are also tools that can help you answer these questions.
SpyFU, for example, can provide you with keywords that perform best for your competitors. Another useful tool is SurveyMonkey; it helps you run surveys and collect relevant data from your target audience. Alexa is a great tool for competitor analysis; it gives you a background on your competitor’s’ site, visitors’ demographics, gender, education, and more.
In the market for additional services? Here’s an in-depth list of competitor analysis tools.
Now that you’re aware market history can help you make effective decisions in your industry, you can leverage it to tell stories that will grow your business.
#2 Tell Informed Stories
If you’ve been in the marketing space for quite a while now, you’ll have heard of telling stories as a marketing tactic.
What are stories? In marketing, stories are the content you put out that forms your brand narrative. MarketWeek puts it this way: “Storytelling” [is] providing consistent and compelling content to build a picture of a company.”
Image source: Dyslexia
However, mere stories are different from informed ones.
Informed stories are told from understanding of your market’s history. Mere stories, on the other hand, come from what you “think” about your audience — which isn’t as authentic or well researched as content based off of your data.
#3 Demonstrate Value, Don’t Just Explain It
You can make only one of two decisions when you create your stories (or marketing messages/campaigns). You either explain your product or actually demonstrate how it works.
Codeq’s landing page perfectly demonstrates how one of their products helps users reduce the time they spend reading emails.
The tool identifies important emails, promotional emails, personal emails — you get the idea — and separates the mail that is worth your attention from the content that isn’t as important.
But instead of just explaining these features on their landing page, Codeq created a page that demonstrates how the product works. This way, potential users aren’t put off by a wall of words extolling its virtues. Customers get a real feel for what their user experience (UX) will be right from the start.
Now that’s clever branding. Codeq executed storytelling based on customer needs, and created a great way to capture leads all on one landing page.
Lastly, consider what would happen if your product, tool, content, etc. wasn’t available to just anyone. Making your service exclusive could inspire people to sign and find out how it works out of sheer curiosity.
#4 Make it Attractive and Exclusive
Making something exclusive is a play on psychology.
By default, we often perceive what’s hidden or “gated” as super valuable. We fear missing out on them. We desire them even more because they take on a certain mystique of the unattainable — of something only a few will be privileged enough to get close to and enjoy.
- Tesla is exclusive to people who can afford its high cost, so we want a model even more
- A waiting list is often joined by people who feel, “it must be valuable. Why else would they have a waiting list for it?”
- People sign up to a product to be admitted to closed Facebook pages
One mistake many businesses make, however, is that they often pay so much attention to making their value (content, tool, app) exclusive, they forget to make it look attractive.
And attractiveness is what convinces customers your exclusive value would be worth their time, attention and/or resources.
Most people will not be moved by the exclusivity of your product if it’s not presented in the best light. If you gate an ebook, for example, and neglect designing your ebook landing page with your value promise, your sign-ups could suffer. The landing page is what makes people salivate about the info in the book or, on the contrary, makes them feel they don’t need it.
So how do you create beautiful eye-catching products?
- First, identify your target audience. Who are the people you’re trying to attract? Understand what gets their attention the most so you can better position your exclusive (or gated) value to attract and convert them.
- Second, flaunt your numbers. Numbers are important in everything we do. They measure our effectiveness, success, wealth, and reach. If you have impressive numbers to flaunt (eg: your thousands of subscribers, customers, etc.), flaunt them. They give your exclusive value Publicize your numerical values and you will drive growth for your business.
And if you don’t have any numbers to flaunt?
- Flaunt your other strengths. It could be places you’ve been published or mentioned, or top brands you’re partnering with. Some clever folks are even flaunt fun team trips. Getting into the minds of people online can’t be achieved by just putting out sweet words, you need to look believable by flaunting your dynamic workplace environment, the massive amounts of coffee and pastries you consume on the job, and of course, your achievements.
Wrapping it Up
Here’s a breakdown of how you’ll better understand your customers’ thought processes:
- Start from market history. Once you get a grasp of what’s been happening in your market, you’ll understand how to take it from there.
- Tell informed stories. Informed stories are always more effective than off-the-cuff tales. Informed stories cost you hours, days, or even months of research. Impromptu stories are pretty much a product of guesswork. Well thought out stories easily sink into the minds of your prospects as they are based on what you’ve found (from research). Another reason to swap the impromptu for research? You’ll sound like a helpful, knowledgeable friend rather than a salesperson.
- Telling is different from showing. The example above illustrate how to demonstrate value instead of relying on people’s blind trust.
- And finally, look for opportunities to practice exclusivity. It’s a magical tool for driving conversions and growth for your business. The more exclusive your offering is, the more people want it. Or, at least, they’ll want to take a closer look and find out what they may be missing out on.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to winning over your customers’ hearts and setting your business up for long-term growth.