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Friday, 7 June 2013

Customer Choice - Getting them to choose you

Marketing human to human image

Every decision we make is based on personal knowledge. What we know and what we believe (real or imagined), drives our choice, supports our decision-making and carves out our loyalty to brands. The most obvious example being Mac versus PC users, but this also holds true in choosing your sandwich filling. We all think we’re right.

As a marketer, my job is largely about persuading people to make their choice in favour of the company or product I’m representing at the time, but typically, little energy is allocated to working out prospect preferences, before battering them with thinly disguised sales messages, (aka content).

What can you do to help customers choose you?

1. Listen

What is their world-view? Google keywords to see what they’ll see, follow existing market influencers on twitter, scan blogs (especially the comments sections), to see what people really think about your brand or your market and the terminology they use. We have two ears and one mouth, so perhaps we should listen twice as much as we speak.

2. Consider that your prospect doesn’t believe your marketing because their experience of ‘you’ doesn’t match your hype

What if your prospect knows something about your brand that you didn’t tell them? Of course we all do, thanks to the wonder of social media and our always-on culture, so what are others saying/doing/using your product for, that might be shaping the perception of your prospects and what are you going to do about it?

3. Direct your marketing budget to tactics that will help your prospects know what you know

None of us want to be told we’re wrong, yet increasingly, marketing is aimed at questioning our judgement in a bid to woo us from the competition. Think about how you can address the ‘why change?’ question in your messaging, rather than expecting prospects to make a leap of faith. We’re often wedded to brands out of laziness/familiarity and we fear change and the uncertainty that that brings. Armed with such knowledge, your marketing needs to encourage and reassure, making the status-quo a pain far larger than any worries we might have about trying something new.

As Sam Walton, founder of Walmart once said,“There is only one boss - the customer. He can fire everybody in the company from the chairman down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

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