Think Like a Customer to Nail Your Marketing Strategy

By Carmen Reed-Gilkison | Blog Articles

Nov 29

People tend to ignore what’s right in front of them. In our everyday lives, we are customers, so it should be easy to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers when developing our marketing strategy. But, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

When consumed with promoting our business products and services, it’s way too easy to revert to self-limiting thinking. Thinking that we can’t come up with a new promotion idea, or that trying the things you see others doing just won’t work for you. And, even if you wanted to do them you wouldn’t know how anyway – am I right?

Add to this the cost of learning how to market your business (and there is a cost; be it in dollars or by trial and error over time), the topic of marketing can push people to overwhelm pretty quickly. I’m one that firmly believes that investing in your education is by far the best way to go, but there’s a great way to complement that, and it costs you only some time and ingenuity; that is to learn what works for you as a customer.

No matter what type of business we own, we are consumers out in the world as well. So, that means you’re getting an education in marketing every single day should you decide to pay attention. My challenge to you is to not only pay attention, but create a lesson plan for yourself out of what is going on around you and how you’re reacting to it.

What products do you buy and why?

It may seem like a simple question, but I’m asking you to dig deeper than “because I like it,” or “because I’ve always bought it.” I’m asking you to identify what, in your belief system, led you to choose that product or service. 

If you can do that, you’ll have tapped into the one thing that the marketers got right that sold you. I’ve created a worksheet to help you study the marketing styles of some of your favorite products or services.

Let’s take this one step further. For local brick and mortar business owners, the prospect of marketing their business online can be daunting. It’s a starkly different landscape than what they’re used to. One way to get comfortable with it is to sign up on email lists of companies that interest you (even your competitors) to see how they do it. Your inbox will fill up quickly, but instead of deleting those emails, how about saving them to study the marketing process the company is using?

There is so much free information out in the world and we humans tend to ignore 90% of it – that’s crazy!

By studying the marketing campaigns of other companies (especially your competitors) you will gain some valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t; what communication style you feel comfortable with, and what you don’t. This information’s going to help you as you learn to market online. There is a heck of a lot more to it than that, and my Business Rocks Course will cover online marketing from A-Z, so stay tuned for the launch announcement in 2017. 

The main thing to pay attention to when studying marketing you’re exposed to every day is: What problem does this product/service solve, and how does the company communicate their solution? If you can identify those two things, you can learn how to use the same process in communicating to your ideal customers.

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And remember; testing is EVERYTHING!

That’s why I’ve created this worksheet for you because you’re not just going to try out one thing and give up (you’re not right? because that’s not the way to accomplish anything!) You are going to TEST, TEST, TEST!

Looking at the worksheet, you’ll see a spot for the name of the company and product/service you’re studying, the problem it solves and a spot to list how the company communicates their solution. Below each is a spot for your company name, product/service, the problem it solves and a spot to write up some ad copy that communicates your solution. Don’t let the words “ad copy” intimidate you. Copywriting is communicating, and whether you’re writing up a 50% Off Sale sign, an email, a letter, or ad copy; your goal is to communicate clearly to your customer. It takes practice, and that’s where using this worksheet, and studying the ad copy of other companies comes in handy.

NOTE: I am in no way condoning copying the ad copy of other companies (insert the word plagiarism, which is illegal and just plain slimy). We are studying what works and why. Is it certain words you see used by multiple companies? Is it humor? Is it the clarity with which they convey their message? Those are the things you want to look for, not copying the wording.

Again, this is about studying, practicing, and learning. If you don’t put in the effort you won’t get the results, and six months from now you’ll wish you had started today, so let’s get going!

 

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