Our latest guest blog comes from Sally Stanton, Marketing Consultant at Richard Lomax & Associates.  She explains the importance of understanding the customer’s motivations over our own, and what this means for your communications.

When you are engaged in any interaction, whether it’s in conversation at the local pub, or when you’re visiting a new school with your one of your children, or when you’re browsing a web site for a new mountain bike, or reading a mailer about a holiday experience in France…

…sub-consciously you are thinking:

“I wonder if I can contribute to this conversation”…

“I wonder if this school will deliver the education, opportunities I want for my child”…

“Does this store offer the best combination of price and guarantee for the bike I’m after?”…

“Will the journey to France be worth the hassle, and how expensive is eating out going to
be?”

In other words, we are always consumed by our own priorities, our own concerns, our own fortunes, and our own lives. I really don’t care about you or your business until I can see how it might benefit me, or my family, my career, or my business.

Only then do I want to know more about you, and how you can prove the claims you’re making.

So what does this mean for your marketing?

First, it means that you must know your customers and prospects inside-out. You must have a crystal clear understanding of their motivations, their fears, their desires, and their emotions.

Next, you must make sure all your marketing messages are all about them, and demonstrate you know exactly what it’s like to be in their position. By doing that you’ll have their undivided attention…after all, everyone likes to read about themselves!

Now you’ve got their attention, you have the chance to show how you can help them, and explain why they need your particular product or service rather than anyone else’s.

Without this focus on ‘them’, and not on how wonderful you or your company are, you’ll never get the chance to even talk to them. They will have turned the page, deleted your email, clicked on the back button, or walked past your exhibition stand faster than you can blink an eye.

We are all focused on ourselves…

ACTION POINT: Take a cold hard look at all your marketing pieces and endeavours, and ask yourself, are they truly all about your prospect, or are they mostly about you and your need to make a sale?

A great way to check whether the focus of your marketing letters / emails / web pages are truly focused on your prospect (and not on your own interests), is simply to count up the number of times you use the words “we”, “our”, “us” and your company name – which is all about you – and then compare it to the number of times you use the words “you” and your” – which must be all about your prospect. You’ll find the balance is nearly always heavily weighted in the wrong direction!

When you make this fundamental law of human nature come alive in your business, you can create all the new business opportunities you could ever handle.

For more free marketing, advice, reports and strategies visit www.common-sense-marketing.com

Blog written by Sally Stanton, Marketing Consultant, Richard Lomax & Associates
Tel: 01692 538800, email: sally@common-sense-marketing.com

Do you think it’s more important to convince customers of your quality, or show you understand their needs?

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  • Nik Andreev

    Very good article! Nobody cares about “we” and “us”, it’s all about “you”.

  • Silke Lührmann

    Of course, from the translator’s point of view the problem is that the casual intimacy created by the need to address the audience directly and personally may not always be appropriate in other cultures and languages. Is the “you” a marketing message is aimed at formal or informal, singular or plural, male or female? English leaves this open, which is another way of saying that it includes everybody.