Here’s a harsh truth: People don’t care about your business as much as you do.
This is one of the main challenges that marketers need to overcome, because in order to attract somebody’s attention, and convert them into a sale, then the person needs to give a damn about what you are doing in the first place.
There’s different extremes of this. On a basic level, people can care about what you do because they need your service. There’s lots of products and services people need or want, and because you do what they need or want then there is a chance they’ll pay attention to what you have to say. For example if you are thinking about going to get your eyes tested, then you will probably care about what your local optician has to say.
But this only goes so far, once you have had your eyes tested chances are you go back to not caring, you no longer need your eyes tested, so aren’t as receptive to marketing communications from opticians. Yes – you may wear glasses, and therefore care more than somebody who doesn’t wear glasses, but do you care enough to listen to every piece of marketing communication your optician sends you? Probably not. Simply because the truth is people cannot get passionate about somebody else making a lot of money. Yes your service may be top notch, and your customers may be happy, but it is almost impossible to form brand loyalty and brand advocates if the only reason you are in business is to make money.
That’s why you need to be able to answer the following question: ‘What do you stand for?’
When your business has a purpose for being in business other than to make money, people can connect with you on a greater level. You can then tailor your marketing to your purpose, and give your customers value without expecting anything in return, eventually forming the brand loyalty and brand advocates that will help push your business forward.
Let’s go back to our optician. Say for example our optician’s purpose of setting up business, was to ‘educate people about keeping our eyes good and healthy, so that more people in the world could enjoy the beauty of sight’. His marketing would include things like top tips on keeping our eyes healthy, information about potential UV light dangers in the summer months, a collection of beautiful photography, a ‘fun’ eye test, eye exercises, and maybe they could even support a local blindness charity through various fundraising activities. Having this purpose gives ‘followers’ something to ‘attach too’, it allows for more levels of customer engagement, and stands you about above your competition. Plus it gives people who aren’t currently in the market for buying your product/service a reason to listen to what you have to say (if they care about your purpose), and form the brand loyalty for a time when they are ready to buy. Just imagine how much more appealing these sorts of things would be to receive, as opposed to hey look we have some new frames in store again.
Action: Think about what you stand for? Once you know this how can your marketing communications be tailored to selling this purpose? Your purpose must be something that current customers and potential customers care about, so they want to listen to what you have to say.