You may be the driving force behind the success of your business, but when it comes to engaging with your customers, you have to let them take centre stage.
One of the main elements of the popular marketing concept ‘StoryBrand’, originally penned by Donald Miller, suggests that businesses need to ensure they act as a guide for their customers. Miller believes that in any business, it’s your responsibility to guide your customers on a journey that will ultimately end in a reward that will help them in the future. The reward, of course, is the service your business has to offer. The customer, therefore, becomes the hero of their own story.
Think blockbuster movies but replace super powers and capes with suits and tech.
Essentially. Miller’s popular theory relies on one thing: making sure your marketing is focused firmly on your customers.
Be clear on the basics.
When beginning to create a strategic marketing plan, most companies will focus on their USP, the advantages of their product, the price points, their expertise… These are aspects of your business that you need to articulate clearly in order to move forward, but standing alone, these aspects won’t help you increase your bottom line.
Instead, once you can comfortably answer any question the entrepreneurs from Dragon’s Den could metaphorically throw at you, you need to begin to position your answers so that the focus shifts from your business to your customers.
The content of your answers will remain exactly the same. But instead of Dragons asking you the questions, imagine that it’s a room full of your potential customers. They won’t ask you what your turnover is for the last 5 years, how long the production process takes, or to explain your profit margin.
Your customers will only be interested in answers that affect them.
How will your services save them time? Will they be able to save money? How long will it take them to understand your demo? Do you offer support with your services? Can you be contacted easily? How long will they expect to wait for a response?
The next time you look at the front page of your website, try to step out of your own skin. You know how your industry expertise makes you a game changer in the field of IT. You know how hard you worked to be in the top 5 employers that focus on CPD for their employees. But why will either of those encourage your customers to buy from you?
Yes, you can make your company look like a nice place to work, and show that you’ve got plenty of experience, but ultimately, if the homepage of your competitor’s website tells customers that they could save them time and money, and make use of a platform that’s easy to learn and even easier to use, it’s going to be obvious which company is more aware of their customers’ needs.
Don’t expect customers to infer how your services can help them to grow their business. Tell them. Make it obvious what customers can expect to gain from your services, and use language that your customers will understand. Just because you understand technical jargon doesn’t mean you have to use it.
If accessing, learning and implementing your services can be achieved in simple steps, make them obvious. Talk your customers through the journey they’ll go on. It’ll help manage expectations, and make sure you offer information that’s truly relevant.
Map out your customer’s journey, and understand how your marketing materials can help customers on their way. Remember that your marketing is entirely controlled by you, and it’s up to you how you choose to advertise.
Go back over sections of your website that focus on you. Are they essential? It could well be that your knowledge really is a USP of your brand. If that’s the case, leave it on your website, but ask yourself if it really needs to be front and centre? Could you position it somewhere that makes it accessible for those who go looking for it while not being the first focal point?
Look at your choice of words on social media posts. Are you telling prospective customers how you can change their lives? Or are you blowing your own trumpet? A simple change of phrase can be all it takes to change focus from you to ‘them’.
Play your part.
Remember that your role is to guide your customers through their pain points, and into a world where you’ve solved their problems for them! Your expertise and experience is valuable, but so is your communication and ability to describe the journey ahead. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes to think about where and how they would need support. Make sure that in your role as guide, you can offer your customers the tools they need to make the most of your services.
Hold your nerve.
When you’re in a crowded marketplace, it can be difficult to change tactics and move away from listing all of the reasons why your company is the best one out there. If you’re struggling to refocus, remember that you’re not trying to score points against your competitors, you’re trying to grow your pool of customers.
The best way to explore any new technique is through trial and error. Experiment with Facebook ads, Google ads, or maybe a more traditional advertising campaign. Create a new landing page on your website and track your conversions. You may be surprised at what a change of focus from you to your customers, can do for your bottom line.
If you need a hand getting started, feel free to reach out for some confidential advice. We can help you turn a stressful rebrand into an exciting change of pace, or empower you to take control of your marketing, and set you on the path for success.