Kids hate broccoli. It’s a battle that has raged for ages:
“Eat your broccoli.”
“I don’t wanna!”
“Come on. Eat your broccoli.”
(Child throws broccoli at parent. Repeat.)
This same epic drama has played out in millions of homes. But what does this have to do with marketing?
Marketing, simply put, is showing people the value of what you are offering. Whether you are selling an electronic gadget, a business idea, or the benefits of broccoli to a four-year-old, you need to communicate the value of your product in a way that makes people say, “Hey, she’s right. I need that!”
How do you do that? It’s a lot simpler than you think. You have to know what you’re marketing, to whom you are marketing, and how to create a lasting connection with your customers.
1. Know Your Product
If you want someone to believe in your product, you have to believe in it too. And the first step to belief is knowing the product inside and out. Know the strengths and weaknesses of whatever you are marketing, and know them better than anybody else.
Once you understand everything that your product can do, move to the next level: how do customers benefit from the product? Move beyond just knowing what your product is to knowing what your product represents: efficiency, comfort, freedom, confidence. What general problems does your product solve? This is the key to making your product attractive.
I personally sketch flow charts when outlining value propositions and the pain points they solve. I then go on to listing the relevance of those pain points to my target audience, and then after that I tie the emotions the pain point and solution are tied to. This allows me to understand the triggers, solution, and outcome of a product or offering before I ever try and market it.
If you’re at a loss for where to begin, then take the advice of Andy Jensen, Chief Marketing Officer for Curve Dental.
“Never forget to ask your customers why they purchased your product and what’s important to them. As marketers we can get inside our own heads and view our ideas as a slam dunk. But too many times what I thought the customer wanted and what they really wanted differed greatly.”
Andy bring up a great point in that customer feedback should be a tool for marketers. It not only acts as a great jumping off point for your campaigns, but their feedback can also change the course of the campaign after its launched. It’s not uncommon to highlight a certain value proposition more than another after you’ve identified that it’s the one that really resonates with your audience.
Now, you need to figure out why people would be attracted to your product.
2. Understand Your Customer
If you create the most ubiquitously needed product in the world, you probably don’t need to worry about this step. The next sliced bread? You may pass go.
But for the majority of products, you’ll need to do some research. It’s not enough to know what your problem solves—now you need to find out which of those problems affect your particular customer.
Get your audience to talk. Don’t tell them what your product does, not yet. Ask them what they need, what problems they need to solve. Make a genuine, human connection by relating with your customer. This principle applies in face-to-face interactions with customers or macro-level marketing research. Find out what makes your audience tick.
At first, it might appear unnatural to connect with customers. But the truth is, they are people just like you, with the same worries in life. Cliff Ennico put it well when he said, “Your customer will not be offended or think you are ‘getting too personal’—they will be flattered, they will think you really care about them; they will like you. And they will buy from you.” Don’t be afraid to really get to know your customers.
Once you know how to do that, you can create a solid relationship with your client.
3. Market for Tomorrow
Getting people to buy your product is hugely rewarding, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. The most successful marketers aren’t just making a quick buck; they are creating relationships with their clients and establishing a lasting brand.
The best way to do this is by genuinely caring about your customers. I know, it’s a shocking idea. “You mean, people need to represent more than bags of cash to me?” That’s right! As Josh Moody, President of a ratings company for credit card processors, once said in a presentation to small business owners, you need to represent your customer’s best interests, whatever they are: “As a business owner you’re not in the business of selling, you’re in the business of serving. Your job is to identify your customer’s needs and then meet those.”
Remember that you are on the customer’s side. That’s how you create real connections with your audience, and that’s how you get customers who always come back. Know your product, understand your customer, and market for tomorrow—and you can market anything to anyone. Maybe even a four-year old.
Read More: 5 Tips to Attract Customers
This article was written by Mike Templeman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.