When creating marketing content, it’s easy for businesses to focus on the features and benefits they have to sell to their customers. Much of the marketing we see today has the same message: industry-leading, UK’s largest, we specialise in… the list continues. These messages get lost in the broader marketplace, as customers become so accustomed to seeing these taglines that they just phase them out. Meaning your business is losing that customer’s engagement.

As a business, you can begin to take a myopic view of your industry and therefore your marketing.

But it’s essential to look at your marketing objectively. What are you trying to achieve? A change in behaviour. The only way to do this is to look at your business through the eyes of your customer and create content that is meaningful to them.

1. Don’t market to companies, market to people

When creating a marketing campaign, we are taught to use demographics and statistics to create a message that will target a particular audience. The downfall is that this audience is still too large of a segment to deliver a meaningful message to.

When marketing, you need to market to the people within the companies you are looking to engage.

A marketing manager will require a different message than a marketing assistant, a managing director or an operations manager, even if they are in the same company. So, create content that is relevant to the person you are aiming to target.

2. Don’t sell features, solve problems

Selling the features of your business or product is an outdated method of marketing and will rarely generate you ROI you desire. Look at the problems your customers face, their challenges in the marketplace. Speak to them to find out why they choose your business to work with.

Then you can begin to understand what their business needs are at different levels. You can start solving those problems, delivering the right message to the right person.

3. Don’t market what you do, market why you do it

We have adopted Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ model here, which looks at why you do what you do, how you do it and what you do. Using this method allows your business to determine the type of customers you want to work with, and why your customers will want to work with you.

Applying the model:

• Why you do what you do? That could be, you like to work ethically, sourcing only organic materials because you strongly believe in bettering the planet.
• How do you do that? By visiting different locations globally to source your goods.
• What do you do? Deliver good quality that you can trust.

By using this approach, the customers who want to work with you will be the ones who buy into your business ethics, beliefs and goals, allowing for a greater fit and a longer-lasting business relationship.

4. Don’t tell me, show me

You can tell your customers you have 100% success rate in the field you work in, but they need to see this for themselves. So, show your customers that your product or service works, through a message they will relate to. Then gear this towards their problems and needs.

If you do this, you’re no longer selling, you’re showing your customers the solution.

5. Target customers at the right stage of the buyer journey

Marketing to your customers at the purchasing stage will result in them looking for only the following – the cheapest or the quickest solution, or both.

If you target customers when they become aware that they need to look for a product or service, you will be at the forefront of their mind when they come to making a purchasing decision.

You can market to this customer throughout their purchasing journey, solving different problems along the way. Building rapport and ensuring that customer will choose you when the time is right.

Businesses survive because of their customers, so your marketing should always be geared towards them. Rather than telling them what they want, listen to their needs. Market differently. Look through the eyes of your customer.


By Jamie Bourn, head of business development at Purpose Media

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/

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