Your Marketing: It's Not About You
Marketing is exciting.
It’s your shiny new logo printed on your slick new business card. It’s your beautiful new website showcasing your ideas, your products, your services. There’s no doubt that there’s certainly a lot of “you” streaming through all of these materials. In fact, with so much of you woven in, it’s all-too easy to get into the mindset that your marketing is about you.
Too many times, marketers place themselves in the front row seat, looking for ways that their marketing does or could appeal to them, directly. Here’s the thing: your marketing should not be structured around what appeals most to you. Your marketing is all about your consumers...people who may share some of your interests but are far from being your own carbon copies.
Your audience may be in a completely different age bracket or geographical location, or use different media platforms than you. Speaking to them in the language that best resonates with them, on the platforms that they frequent most, is one way to divert your marketing messages their way – even if in so doing, it diverts away from your own personal habits or preferences. Remember, you’re already a believer in what you’re doing. ou don’t need to be “sold”. The time and money that you’re investing in your marketing need to be optimized to help you reach the people who you’re hoping to convert or persuade in some capacity.
We all have a tendency to relate situations and applications back to us, personally. We tell ourselves that if we’re behaving in a certain way, using certain tools, or believe a specific thing to be true, then surely the people within our target markets must be in comradery with us. Unfortunately, not only is this most often not true by default, we also bring another issue along with us. We, as the business owner, know our products and services backward and forward. We have the inside track on what we’re doing. We know the lingo. We know how important specific aspects of what we do are to ensuring a successful outcome; and we understand all of the methods behind our products and services. Our consumers, however, are not privy to this insider information. They really have no idea how it is, through a detailed description, that we do what we do. They are simply concerned with how what it is that we do will benefit them, personally. They don’t understand our internal equipment, our suppliers, or our struggles as business owners. Just as we, as marketers, may initially feel compelled to relate our marketing messages back to us, through our own perspectives, our target audiences will most certainly want do the same. If they can’t, they tune us out - fast. If the messages are speaking to us as insiders, we’re never able to successfully relate to our audiences who are clearly on the outside, looking in.
Similarly, we sometimes get a little too excited about our own specific processes and innovations. These are our passions and will not likely be fully shared by our targeted audiences. While a medical doctor may be very interested in the historical background of every tool that may possibly be used during a patient’s surgery, the patient himself is concerned with the aspects of the procedure that relate, personally, to him. As business owners, we sometimes feel that “great” marketing messages are the ones that excite us, on our own levels, through our own perspectives – speaking to the little nuances that interest or entertain us. Unfortunately, those same riveting messages to us may be exceptionally boring (or worse) to our consumers. We have to take a step back from what we’re doing and place ourselves in a position of having very little knowledge of, or in many cases, concern about, what it is that we do. From there, we can begin to contemplate how to strive to spark a desire within our audiences to help them to want to learn more about us.
Here are 4 very basic types of marketing messages that can help us to speak directly to our audiences:
- Educational – Messages that help to explain, to the consumer, in a language that resonates with them, what your product or service does and how that specifically relates and matters to them.
- Promotional – Messages that immediately get to the point in addressing a value-based opportunity that relates to your product or service.
- Inspirational – Messages that make your consumers think about themselves or the world around them in a different, moving way.
- Conversational – Messages that warm your audience by reaching out to introduce your product or service in a simple, easy-going manner of communication that strives to strike up a virtual rapport between you and your consumer
Effective marketing strategies are those that make use of deliberate combinations of each of these four types of marketing messages. The key is to ensure that through each message, you’re consistently and constantly working to shift the focus from yourself, your business, and your product or service to the consumer. It may take a little conscientious effort to take a step back. It may take a little leap of faith to trust that a message that means very little to you, personally, could just be what speaks most powerfully to your targeted audience; but if you can put these concepts into practice in all of your marketing, you’ll find that your marketing dollars go a lot farther and the impact of your marketing messages last a lot longer.