Customers Are People First
Let me tell you a thing or two about your purchasing customers.
They are past intrusive “go big or go home” advertising and are done and done with excessive information.
They are sophisticated and selective, ultra-discerning, taking in information they know is useful, and choosing to overlook the overload – and its source (they may have been giving you signs to that effect, or straight out telling you, but you may have been choosing not to listen.)
They are autonomous and self-educated; they do their own research and they invariably go on an extensive fact-finding journey before they click the purchase or subscribe button.
If you are failing to treat their first approach of the browser as a comparative phase of available products vs a mere product search, you will fail to hook them.
And if you are not creating a preemptive connection with them, by being constantly visible and providing content that is on-point and on-message, authentic and helpful, you are out of the game before the game has even started.
If you want to grab your customers’ attention, you need to be sensitive to their needs and you need to speak a language they understand; speak with empathy.
So, if you are overwhelming them with information and concepts that do not give them the answers they seek, or if you are making them rack their brains to understand your intentions and your language, they will soon tune you out and look for another source to fulfill their needs.
It’s not About You, it’s About them
You know there’s good in the world when an honest something is in demand, and these days empathy is in high demand. Take advantage of this human element to get closer to your audience, to bond with them intimately. Learn their story, know where they’ve been, where they want to go, and what their aspirations for their business are. Tell them in a language that is easy from them to understand that you can help them get there.
Next, optimize your content for simplicity and relevance. Opt out of self-promotion and choose to inform and educate instead. Affix yourself to a cause and promote it and use emotive nostalgia, zeitgeist, tribe mentalities and pack affinities to show your audience that your values are aligned with theirs. These days, we all want to do business with people who share our value-sets and principles.
Show your audience that you value their time, and that you are willing to do the thinking for them. Simplify complex data with infographics and bring your audience into your world by asking them to contribute to the content that is educating them. Use interactive platforms and/ or videos to create connection. Keep the conversation going, and blog to your heart’s content (pun intended! ☺). If they do not have one, establish a presence for them on social media and use relevant platforms that gives them a network, a tribe of followers and supporters, and allows a continuous conversation.
Some reverse psychology will work too. Stress on the fear factor if they miss out on your product, and the success/triumph factor when they subscribe to it. Pull on their heartstrings through storytelling. Stories have a quantifiable value too (but this is my “story” for another time.)
Empathetic content will get you across the finish line. Listen and look around you: Audi unlinked its rings, McDonald’s separated its arches, to what result other than rebuffing their customers?
The companies that will be remembered and rewarded are those that connect with their audience, speak their language, understand their fears and share in their dreams. Not the ones that put billboards and (smoke) screens between them and their customers.
In the words of the Pulitzer prize winner Kendrick Lamar “Sit down, be humble.” We will do the rest.