What is in it for your Customer then?
The eyes of the beholder
There’s an old, old, old expression – ‘Never assume, because it makes an Ass out of U and Me’ (Ass U Me).
Stop making assumptions
Whenever we talk to someone about something that we’re really familiar with we tend to have an assumption that the person we’re talking to has at least a little knowledge about that topic. My husband is passionate about food and cooking, but my best friend’s passion for food stops at eating it. She has a brain-block when there is talk about emulsions and reductions because all she wants to do is try the finished product. I sometimes watch with amusement as her eyes glaze over or she checks her watch after he has said that something needs to chill for another 8 minutes, then goes on to explain why. All she hears is ‘8 minutes’.
We all do it!
Assumption in this manner is something that almost all of us are guilty of and nowhere is it more self-damaging than in marketing. In our efforts to create beautiful and meaningful marketing messages we can sometimes spend so much time thinking about beauty and meaning that we miss the essential basic element of purpose.
It’s not only tiny businesses that are prone to fall foul of this trap.
Tell them what’s in it for them – why they should give a ….?
Imagine that you have a headache remedy that sufferers only need to stick to their forehead for it to deliver relief. You immediately think of big-money TV marketing for a large pharmaceutical company, so the message is obviously going to be that you stick it on your forehead and it eases your headache. Right?
Not quite, because the TV ads for one such product showed a model wearing the product on her forehead, but her direct message wasn’t ‘my headache is improving’ or even ‘this feels better already’. Her spoken message was, ‘You stick it on your forehead’. Nobody was told what the product did when you stuck it on your forehead.
Get it right, get it clear
Who do you blame? The advertising agency or the pharma executives that signed off on the ad? There has to be a share of blame because, while the executives approved the ad, the agency missed the ‘connection effect’. The connection effect, at its simplest, is what happens when someone who likes cats sees a really poor photo of a cat, but they like the photo because it’s of a cat. At a more complex level (in this case) the execs saw a well-presented ad of their product being used by an attractive woman who was telling the audience how to use it. What’s not to like?
Sell the sizzle not the sausage
Back to basics – if a greengrocer is selling tomatoes they shouldn’t just be labelled ‘tomatoes’. Think about that for a moment and then think about buying ‘Fresh tomatoes’, ‘Full-flavoured tomatoes’ or ‘Sweet tomatoes’. That should build in something of a connection for the shopper.
Now suggest something in the form of ‘Fresh tomatoes – ideal for salads’, ‘Full-flavoured tomatoes – perfect for soups’ or ‘Sweet tomatoes – great for juicing’ and you’re already building a tomato-selling campaign.
The final step towards you clearing your tomato stock is to provide a recipe alongside each type. This ensures not only that your customer buys with purpose, but that they leave you with the means to achieve it.
If you’ve read this and you actually do sell tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables, try putting a charity donation box alongside your recipe sheets. You might be surprised at how much you raise because you provided so much help to your customers.
When you hand over the cash, make sure that, along with any social media you use, you place a photograph alongside your charity box. You may also want to order a lot more tomatoes. You will sell more by placing things in context.