The vast majority of companies I work with are using social and digital media to build awareness for their brands. Typically, they contact me because their efforts aren’t getting the results they need. One of the first mistakes I often find is that these companies are selling before the buyer is ready to make a purchase. You can’t sell to someone that isn’t ready to buy, and if you are trying to build awareness with customers, obviously these customers are unaware of who you are and why they should buy from you.
So instead of selling your product or service directly to these customers, you talk about the customers. Think about it, if you see or hear a marketing message, but it’s about something that you can relate to, that interests you, then you pay attention! If you want to grab the attention of unaware customers, then you talk about the customers.
In this post, Tom Martin talks about how he networks at events. He makes a point to talk to the person he’s just met and hone in on any common interests. Why does Tom do this? Because by talking about something that BOTH Tom and the person are passionate about, it helps the person more easily connect with Tom. The other person will let their guard down and be more willing to listen to Tom. On the flipside, if Tom had introduced himself and immediately started talking about him, about his business, the person would have likely lost interest very quickly. So Tom smartly puts the focus on the other person, let’s talk about you, let’s find a common ground, and let’s talk about that something that we are both passionate about. Also note that Tom adds that one of the people at the event later remarked that someone had told her that they appreciated that Tom didn’t sell them immediately, but now that they’ve talked to him for a bit, they want to hear ‘the pitch’.
Your marketing should follow the same path that Tom does when trying to connect with new customers. First, focus completely on the customer. Then, once you have their attention, focus on that common passion point that relates to both the customer, as well as your brand. After doing this, the customer will be more open to ‘the sell’, so then you start to promote and market your products and services directly.
A key element, perhaps the most important element, of connecting with a customer is establishing trust. Once the customer trusts you, they will lower their guard and give you their full attention. Think about how you interact with your friends. How much of your conversations revolve around common interests? We can relate to our friends, and we trust our friends.
So shouldn’t you talk to your customers as if they were your friends? Remember in the previous post we talked about how Bill Samuels Jr at Maker’s Mark said the brand strove to view his customers as friends, and he called this ‘marketing without fingerprints’.
What’s the common interest or passion point that runs through your brand and your customer? If you’re looking to build awareness with your customers, start there.