Marketing's 1st Rule: Focus on the Customer
"The key is, no matter what story you tell, make the buyer the hero."
- Chris Brogan
I had two experiences the other day that left me shaking my head in disbelief. Both were solicitations for my business, one a radio commercial, the other, a direct telemarketer.
First, the auto dealership. If it seems like I've been picking on them, having just bought two cars, I now remember why it takes me so long in-between purchases. The ad came blaring over the radio. "We've had a great month at XYZ Auto, we've sold lots of cars and we want to keep our momentum going."
Whoa! When did my potentially buying a car turn into me caring about you keeping your momentum going? Sure, while I and probably most people prefer to do business with an organization that is doing well, I don't want to be either beaten over the head with it nor have it made the first "feature and benefit" in your selling proposition. I have my own reasons for considering any purchase. Not to say that I'm not a win-win kind of guy, I sure hope I am. But talk to me about what you can do for me first, not what I can do to help you.
Second, the business development professional services company. A telemarketer selling training services essentially teaching us how to get more business. The voice mail started with "Hi Brian, this is Donna, give me (no please) a call back, I'd like (why would I care what you'd like at this point?) to talk to you (not with) a little bit and tell you (not share with) what we have to offer."
Really? No research. No value statement. No indication of what or how they could improve what I'm doing or sharing any relevant examples.
Your marketing communications and sales process immediately creates a lasting perception of your organization in the mind of prospective customers. As potential buyers of any product or service, we want to know what you can do for us, right away!
Are your marketing strategies and messages communicating value to your intended target audience? If you do an honest assessment and determine the answer is no, you'll want to change that, sooner rather than later.
Marketing's most basic rule, always think about the customer first, yourself a distant second.