Don’t just tell them your product specification.
When I first started meeting clients to bag new projects, the strategy was showcasing good creative work, offer a marginal price point, and a website to go through later.
Like me, most believe that when people make buying decision of any product or service, they do so in a rational and logical manner. That every decision is based on cost-benefit analysis and product specification. Behavioural science has proven this notion incorrect.
After watching a James Bond movie, you want to buy a Rolex to look like Bond, or at every new iPhone launch thousands of people are willing to pay the hefty price tag. Or you vote for a political party/candidate you don’t even know personally and defend them in any peer debate.
How is it possible to get so easily influenced?
Well, it comes down to one thing… Emotional investment.
The more emotionally invested you are, the less objectively observant and less critical you become. While you will read more about emotional investment later, the greatest emotional investment of all is falling in love. Here, in love with a brand.
How do you generate Emotional Investment?
Have you heard that marketing is a science? When you are in love, your body releases hormones like vasopressin, oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Good companies have thrived upon this. It is extremely important for every business because when you plan your marketing for sales you must understand these scientific principles, literally selling the way human beings are trained to like and buy.
They create stories that you like, and your brain gets flooded with hormones hijacking your cortex and neurotransmitters, tossing rationalisation skill out of your system. Brands play upon repeating these strategies so that you can fall in love over and over again. Remember…
For any marketing strategy, the best friends are…
Dopamine, in other words: Focus, Motivation, memory
Oxytocin: that’s Generosity, Trust, Bonding
Endorphins: which make you Laugh and be Creative
And the enemies are…
Cortisol and Adrenaline: Your fight to sell your product is with Intolerant, Irritable, Uncreative, Critical, Memory impaired, Bad decisions. You don’t want them to have these in their system.
These chemicals mean nothing in the business world, but scientifically it matters to your brand. Telling someone to inject Dopamine & Endorphins in your customer will be foolish, so how can you induce this into a customer? Via Education.
Education is the best marketing
An advertisement or a webpage to explain the features of your product is not enough for anybody anymore. Customers want context, they want to know about how the real world uses it. How it will solve their problems, and other ways it benefits than they could have potentially thought about, and what experts in the field think of it.
Customer education refers to the set of activities or processes a business puts in place to equip customers with the knowledge needed to make the buying decisions & skills to get most out of the product or services they already bought.
They are seeking information about you anyways, especially about products & services they are interested in and passionate about, which means they will often keep coming back for more. Education is an investment that can lead to rich rewards of engaged and confident customers. That kind of confidence almost always makes a loyal customer. In the end, isn’t that what all of this is really about?
Now how do you educate?
By constantly creating effective content that talks about your product, service or philosophy, and telling them frequently and consistently will eventually get in people’s minds. However, that might be long-winded to create great educational content, you need to understand your target customers behaviours & motivation.
Understand customer behaviors
Do you know about those things which your customers think of every day? Find out about them and dominate the space.
Determine customer behaviors to create content that connects naturally to user needs and pain to ensure the right content for your market, rather than creating for the sake of it. Commit them into small goals so that you can control the messages and enable unparalleled control over your customer’s behavior as well. Here are a few measures to start building your marketing strategy:
- What does each segment of users already know?
- In what ways are customers using your product/service?
- What is it that everyone in your target audience should know?
- What is the value of your business?
- What do you want to gain through your marketing?
Defining Emotional Motivators
Research shows that in any given market people show some common preference. Yet there will always be few needs and wants which will be exclusive to the individual. Below are some proven emotional motivators that drive customer behavior which marketers can adopt.
- Motivation to stand out from the crowd.
- Motivation to be confident about the future.
- Motivation to have a sense of freedom.
- Motivation to belong.
- Motivation to become a person one wants to be.
- Motivation to feel secure.
- Motivation to have a successful life.
Stand out with your content
There is an overwhelming noise of content currently being pushed, but with some key strategic approaches you can stand out. A company wanted to understand just what makes content click, so they mapped hundreds of the articles/stories/videos to a specific emotion, such as joy, anger, sadness, happiness, laughter, amusement, empathy, etc. The top two emotions that the most effective content evoked in people were awe (25%) and laughter (17%).
What this means is that if you can quite literally make your consumer happy with your content, you’ve hit the target.
Out-educate your competitors
Build an arsenal of core content that can be repurposed and leveraged to respond to the needs of an individual customer at the time they desire it. What I suggest is enriching your interaction with your customers even more and leaving all your competitors far behind. If you are not puting all the efforts to educate your target audience, they’ll look for the competitor’s product. Prefer not to give your rivals such a present.
It is relevant across industries – if a customer doesn’t know how to use your product, it can cause frustration and they will go for competitor products or completely ignore purchasing from your company in the future.
Content becomes more valuable over time
Ads will come and go; educational content is like a star. It’s always there when you look it up.
Most things we do in marketing are just nine days’ wonder. Most of our campaigns and marketing efforts faint as soon as we turn our attention away. Worse, we’re often creating intermissions; we’re setting up roadblocks our customers manoeuver around instead of valuable destinations that they’re actively seeking.
Content has the power to create relationships and real bonds with consumers. And as our investment in educational marketing grows, it’s important to understand and articulate its importance so that we can deliver even more value by creating a navigable library of evergreen content.
My journey from being a designer to design entrepreneur has made me understand that today, marketing is about building relationships between the customer and your brand.
A real relationship starts with small interactions. Cut through the clutter of shameless self-promotion and give your current and potential customers something useful once in a while it will give you requiring dividend and they’ll remember you when the time comes to make a purchase decision.
Remember no matter how unique your product is and how much time, effort and money you have invested, it will not take long for someone else to catch up. In today’s world marketing is not about product specification. The difference lies in the effort you are going to put to educate your customers about how it’s going to impact their lives. The idea is to create content that can touch the emotional cords.
If you have come this far, Thank you. I would love your opinion, feel free to share them in comment section.
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