Years ago, I updated my website’s bio. I said I was a fierce advocate for my client’s customers.
What exactly did I mean by that?
It meant that after knowing who my client wanted to reach with their product or service, I would then become the target market’s advocate for finding a solution—which in this case, was my client’s business offering.
The Cowboy wasn’t impressed.
See, he thought it came across as too convoluted. Clients wouldn’t understand what I was talking about.
I reluctantly agreed he was probably right.
Clients Don’t Want To Be Told They’re Not The Priority
When it comes to working with clients, the last thing they want to be told is that their perspective, feelings, beliefs, values, concerns, and desires shouldn’t take precedence in the development of marketing assets.
I’ve worked with many clients and more often than not, their criticism begins with, “I don’t like…”
I. I. I.
They’re not thinking of the potential buyer they’re trying to reach.
Instead, it’s still all about them… the company… and their desire to push a solution into the market no matter what.
The late famous copywriter and marketer, Eugene Schwartz, said this: You have no client but the market. You really don’t care about anything but the market or the process.
Many B2B and B2C companies still don’t understand this truth.
The CEO may not like the new marketing copy, but is he the company’s avatar? Does he represent the target market?
Does the V.P. of Marketing and Sales represent the target market or the marketing manager or the marketing team?
And is the president’s daughter a good representative of the target market?
There’s a very good chance they don’t.
How Much Market Research Has Been Done?
Frequently a client will think they know their target market. But if asked for any research, they admitted they didn’t have any.
One time I met a cybersecurity startup at a trade show. When I asked about their target market, the sales rep said, “Anyone. We really can help any business with our software.”
Well, that might be true to a point, but it’s very, very difficult to marketing to “anyone.” There are no specific industry challenges; therefore you’re unable to provide specific solutions and specific results that relate to their needs.
Effective sales and marketing strategies aren’t created from guesswork. They’re created when you have specific information about your target market.
Content Marketing Institute has a great article on research, 5 Actions Backed by Research to Improve Your Content Marketing.
In the article, they list five specific ways you can improve your content marketing by (surprise, surprise) knowing your audience and doing more than relying on website analysis.
The Direct Marketer’s Winning Secret That Few B2B/B2C Companies Want To Know
Direct marketing companies study their market like they’re writing a thesis on them.
Because they know if they don’t nail the pain points of a market, there’s little chance their offer will succeed.
The copywriters won’t know what to write and juicing up that offer with irresistible premiums will be almost impossible.
And the way those direct marketers get that information is by talking to people who are in that target market.
Yes. Live conversations.
When I used to be a dating coach for single women over 40, I gave a lot of free workshops. Those were my best opportunities for market research.
I was able to present my material, but also had a lively “question and answer” sessions with the room. Women would tell me how tough it was to meet single men, what they were doing, what they weren’t doing, and how it made them feel.
This kind of information is PURE GOLD when it comes to marketing.
If you have any offer at all, you can’t present it without first setting it up the problem. And you can’t set it up if you’re not able to thoroughly understand your prospective buyer’s frustrations toward trying to solve the problem.
Find The Problem
Without a specific problem, you can’t offer a specific solution.
You may think you know what the problem is, but too often, you’re too close to the solution. You think everyone can clearly see the problem—and clearly see that you have the solution.
Take the linked article’s second point to heart:
Your audience cares about their needs – your brand messaging isn’t a priority for them. If you still doubt this point, consider that 90% of those who consider their content marketing successful say they put the audience’s informational needs ahead of their sales/promotional messages. Only 56% of those who feel the least successful with content marketing say they put the audience’s needs first.
Sure, at some point, B2B buyers want and need your product and company information. The trick is to offer the right kind of information at the right time. – 5 Actions Backed by Research to Improve Your Content Marketing,
– Lisa Murton Beets, Content Marketing Institute, August 27, 2019
Whenever I get a new client, my priority is to first, learn everything I can about their prospective buyer. Then I learn about their products/services.
Putting the market first will help you avoid a lot of wasted time and resources. If you can match your solution to an urgent need in the market, there’s a greater chance you’ll succeed.
Get to know your market. You’ll discover it’s the best “shortcut” to developing marketing that will earn their trust.