It’s time to dig a little deeper.
When you take in account that on a daily basis an average adult consumes about 9.8 hours of media per day & the average attention span is about 8 seconds, marketing has become a maze we’re all stuck in. Sure, we try to move forward with a “new” technique only hit another wall in the endless maze.
What makes it even worse is that your customers are bombarded with text messages, email, ads and social media a tsunami of media vying for their attention.
The question then becomes not “what to do I say?” but “how do I say it?” How do you stand out in the mass of information that flows to your target audience on a daily basis?
Simply put, you have to stop looking at things as a marketer & start looking at things as a therapist. If you understand some basic psychological principles & how they can to your marketing you’ll be able to truly connect with your customers.
A 3 Step Process to Applying Therapy to Your Marketing
Step 1: Setting Your Baseline
The first principles of psychology you want to employ here is Mass Psychology. Often called Crowd Psychology, it studies group behaviour. It’s a shared attitude finds comfort in knowing everything is fine because we think like those around us. In other words, we feel comfortable buying an iphone because our friends have one.
This is what I call “looking at the big picture part of your marketing research.” It’s concern is with where your industry stands in the eyes of the crowd. It focuses on what people think of when thinking about your product/service.
This step of the marketing process is often overlooked as we tend to jump into the individual persona & how we can fit our product/services into their lives. However, by understanding what “the crowd” thinks of your industry, business & product/service as whole will give you an idea of where you stand in society.
Simply ask yourself, friend or family, what does society think about when they think about the type of business you do? For example, lawyers are seen in a negative light where teachers are seen in a positive one. Finding out all the preconceived stereotypes about what you do will help you approach your marketing in a intelligent way.
Step 2: Know Thy Customer
Of course the next step is to get to know your customer. A well thought out & research customer persona a great place to start. It’s important for your business to have more than one persona as every company has customers with a range of personalities.
But your research shouldn’t stop at these “cardboard cut-outs,” of your prospects. You look for every opportunity to go deeper into the human nature & behaviour side of them. How does your audience think, feel & act in certain situations over others? What cultural & lifestyle factors influence your customer to make a given purchase over another? Really dive into the minds of your ideal customers to the point where you get know them deeply, feel their joys & pain.
Step 3: Finding Focus
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” ~ Steve Jobs
The final step in the process starts with a game of connect the dots. This is where you take all your research from steps 1 & 2 and compare them. How do the assumptions you can make based off of your customer personas relate to the bigger picture of where your business in society? Are there any commonalities between the two? What are the differences?
Find where topics, thoughts or feelings interact. This will help you come up with better marketing that not only speaks your customer’s language but is something they agree with as well.
Lets face it, there are too many messages floating around in our world to rely on regular principles of marketing. Although those principles still do have a place in small business to truly stand out in an over-saturated message market you need to do a little home work & dig a little deeper. If you want to work your way through the marketing maze have to become more than just a marketer.
At the end of the day, it’s not about you or your product/service, it’s about your customer & how you’ll improve their lives. So why not get to know them at an intimate level to give them the experience they deserve!