It's no secret that marketers need to be people-pleasers just as much as they need to be able to understand SEO or review performance metrics.
The entire reason marketing exists as a concept is to recognize that it's not enough to put a product in front of a customer and hope they buy it.
You have to entice people into choosing the brand you're representing over any of the many alternative available to them.
Marketers are the professionals responsible for ensuring that this happens.
The Trouble With Time Frames
Unfortunately, this fundamental task is becoming harder and harder every year.
The average human attention span has decreased 33% since the year 2000, falling from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds.😱
That's a steep drop!
No one is entirely sure why this has happened, but many speculate that our increasing use of technology (enabling us to have constant access to any information and entertainment we want, when we want it) has a lot to do with it.
Whatever the reason, the downward trend has been established and it's not stopping anytime soon.
What Does This Mean For Marketers?
Marketing in this new age of shifting customer focus can be tricky.
With so many different things vying for each person's attention for most of the day, it's not enough to just be mediocre anymore.
That's where our title comes in.
The best marketers should aim to do those three things: attract, convert and nurture.
You need to draw people in and keep them with you until you can deliver your marketing message, and hopefully leave them feeling pleased and positive about your brand so that it sticks with them and makes them want to buy.
In combination, these three things will function as a miniature version of the traditional sales funnel that all marketing is structured around, stringing a lead along toward a purchase with quick, light pushes that don't feel like sales tactics on the surface.
Marketers no longer have any time to waste, so the more integrated the approach, the better the results will generally be.
Putting the Triad to Work
There are few key things you can do with your marketing to make sure you reel in leads and interest them in your product before they move on to something else:
Aim To Create Something Unique
A lot of today's marketing involves meeting strict regular quotas:
- X number of Facebook posts per month
- Y rounds of emails
- Z Tweets
This can sometimes create a strong temptation to cheat a little on content quality.
It may be easy to put out boilerplate Tweet or generic blog post, but it certainly isn't effective. It helps you check off a box on your to-do list and gives you a slight increase in visibility just by virtue of being a new piece of content; other than that, it doesn't accomplish much.
It may even turn some of your leads off from your brand by being so dull.
After all, would you really want to read another Facebook post that says 'come shop!' and not much else?
Try not to market just to cover your bases.
Instead, think of what Old Spice did when they first created their iconic 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' campaign.
These commercials tell us virtually nothing about Old Spice products directly, but most people find them charming, and almost everyone remembers them vividly. Old Spice also followed these ads up with a rigorous social media push at a time when far fewer companies put so many resources into that channel.
It was considered a very strange direction to take, and almost nothing like it had been done at the time.
You probably don't need to be told that the risk paid off, but in case you aren't familiar with the specifics, overall sales climbed 55% in the three months following the first ad's debut at the 2010 Super Bowl. This campaign had an immediate and profound impact on sales and is a big part of what keeps Old Spice relevant as a deodorant brand today - believe it or not, it was once thought of as a brand used exclusively by grandpas and seemed to be on the verge of fading out entirely.
Being unique was what pulled it back from the brink and made it profitable again.
Imagine what a little creativity can do for a business that isn't in such dire straits!
Focus on Product Knowledge
Although your marketing itself is definitely important, it is ultimately its connection to the product you're trying to sell that makes it relevant and useful.
The trouble is that with so many tasks on their plate, many modern marketers forget to become acquainted with the product they're promoting.
Research has shown that online shoppers are much more likely to consider purchasing a product when they feel they've been able to grasp what it looks like in a 3-D space - in other words, they want to come as close to being able to touch the wares as they possibly can. These findings aren't only applicable to online shopping; they speak to the fact that consumers want specificity.
As a marketer, it's up to you to bring that level of understanding of the product to them.
To make this happen, you'll ideally want to get up close and personal with the product yourself.
If it's a physical product you can hold, get your hands on one and become better acquainted with the look and feel of the thing in real life - think about the kinds of things it might be used for and what kind of person would want to own it.
- What makes it stand out from other options on the market?
- Why might someone prefer to have this particular object in their possession instead of another one like it?
These questions will help you present a fuller picture of what the product is like and hopefully get you to find something about the product that you want to highlight.
This principle applies a little differently when you are marketing services, but you can still dig deep to create an accurate and engaging account of what buying that service will get you.
Talk to the person or team providing the service directly and ask them about what they do.🤔
Be sure to focus on what they feel are the unique aspects they bring to the table in their field.
Use the observations you mine from these activities along with your own professional judgement to create a flattering but multi-faceted portrayal of the subject.
Bring your product to life for your leads and they'll understand why they should be interested in buying it.
Get Specific on the Little Things
So you've got your brand niche and your killer new concept framework for it - now what?
This is the time to focus on the details that cement your brand in people's minds as one that they can love and trust (and by extension, one they want to buy from).
There's nothing more exciting to an audience than content that is clearly speaking to them, and you can fine-tune your content create this impression for them.
This is part of optimizing your copy and has managed to increase those all-important conversion rates by over 100% for some brands.
For example, let's say you want to insert a musical reference into your blog post.
Not just any reference will be equally effective.
If you know that your leads are comprised mainly of middle-aged white men living in the South, a reference to Johnny Cash will probably be more easily understood and more readily enjoyed than mentioning the boy band 5 Seconds of Summer.
The opposite would be true if most of your customers were teenager girls. If you were speaking mainly to upper-class buyers who value prestige, classical musicians would be the way to go.
Basically, there's a right answer for every type of customer, and few of those answers overlap: it's up to you to find the most appropriate one for the majority of your audience.
There are at least a few opportunities to hone content in this way in every piece of promotional material.
Small details like this don't sound like much, but taking the time to keep everything in sync with your customer profiles can really help to leave the impression that your company understands its customers and their needs.
It's important not to go overboard and begin alienating other segments within your leads, of course, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as you keep your content generally useful.
Make sure there's something for everyone but a little something extra for your biggest demographics.
If you don't have the data necessary to hone in on the specifics of your leads, you know what you need to focus on the next time you have the chance to update your data collection parameters.
Happy Leads, Healthy Companies
Now that we've all become more easily distracted, marketing is more dependent on people-pleasing than ever before.
If you can capture someone's interest for longer than those initial 8 seconds and make them smile, you'll be most of the way toward a sale already.
If you can then draw a line between what your brand offers and what your leads want or need, you'll be doing everything you need to do to close a sale and really start to drive revenue through your marketing.
This is one of a series of blogs on how to attract, convert and nurture your leads with marketing.
Join the series to learn on how inbound, email, digital and other aspects of marketing will help you achieve the growth you seek.