1. It’s not about you
If you think you’re in the business of selling products or services to make money, you won’t. If you understand that you’re in the business of helping people solve their problems or reach their dreams, you’re halfway home. When consumers search the internet, they don’t type in “bank.” They browse for “low-rate mortgages” or “free checking account.” Keywords are toss-aways. Successful companies are very specific about the benefits they offer to specific audiences, and they reach out to build mutually beneficial relationships. They express themselves in a consistent brand voice and deliver customer experiences that meet or exceed expectations at both the practical and emotional level.
2. Do a regular reality check
Print out a couple of pages from your website and your two most recent blog posts. Grab your latest direct mail package. Take a pile of issues of the vertical pubs in which you advertise. Bring them into a conference room and spread them out. Does everything look and sound consistent? Is your brand front and center? How about your POS locations and the people who work there? Get out of your office, mingle with customers, and listen in on staff. Dial into customer service or outbound sales calls. Are they in tune with the brand voice? Do they provide a positive experience, no matter the reason for contact? Remember, every point of contact is critical.
3. Nothing works better than a demonstration
Show how your product or service makes your customer’s life better, easier, happier. Today’s media choices, including Facebook and YouTube, offer a terrific opportunity to show your company’s offerings in a virtual one-to-one situation. The media may be new, but smart marketers can look to the state-fair-style salesperson whose knives cut through tomatoes like butter. Or the late-night pitch person who is making a ton of money selling the latest all-purpose miracle cleaner. That doesn’t mean cheesy sells better. It means demonstration moves products.