Avoid the Trap of Self-Centered Marketing
Author: Jeremy Harrison
Is your marketing too self-centered?
Odds are, yes. If so, it’s costing you traffic, leads and sales.
“Self-centered” marketing talks too much about the business and the product for sale, and not enough about the customer who’s buying it. Self-centered marketing is about MY company, MY product, MY story, and all the reasons why a customer should buy from ME.
This approach used to work reasonably well. But not today. Your prospects have a lot more options.
What can your small businesses do to survive and grow in a massive sea of competitors?
The Power of “Inbound Marketing”
When done right, “inbound” marketing is the opposite of “self-centered” marketing. With inbound marketing, you aren’t pushing your product or service, but you are creating an attractive, inviting place that naturally draws in new customers with great content, earning their trust, and giving them the opportunity to ASK to buy from you.
When the ASK comes from a buyer instead of a seller, you have something really powerful.
This is the exact strategy I’ve used since 2006 to grow Spire from a cash-strapped spare-bedroom startup to a seven-figure company with hundreds of recurring customers. It isn’t quick or easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. Inbound marketing, (when done right) is a long-term strategy that will help you sustain growth and dominate your market.
Your marketing will never serve your needs until it serves your customers‘ needs.
In this article, and three more that will follow, I’ll explain what you need to know about building a powerful inbound marketing system that is designed to create demand by doing something you’re naturally wired to do — serving your customers’ needs.
Today, we’ll focus on the most important part, understanding your customer and his or her needs.
Shifting Your Focus
The late Zig Ziglar (1926-2012) was a remarkable man with great wisdom about selling. In his classic 1984 book, “Secrets of Closing the Sale” he said,
“You will get all you want in life, if you will help other people get what they want.”
This has never been more true. In order to get what you want, you must help others get what they want.
But first, what DO you want? Here are three “wants” that every small business leader could probably agree on:
- “I want more traffic.”
- “I want more quality leads.”
- “I want more profitable sales”
All three are extremely important to growing your business, no doubt. But don’t pursue them without thinking about what the potential customer wants.
So what does your potential customer want?
- …to solve a problem
- …to fill a need
- …to reduce or eliminate something they have fear about
- …to deal with a pain point
- …to learn something new
None of these things on the “THEY WANT” list have anything to do with buying from you. Not yet. But if you can help them do some of the things on their list, with no strings attached, you will build something vitally important to your success. Something that is more coveted than ever before. Trust.
People trust you less when they sense you’re in the relationship for your own selfish gain. The higher your self-focus, the harder it will be to build trust.
This is precisely why you must focus on the needs of your customer. Help people address the things THEY WANT and your trust will skyrocket, so will your results.
How Can You Help Them With Real Needs?
Give this some thought. What are the deeper needs of the people you want to serve? Forget what you sell for a minute. How can your expertise help them address a need or reduce/eliminate fear for your prospective customers? How could you help them solve a problem or learn something new — something that will genuinely help them, even if they never actually buy anything from you?
You and other specialists in your business have a unique area of expertise that can help prospective customers solve a problem, fill a need or deal with a pain point. You have highly-valuable knowledge and wisdom that you probably take for granted.
Figure out ways to share that expertise that connects with REAL needs of your customers, and you will have something powerful. Here’s a process we use to do just that.
Getting Results with the Spire Success Blueprint
We’ve created a process called the Spire Success Blueprint. It’s a simple system that can help any small business Attract Traffic, Capture Leads and Convert Sales. Here’s a look at PART of our Success Blueprint:
Those three items are what YOU want. Right? But see those gaps? Without filling in the gaps, you will struggle to turn traffic into leads. Or leads into sales. Without these critical pieces in place, your marketing is self-centered.
At the center of the wheel is what drives the process: customer needs.
In part 2, I’ll show you how you can take your understanding of customer needs and use it to turn more of your traffic into leads. I’ll share some examples of how businesses are doing this well, and you’ll see how to multiply your quality leads, and in turn, multiply your sales.
Remember, your marketing will never serve your needs until it serves your customers’ needs.