Strategy

Want to Make Your Industry Exciting? Go Customer Centric

Let me guess—you have a big story to tell and it’s all about your product and how amazing it is (and, obviously, you are too). Customers won’t know what hit them when they hear your message. In fact, you’re sure they’ll race Black Friday-style to the front of the line to buy it.

This single-minded focus on sales curses not only the recipients of this infuriating one-way message, but also the bottom line of the company delivering it.

So how does my business become customer centric?

Consider this approach instead: Treat every potential customer like a first date. Be interested in them, and they will in turn think you are the most interesting person around. Ask questions, and they’ll think you’re the most captivating conversationalist. Get out of the way and talk about what they want to talk about — what turns them on.

Amateurs say: “Our product is the best” with the expectation a customer will make the leap to thinking, “That’s great, and it could be great for me.” Instead, try connecting the dots between what you’re doing and what the customer needs to make her job, her life, her world easier, more efficient, and just better in general. Ask what you can do to improve her experience. And show you understand the struggle. Relating and empathizing with the client, who is also under pressure to keep stride with new technology and wow her boss, will break through the communication barrier faster and more effectively than aggressively advertising at her.

What keeps customers up at night? What business problem seems insurmountable to them in the wee hours? How can you position yourself to ease that pain point? This approach is much more effective than repackaging your bullet points over and over again.

Customers are savvy. If they’ve been alive on this planet long enough to reach independent thought, they know advertising. They know when they’re being manipulated to buy, and they are choosy with who and what they spend their time. Do not—absolutely do not—waste their time. You’ll go from being an unknown to an outright nuisance. Use your opportunity wisely by delivering the right content and approach. When you have permission to have a longer conversation with them through vehicles like an entire magazine article, respect their time and intelligence by being concise, relevant, and on-target. Don’t deliver a 30-page essay when three paragraphs would suffice.

And finally, consider their schedule. With long-form marketing strategies, you’re meeting on their turf—in an airplane, at the kitchen table, during a lunch break—when they’re more open to your message and have invited you in. Do it right and you’ll create a long-term, sustainable relationship. Find more ways to reach customers creatively on the blog.  

@dcustommedia