Often, we are so caught up in our own business that we assume people know what we are talking about when we’re communicating with them.
Have you ever seen an ad or a promotional message that has you scratching your head? There was a poster on a billboard near where I live not long ago which had a brand name and a short sentence beneath it. It meant absolutely nothing to me, so I assumed it wasn’t aimed at me because I didn’t understand it.
But what if your customers are missing the messages that ARE aimed at them? How can you make sure that they ‘get it’?
It’s really quite simple – firstly, you have to remember that you are not the only business trying to get their attention, and keep your message clear, simple and easy to understand. Secondly, you have to put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what they’re concerned about, what their problems are, and what the solutions could be. What are the benefits that you can bring?
You might have heard about features and benefits – it’s one of the fundamental principles of sales and marketing. Talk about benefits, not features. The benefits are important to your customer. The features are just facts and details.
For example, if you’re a service provider that offers a flexible, pay as you go service (e.g. an accountant, a virtual PA, a marketing consultant) then one of the benefits to your customers is that they can scale up or down depending on how busy they are, and how much they need your service.
Another benefit might be that they can stop and start working with you depending on their available budget.
Whether you’re a bank, a builder or a yoga teacher the same principle applies. If you offer weekend opening times the benefit to the customer could be any of the following, depending on the product or service and your target audience:
- They can enjoy using your product/service in their leisure time
- You will get on with a project over the weekend, ready for Monday morning
- You will work alongside them at the weekend
- The work will get done while their office is closed, minimising disruption to the running of the office
If you’re creating promotional messages around this, make the benefit the headline. For instance:
“Do you need a flexible accounting solution that you can scale up or down as your business develops?” or “We offer flexible timings so that you can use us when it suits YOU”
In this way, you’re talking to them about something they understand (their needs), rather than something they might not think they need (your products).