• Lindsay

Heart & Soul

I have a lot of conversations with business owners who tell me that their marketing isn’t working, but they just can’t figure out why. They have tried multiple activities, they’ve worked hard, they’ve considered their messages and they’ve been consistent. Yet no one is reacting to what they’re doing. I’ll take one look at their marketing and I can often tell straight away just where they’re going wrong. If this sounds like you, I urge you to read on.

One of the things that I find so strange when it comes to marketing is that people forget they’re selling to people. A business will spend hours designing a beautiful website, posting ten times a week on social media and sending out email shots. But if you just do these actions for the sake of it then it’s not going to work. It’s not about a tick list, it’s about getting results.

Sometimes it’s more complex than that, though. I’ve worked with some people who have tried really hard to get it right. They have developed a solid list of USPs, and their marketing is all about the value they offer to customers. But the truth is, that still isn’t enough.

I often ask people to look at their posts and what they’ve said in emails or on their website and be honest. Would they say any of that if they were talking to a real life person?

Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.

If you meet someone in real life, you don’t just reel off a lot of information. You don’t go on and on and overload people with details about all the amazing things you do. You’re warm and welcoming. You listen as much as talk (hopefully!). You have conversations. You show personality.

It doesn’t matter how many USPs you have or how amazing your products or services really are, if people can’t connect with you, don’t understand you or are bored hearing about you, then you’re never going to get them to pay attention.

What you need to do is inject some heart and soul into your marketing. Stop thinking about marketing activities as a check list of items, and start thinking of marketing as a way to connect to your audience.

Heart & Soul

It’s been a long time since I’ve asked any of my clients what their USPs are. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s so hard to find a genuine list of unique selling points nowadays in a world of so many competitors, no matter what the industry. Instead you need to think about differentiation. It’s not about what makes you unique. It’s about what makes you different. And the two things aren’t the same.

When people think about unique selling points, they normally come up with a list of features and benefits. It’s normally quite a stale list of factual things.

Differentiation gets under the skin of business. It’s not what you do or what you offer, it’s who you are and what you mean to your customers. How do you stand out from the crowd? Why do customers like you? What makes you special? How do you interact with customers? Why do you care? What drives the business forward? What is the personality of the business and how do you want customers to view you?

You need to really think about these things before you have any hope of giving your brand that human warmth. But without it, you run the risk of coming across as bland and factual. The same as everyone else, regardless of how long your list of USPs is.

Branding Exercise

It’s not an easy thing to do to just sit down and come up with ideas for how you’re special or different. That’s why us marketing people love our tools. If you’d like to inject more heart and soul into what you do, then follow this exercise.

  • Step 1 – describe the main attributes of your products or services. This should be no more than two sentences. The key is to get to the heart of what you do and not waffle

  • Step 2 – now write down, again in just a sentence or two, the benefits that your products or services offer

  • Step 3 – now think more personally. What difference will your products or services make to your customers? Are you solving a problem, making life easier for them or giving them something they couldn’t get elsewhere?

  • Step 4 – the last step is then to think about the emotion. How will your clients feel after using your product or service? This is the most important part. If you’re not making a real difference, then it’s much harder to sell anything

The simple fact is that, no matter what you’re buying, you can’t leave emotion out of it. We all make emotional decisions when we purchase, even if it’s for our business. We can’t help it. It’s what makes us human. So think about the emotion that your customers will have and then inject that into the words and images around your marketing.

Your website shouldn’t list facts. It should help convince someone that they’d be lost without you. There’s a huge difference between the two.

Make sure, no matter what you’re doing, your marketing has heart and soul and you’re tapping into the feelings of your customers. If you don’t, then they’ll just switch off. How can you make an emotional decision about something you feel nothing for? Quite simply, you can’t.

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