The journey to your customers’ hearts begins by trying on their shoes….
A study in how to connect @ the emotional core.
You’re dancing around with relevance when you start by trying to view the world from someone else’s shoes.
The point, when talking about relevance is, of course, that you must be relevant to your particular audience. So basically, what you think is relevant, isn’t relevant. Get it?
It’s about knowing your audience, inside and out.
But at this point, you should be digging far deeper than what you’ve collected in demographic or psychographic profiles. Deeper than data cards and stats.
You’re heading straight for the heart, a find you’ll make only through empathy.
Connecting on this deeper level proves that you understand and want to help. And, if you really hit the bullseye, you will have earned trust and credibility, creating a scenario where your ideal customer will already want what you are offering. You’ve connected.
But, BEWARE: You can smash your own finger, if you don’t hit the nail on the head when targeting your market!
I’m pretty sure even the best marketers know this to be true.
How do you drill down to get to the heart?
Listening, for starts, will help get you there.
Because the truth is, people will tell you. If you pay attention, you can find out more than you ever thought you could. But let’s face it, this isn’t always easy when you think you’re the one who’s supposed to be the information-giver, right?
Blogs on your topic or industry, product reviews and customer complaints are one place to start. Find out what people are talking about, are most interested in, and even the kind of language they use. What are they most excited about or most upset about?
Your goal is to go so deep, you start to know and understand what your particular prospect thinks and cares about. What bothers them, too.
You are actually trying to get “in their head” and understand what drives them and why they feel the way they do.
Develop a Persona Profile or if you prefer, Audience Avatar.
Whatever you want to call it, make sure you have a clear and accurate picture of who, exactly and precisely, you are targeting and why.
In her article, “How to Create a Deep Connection with Your Prospects and Customers,” Sonia Simone uses core wisdom shared by Eugene Schwartz in the classic Breakthrough Advertising by breaking it down to 3 core components for understanding a prospect in order to recognize and then to connect with them.
In her assessment, Sonia expresses that “Schwartz was a master at learning to see his prospect, and then to express that recognition with clarity.”
I think that’s why the relevance of the book remains today, and in the hearts over at copyblogger, too.
It comes back to the human factor and how humans think and feel, expressed by the words, “a balance of thoughts and emotions,” in her post.
Go ahead. It can’t hurt. Asking questions or conducting a survey are pretty straight forward methods to further your investigation and get answers to help shape your content decisions.
Another is to go where your audience goes, for example, to an industry trade show or event. There you can both gather “insider” information and also listen and talk directly to people in an industry or trade or area of interest that correlates with your research.
Interview people. Mix it up using candidates from both internal and external audiences. Talk to both loyal and new clients.
Keep your ears open for answers beyond what a question poses for insightful information collection.
Use feedback all along the way.
Take your own test drive.
To figure out even more, you can experience the product/service on your own by using, trying or testing it out. See for yourself exactly how it makes you feel, what it does, and why it’s something valuable to have or use.
Then you can expand on your Features and Benefits Analysis and work it from another angle. Talk to other users to get their views and experience and try to zero in on key value points.
Don’t misunderstand what I mean here because value isn’t always tangible. Often the deeper benefit is beyond the tangible, regardless of the type of product or service.
The idea is to actually participate in the user experience to gain insight and to get a better perspective, and also to learn anything you can to relate with genuine understanding to your customers or prospects.
Now you can combine what you know about what makes your ideal customer tick with what the product/service has to offer to solve their problem, or scratch that tick, in some particular way.
Conveniently, you’re a solution provider, so find that need, or fill that gap, and you’ll be on your way. Albeit in another pair of shoes…
The more you learn about, and interact with, your ideal customer or prospect, the better you will be able to relate and connect in a way that’s relevant to them…meaningful…and in the end, fruitful.