Marketing Bedtime Stories: Are You Boring Your Customers?

Here are several ways to turn boring marketing messages into results-oriented solutions and help customers say yes to your business.

Rhondalynn Korolak | Source: Courtesy Photo
Rhondalynn Korolak | Source: Courtesy Photo

Ninety-five percent of your prospects don’t really understand your marketing message.

Not convinced? Let’s take a look at your last ad, press release, email newsletter or even the homepage of your website.

If we’re being honest with each other, I’d wager that more than 60% of the prime real estate is focused on you – your brand, your product or service, what you are doing and why you are doing it.  And if you’re using visuals they are probably of your products, your machinery, your location or even you.

Also, if you’re like most small business owners, the remaining 40% of your marketing communications are spent trying to cram as many words as you can into an even smaller space to let your prospects know just how much you can do.

In my experience, most of you are spending way too much time trying to impress your customers with fancy words and descriptions. And here’s the bad news – you’ve already lost them.

In fact, you put them to sleep about two minutes ago.


Marketing to customers

Just for fun, I would like to introduce you to one of your customers… well, at least the decision making brain of one of your customers.

Meet John, your prospective customer.

The part of John’s brain that makes decisions is the same area that you and I use. This part of the brain is solely focused on survival.

  • Does John care about your brand, your products, your photo or your benefits?  No.
  • Does he care about win/win? No.

It is solely focused on itself and physical survival. This part of John’s brain is triggered within 30 seconds and is permanently tuned into the “what’s in it for me” (WIFM) radio station – constantly scanning to protect itself from pain or death.

So what does this mean for you?  To the extent you understand the pain of your customer and are here to help him solve it, he will listen to you or read what you have to say.

Now let’s look at your marketing message for a moment. How can you use this insight for your next ad, press release, email newsletter or your website?


Communicating with customers

First, you are going to stop wasting your most valuable real estate talking about your products, your background, your brand, your philosophy or your certifications.  Your customers do not care. Instead spend a majority (80%) of your marketing efforts:

  • Showing John you understand his pain.
  • Recreating his pain.
  • And offering the solution with proof you can deliver.

This means that you should never waste space with a lame opening statement like “Introducing our new spring line,” “Welcome to our newsletter!” or “Here are our latest clearance items.”  While important to you, they mean nothing to the part of your customer’s brain that decides.

They are like bedtime stories for your customers.

If you are using photos or videos in your marketing communications you’ll want to select visuals that support the three areas mentioned above — demonstrating that you understand your customers’ pain.

For example, if you own a dog grooming company, this is not the time or place to show a picture of you and your dog, Lucky.  That photo is about you and not your customer’s pain.  Remember John, your customer, is tuned into the WIFM radio station.


Connecting with customers

Do you remember when I made the bold claim that 95% of your prospects don’t really understand your message?

As you can see, the reason is really simple – your customer has come to you in pain (in some aspect of his life or business) and his brain is solely fixated on finding the solution.

This part of his brain, which is responsible for decision making does not have the time or patience to sit around reading or listening to information that is all about you.  If you don’t capture his attention in the first 30 seconds with something that is relevant to his pain, you’ve lost him.

He can’t possibly understand your message no matter how clever or funny it is because he’s not even paying attention – his brain has already moved on to look for the solution that will keep him alive or provide a cure.


Go from boring to convincing

The bottom line is this – the quickest way to connect with your customer and get the attention of the decision making part of his brain is to let him know immediately that you understand his pain and can cure it.  If you do this well upfront, he will listen to whatever it is that you have to say.

This insight will help you go from boring your prospects to convincing them — and that’s good for your business.


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