Test: Is Your Marketing Customer-Focused?

Test: Is Your Marketing Customer-Focused?

I do not want to buy anything. If I did, I would buy it. However, I am interested in solving my problems. If you can help me understand how your product or service will solve my problem, you will not have to sell it to me. I will buy it. I like to feel that I am buying – not being sold. – Dale Carnegie (1936)

How you think shapes everything that you do. Because most sales and marketing professionals have their product or service at the top of their mind, they tend to lead with them when creating collateral and messaging. They focus on features, functions and specifications, not the critical business issues that customers want to solve. As a result, most customers end up feeling “featured too death,” which causes messages, even those associated with great products, to be filtered as “noise” and ignored; i.e., too boring or too technical. How can this situation be avoided?

I recently read Sales for Startups (Heinz Marketing Press, 2011) by Matt Heinz. In the book, Heinz sets forth a simple test to determine if your sales and marketing collateral and messaging is customer-focused. The test involves five steps. They include: Step one: Review your current marketing collateral. Step two: Get a red pen and a blue pen. Step three: Take the red pen and circle any word that is focused on you and/or your company. Step four: Take the blue pen and circle any word that is focused on the customer. Step five: Is there more red ink or blue ink?

Sales and marketing professionals must shift their thinking from product features to business impact. It is not about what products do. It is about how customers can use them to solve problems, reduce costs and create impact in their businesses. Product features, functions and specifications are about you. Solving critical business issues is about the customer. Sellers and marketers must think like customers and walk in their shoes. They must experience the customer’s issue and know how to solve it with the company’s product or service.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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