Original insights in international business and marketing
Once upon a time there was a bright Marketer who knew all about his products. He could tell you everything you wanted to know about his line and could even explain in what ways it was better than the competition. He knew the product specs by heart and could lay out the individual features and their respective benefits.
The trouble was that he was not particularly successful. In spite of having industry leading products, other rivals were often more successful commercially. He blamed Sales for their inability to sell the value. Sales, blamed the high pricing and confused messaging they were receiving. Sales suffered. Forecasts were not met.
So what went wrong? A lot of things happened but one key ingredient that was missing was the marketer’s ability to tie all his product, competition and customer knowledge together in a cohesive story. In spite of first-rate products, the marketer was unable to make them resonate with his Sales teams and ultimately with his intended audience. He was missing the 3 “Why’s” in his communication.
1. Why do customers need to take action?
2. Why do they need to act now (rather than later)?
3. Why they should choose your company (vs. any other)?
His story was too product centric. He did not provide the necessary insights and context that help set the stage for his solutions. How could – indeed why would – customers relate to his message if there was nothing that resonated for them other than hearing how features-rich the product was? You’ve probably heard the saying that customers aren’t actually buying a drill, they are buying the 1 cm hole in the wall. So why are we always so focused on how great our drill is when we should really have conversations about workplace design and improvements?
The moral of this story is simple. It closely follows the famous adage that “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” Marketers today need to develop compelling stories that are built on fundamental and profound customer insights. Only through meaningful insights, will customers truly listen and the sales organizations shift the dialog from being purely transactional/technical to a more consultative solution sales approach. Think about it.