Everyone has heard the proverb “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it. . . does it truly make a sound?”
This phrase comes to mind over and over again when I review companies marketing strategies.
I wonder, sometimes out loud, “If people hear the marketing of this company, do they really care and will they engage?”
Sadly, the answer is mostly no.
Most companies market poorly. It is not their fault, or at least not entirely, because all of us do not know what we do not know. We all have things we understand very well, and that is usually directly related to our business. However, the auxiliary skills, that are vital to the running of our business, many of us only muddle through the best we can. Marketing and communication are not things that can be done haphazard or off the side of your desk. It required specific knowledge, understanding, and skills to do well just like whatever part of the insurance world you find yourself.
To allow people to engage with you, you need first to be able to have them understand what makes you valuable to them. Features and benefits are not the way to do this! People do not buy from you solely because you sell insurance. They want buy from you because they trust you! They believe that you will take care of them and provide them with the knowledge and the customer experiences they desire in order to make the right decisions for them. Each of them has unique concerns and unique circumstances, and they are looking to you to help them navigate a complex ecosystem and come up with a solution that is best for them.
People want to be treated as people. They want to know that the company that they are dealing with feels the same way. That there is someone there that will not only support them when things are easy and good but will stand up and help fix problems when they are not. The problem is, too many companies communicate their value, not through emotion, empathy or trust, but by telling people why they are bigger, cheaper or faster than your competition.
Someone can ALWAYS be bigger, cheaper or faster than you! Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but sooner or later, those will no longer be a competitive edge, and then all you will be is another commodity fighting it out for market share.
What if instead, you took the time to understand who your best clients truly are? What if you took the time to find out why they believe you help them and what the value you provide to them really is? What if you made an effort to find out what their true issues were and what scared them about the future?
What if you then took this knowledge and communicated back to them, and those like them, as to how you can help make their lives better? What if you talked to them about how others you deal with, have the same problems that they do, and this is how you were able to solve them in ways that made your clients more successful? What if you gave your clients a microphone so that they could become champions of your cause for you?
Those who you already serve and who trust you are a wealth of knowledge of how you should communicate to those you wish to influence. Take the time and ask them the intelligent questions that allow you to move your business forward.
If you are so bold, invite them to be part of a focus group situation and ask them what you do well and what you could do in the future to make things easier for them. This will not only give you a wealth of knowledge, but it will make your clients feel valued, and give them the opportunity to network with like-minded businesses that could end up being potential clients or partners for them — a true win for everyone. You will gain insight from your clients about what they care about and what they do not.
If you have a certain percentage of clients that are interested in specific issues, segment them into a group and send them targeted information that has links that discuss the points that they find interesting. By doing so, your open and engagement rates will increase dramatically because your audience knows that that information was curated just for them.
I asked the question in my headline, “Why should people care about your brand?” because it is important!
They should care because you care about them. They are the lifeblood of your company and not paying attention to their wants, needs, fears, aspirations, and desires can render you quickly out of touch and have them searching for someone to replace you who will.
Take the time to care about your customers, and they will do the same and champion your cause for you.
To your success.