Don’t forget the customer in your marketing

by Michele on August 5, 2011

Always focus your marketing on the customer

I’m not sure if it’s a common practice everywhere, but where I live we often get flyers placed in the door by real estate agents. I’d never let a flyer like that influence my decision to hire an agent, but even so there are good and bad examples of these marketing tools. Yesterday, I got a very plain, no-frills flyer advertising an agent who specializes in my area. What was noteworthy about it is that he ignored the fundamental rule of marketing: “What’s in it for me?” or “WIIFM” for short. WIIFM means that any time you present information or ask someone to do something (click a link, like something, buy something, etc) you focus not on yourself but what’s in if for the potential customer. Even people who like you and your solopreneur business are more interested in what your products and services can do for them than they are that those products came from you.

Here’s an example of ignoring WIIFM: “Come like my Facebook page where I update several times a day with all of my daily activities.”

There’s nothing here to entice me. Why would I care? The only time this works is for celebrities who have fans that do want to know what they are doing all day.

Here’s an example of showing your reader WIIFM: “Come like my Facebook page and you’ll get priority notice and special prices on all new releases.”

Now here’s an enticing call to action! With one little click, I get something of value to me.

The real estate flyer was like the first example. I found a plain text flyer with this on it: “See what my clients have to say about me and check out my website” and “I just launched my new site this week. Check it out at {link}.” My first thought was “Why?” Why would I want to check out his site? I don’t know him so there’s no personal interest. He hasn’t given me any incentive or told me WIIFM if I go there. While I don’t believe it was meant to be egotistical, it did sort of come across that way.

I did check out his website in order to write this article and it actually had some great information on it like a search function, trend information and links to service providers he recommends. It was a useful site, but had I not been doing research for this article I would never have gone there. What he could have put on the flyer was something like “Curious about home sales in your neighborhood? Come to my website and use the custom search function to find the exact information you want.” He could have also called attention to the other benefits his site offers, and then I’d have a reason to visit.

Take a fresh look at your marketing material from the perspective of your customers. Make sure you’ve explained the benefit to your potential customers of every action you want them to take,

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