The Five Basic Marketing Foods for a Healthy Bottom Line

Eating healthy can sometimes be a tricky thing.  Especially if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Or a penchant for all-things-fried.

When we don’t make good choices, we end up feeling pretty miserable. And not just because we can’t see our feet any longer. It really sucks when your bottom line won’t fit into your favorite jeans!

The same is true for your marketing. Your website (and the other channels you use to promote yourself) need to have just the right balance of ingredients in order to keep a healthy number of customers and prospects at your table.

People have needs. Most of these needs (as related to your products or services) will be the same no matter who your target market is, or what industry you’re in. Fill those needs, and you will have created an insatiable hunger for more!

Here are the 5 Basic Marketing Foods your customers and prospects need from you:

1. Deep Emotional Benefits. Contrary to what you may believe, all decisions we make — including whether or not to buy — are emotional ones. You may think that because you’ve created a spreadsheet to list out the features, functions and prices of several comparable products, that your buying decisions are based on logic. But you’d be wrong.

In fact, emotions drive 80% of decision-making, and logic only 20%.  Make sure that every marketing message is heavily weighted to the deep emotional benefits that your product or service brings to your customer.  In other words, it’s that certain-something-good that people can say about themselves because they use your product.  “I use service Z, therefore I’m a relaxed person.” Or, “I use product X, which means I’m attractive to the opposite sex.” What are the positive emotional benefits that your brand brings to the table?

2. Stories. Everybody loves a good drama. Strong characters, engaging plots, and a great storyline make it easy to stay focused on a message.

Since the Stone Age, humans have told and re-told stories about the one that got away, or how they brought down the wooly mammoth. We use stories to educate others, communicate values, or just plain entertain.

Great stories (the ones with passion and emotion) get passed around the campfire AND the Internet. If you want your prospects to turn into customers, you need to tell them stories about what it’s like to do business with you. Use case studies, video, audio and 140 characters, but tell us something interesting about how you solve problems. Or teach your customers to solve their own. 

Marketing Plate: The 5 Basic Food Groups

The 5 Basic Marketing Food Groups

3. Simplicity. Don’t be a fancy pants. Keep your messages simple and straightforward without a lot of jargon and you’ll be understood the first time around. And make sure your prospects know what they’re supposed to do (e.g., do you want them to buy something? Enroll? Subscribe? Make a referral? How do they do that?). Clear and simple directions make it easier for people to complete a task…and more likely that that task will get completed!

4. Credibility. It’s an old maxim, but it’s true: People do business with those that they know, like and trust. Before someone plunks down their hard-earned cash, they need to believe that you are trustworthy, dependable and most importantly, that you’re the expert that can solve their problem. What’re you doing to help people believe in you? How are you helping them get to know you as a real person?

5. (Inter)Actions. Thanks to Facebook, blogging and other social media tools, businesses can now hold real conversations with their prospects. (Amazing!) To engage them. To make them part of a tribe or a community. To build loyalty.

How do you urge your prospects to take an active role with your company?  Actions draw people in. And whether it’s adding a comment to your Facebook page, or sharing an idea for a new product on your blog, it’s vitally important that they regularly interact with you. It will keep them coming back for more!

My Recommendation: Just like fruits and veggies, stories and deep emotional benefits need to be front and center on your plate — at least half of your overall web content! Clarity, credibility and interaction need to balance out the rest.

If you’d like to learn more about these 5 Marketing Food Groups and how to serve them to your prospects, click here to download the extended article (complete with stories!).  If you’ve got a question or a comment about these recommendations, please share in the comments below.