It’s called S-O-C-I-A-L media for a reason…

social mediaToo often, it’s too easy to forget that when we talk about B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S we’re really talking about P-E-O-P-L-E.

I recently had a conversation with a client where I had to clarify that ground rule.  Throughout the conversation, my client  would correct me when I would make reference to the human beings who would be making the buying decision.

“We’re a B-2-B not B-2-C….”

In a nutshell, my response was along the lines of  “You may be a B-2-B (business to business) but even though we are talking about marketing the services of a company wanting to sell products and services to another company, there are still PEOPLE  involved in making the  buying decisions.”

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for business owners to forget that even though they’re selling to businesses, they’re still working with people.

Even when the buyer is a business entity – in the end, the products and services still need to connect with the people who are decision makers.

  • Businesses don’t have problems – people do.
  • Businesses don’t have goals – people do.
  • Businesses don’t have desires – people do.

Your marketing message has GOT to communicate how the product or service you offer helps your target audience achieve a goal, satisfy a desire or solve a problem – even when those goals, desires and problems are being experienced at work by a business instead of an individual.

That’s what the big DEAL is about social media marketing.

Social media marketing allows you to “strip” away the labels and connect with actual PEOPLE!

Don’t ever forget that there are other PEOPLE involved in social media.  Just because you can’t see their faces doesn’t mean they’re not there… and just because they’re not speaking up doesn’t mean they’re not “participating”.  Oh, and just because there are dozens of them instead of hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands doesn’t make those people any less important!!!

I am grateful to Tess over at The Bold Life for writing about what it is that she DOES for her clients.  She writes:

One of the gifts I brought to the table as a pschologist was my ability to “hold a client’s vision.” At the first session we decided together what the clients goals would be. One of my questions would be, “If you decide to work with me how would you know when you were finished? What would your world look like?

With the answers to these questions we would come up with a future picture of their life. Of course when someone came to see me they were in pain with their spirits broken. They couldn’t hold the picture or “vision” for themselves. So I did.

As you build your business, you must keep a “vision” of your customer and that vision MUST remain constant .  When your vision of your target customer is consistent, it stands to reason that the marketing message should also be consistent.  That consistency means it shouldn’t matter whether you’re marketing your business online or offline – your core “message” should remain consistent and in alignment with your vision of your customer.

I’ve found that it’s extremely difficult for business owners to “hold the vision” of their customers as they develop the marketing for their businesses.

I get it.  Really – I do.

It’s extraordinarily HARD to keep the vision of the customer first and foremost in your mind when you’ve got so many other “visions” competing for your time, energy and attention.  “Visions” of adequate cash flow, employee moral and  productivity, ever changing technology plus a thousand and one other “visions” are all competing for your attention.

In a world where “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”  – it’s little wonder why focusing upon the end customer often gets overlooked in the day to day.

The problem is – the consequences of not holding that vision of your customer can be a ticking time bomb – one that can be positively catastrophic in the long run.

Unfortunately, unlike other business “visions” – losing sight of your customer does not cause a wheel to “squeak”.  Just as an appendix or the heart aren’t able to send a direct message to the human brain and therefore have to send the message that there’s trouble via other body parts (like a shoulder) – the “symptom” of losing the vision of the customer doesn’t result in a direct message to your business from your customers.

Social media marketing DOES allow your “customers” an avenue of letting you know when you’ve “lost the vision”.  This reason alone is more than enough to  enthusiastically embrace social media marketing fully – because the only other way for customers to deliver that message to you is via their LACK of support – a.k.a. buying your stuff.

Comments

  1. Hi Kathy – In the franchise I work with, we’ve found it helpful to personify the customer after identifying her demographics. One of our franchisees did a great job, even assigning a name and descriptive graphics! It was amazing how this simple action clarified strategic thinking for her, and for others with whom she shared her results. We found we could make buying and marketing decisions with this person in mind. Lots of wasted energy was eliminated in favor of a better focus! Because our product and service is so relationship-oriented, we HAVE to keep it personal, whether we’re working with a client, or working on our overall business. Great reminders in this post!

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..IDEALS, ICONS AND INDEPENDENT THINKING

  2. As a non-business person this is very true and down to earth post about dealing with people in any situation. I remember bringing injured children to an ER and the people there kept referring to the children as “them”…. and taking in front of the children, who were injured about would the State really pay for their services…the children were injured and them damaged in the situation. It as my job to hold them up and get relief and healing….so many people are indifferent.
    Thank you I enjoyed reading and truly wanted to comment on this aspect of interaction

    Patricias last blog post..Dawn and Release

  3. Betsy- You’re not the only one to find value in creating a composite customer profile. I wrote an entire book instructing business owners to do what you did NATURALLY.

    There is so much “wasted” time/effort and most importantly MARKETING DOLLARS that can be saved by keeping the target customer in mind.

    Patricia – it’s surprising how often “common sense” comes into play in making business and marketing decisions. The same life skills that make better parents also come into play for making better bosses/business owners.

    Kathy | Virtual Impaxs last blog post..It’s called S-O-C-I-A-L media for a reason…

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