Dot Bekker - Entrepreneur Strategist

Dot Bekker works with Entrepreneurs to build, develop and grow their business success with proven strategies.

Do your customers need a Push or a Pull?

As humans we are emotional beings, even the least emotional amongst us will base their decisions on some degree of emotion while otheres base all their decisions on emotion or intuition.  Today, it is the businesses that understand this best who will develop the most success for themselves.

You might ask, what have my customer's emotions got to do with me, they are buying a product or service, why do I need to be concerned about their emotional state?  So, let's examine how emotional states affect buying decisions.  Let's follow Ann, she had a bad day at the office with the manager giving her a hard time and after work she decides to apply that modern panacea ... shopping, on most days Ann isn't a big shopper but she knows that it makes her feel better.  Peter hates shopping but show him the latest jersey from his favourite football team ... doesn't matter how much it costs he just has to have it. Sophie has a passion for shoes, she just loves them and show her the latest fashion shoe and she just has to have it, not matter the dozens in her cupboard already.  George loves gadgets and when he's shopping online and sees the latest new phone that credit card it out faster than you can say Android or iPhone.  None of these are rational decisions all of them are based on people's emotions and passions.

There are few decisions that are made without emotion, really only the ones that are based on our fundamental needs are based on need such as food and electricity but with affulence even those decisions are made emotionally based on customer service or the appeal of the logo.  You can see now that emotions are a strong driver for your clients and appealing to those emotions can make your product or service more appealing.  I do want to be clear at this stage that what I am not talking about is 'hype marketing' the defintion of which in my book is to bring people to an emotionally frenzied purchase that often leads to remorse purchases. 

There is a lot being said about marketing at the moment and everyone is being told to solve the customer's problem and this is certainly applicable for a great many products and services which are solving challenges, I call this PUSH Marketing, where a customer is being pushed toward a product that will help them solve a problem.  However, I do believe that there is a section of the market that is being PULLED by a product or service because it will enhance their life, for example someone who buys shoes or is into collecting minatures does it for their pleasure not because there is a problem that they are tring to solve.

As such when you are planning your marketing messages I consider that one of the first things you should do is consider the following :

  • Are you solving a problem - if so what is the problem(s) that you are solving and describe it as succinctly as possible.
  • Are you creating pleasure for your clients - if so what is the pleasure you are providing and describe it as succinctly as possible.
  • What are the emotions that you believe your customer feels about their problem / pleasure and write down a list of the words that can describe these.
  • What empathy can you offer to relate to your customer about the problem / pleasure
  • Write down a list of sentences that use the emotions and empathy to connect with your customer.

Using the above details that you have identified, determine what your key marketing messages going to be.

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Monday, 15 July 2024