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What Keeps Them Awake At Night?

Marketing is all about relevance.
Your messages need to be absolutely relevant to your target audience so that their response is
“this guy’s talking to me. He understands my issues”.
As a marketer this is what you need – to really understand the deep fears and motivations of your prospects, the fears that keep them awake at night and which you have the solution to.

Now to do this you need to have a very clear picture of who your target audience is. This is where creating an avatar of your prospects is important. By this I mean you need to create a very detailed picture of your ideal prospect.
Is this person male or female? How old are they? How much money do they earn? Do they have kids? What sort of house do they live in? What job do they do etc etc. Only once you have this detailed picture can you get inside their heads to know what motivates them and what their deep fears are.
Now, the point here is that the real fear may be different to the more obvious one that immediately springs to mind.

Let’s look at an example.
A business person’s first level fear is that if they don’t get more customers the business will suffer and they may have to lay off employees.
That’s a real fear but the more horrific fear is that he will be letting down (by laying off) people he considers almost like family – a very deep, very powerful fear that cuts beneath the surface issue.
If we can get to the psychological root of the issue, we can position our solution as addressing that fear.

Tapping into that fear is powerful.

So how do we get to the deeper fears that your prospects have?

Start with a fear or a problem your prospect has.

Then ask yourself ”If they don’t solve this problem, what will happen?” or “If this fear comes true, what will happen?”
We now need to dig down one more level.
To do that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the prospect – which is why it’s so important to create the avatar and to have the deep understanding of who your prospects are.
What you come up with now is the deep fear. The real thing they’re scared about.
And it’s almost always an emotion.

So how do we communicate this?

The fact is that we need to handle it very carefully. What you don’t want to do is wade in with something like “I know you’re afraid of letting down the ones you love.”

No, in our communication we want to communicate three points.
1) I understand. One way to do this by telling a story about someone who is very similar to them who has this fear.
2) It’s OK. You’re not alone. Lots of people have this fear.
3) Here’s a solution that’s worked for them, and I think you’ll find it helpful.
Done in this way, the recipients can say to themselves “that’s precisely what I’m thinking/feeling.”

This enables us to enter that conversation that’s already going on in their heads and positions us as the perfect solution to their problems.