What People Want

Every business has at least one thing in common, they are trying to figure out how to get their message heard. They want people to listen to their ads on the radio, resonate with their print ads or direct mail pieces, get a reaction from their Facebook fan page update, get a Retweet on their Twitter update, get click-throughs and conversions from their email newsletters and on and on and on.

How each business decides to craft that message varies. The images they use, the text, the frequency, the medium all changes from one to the next. One of the best ways to get your message heard is to have your message be something that people want to hear about.

So what DO people want?

People want information more than they want a sales pitch – No one actually wants a sales pitch. So why do companies continue to put out sales pitch after sales pitch? People want information about products, services and your company. Consumers want to know why you are unique and what services you can provide them with to make their lives better.

People want something to solve their problems – The primary reason people purchase products and services is because it makes their life better. How are your products and services going to make someone’s life easier, their work faster, their production increase et al.? Your primary marketing message should be letting people know what their benefit will be.

People want you to show more and tell less – People want you to tell them less about how great you are and they want to see it for themselves. Find away to show your experience, accomplishments and data on the return people will get from choosing your product or service.

People want a deal – Sometimes people know exactly what they want but they want a deal. They compare prices and features and want to feel they paid for a deal. They got their value and then some with their purchase.

People want pie – At the last Social Media Breakfast Maine, Brad Lawwill, general counsel at Pierce Promotions, spoke to the group about Social Media Policies. In his presentation he also touched on types of content companies are putting out versus the content your audience may want. He gave the example of his wife preparing a lovely chicken catetori dish and when it was placed in front of their two children, the children responded with “but I want pie for dinner.” Perhaps the perfectly crafted marketing messages and content are rich with information, images and targeted but perhaps that isn’t what your audience wants at all. So what do you do? Do you change your whole dinner plan and let them have pie? Do you force them to eat the chicken catetori? Or do you try to find a happy middle-of-the-road place?

How do you find out what your target market wants?

Maybe we should spend more time listening to our target demographics, potential and current customers and less time trying to market and sell things to them.

Here are a few ways to ask and listen to your audience:

  1. Online or email surveys
  2. Asking them during the sales process what information you could get for them
  3. Search realtime conversation website like search.twitter.com and see what people are saying about your industry, company, products
  4. Set up Google Alerts to get an email if someone mentions your products or business
  5. Measure what marketing messages (blog posts, direct mail pieces, email marketing campaigns) show return or at least a reaction and which ones fall on deaf ears
  6. Test different communication mediums to see which ones your audience resonates with the most

Sometimes we try so hard to be heard that we forget that we are trying to fill a need for our customers. Perhaps one of the best things you can do for your marketing is spend more time listening. How do you listen to your customers?