Which came first, the hunger or the hamburger on the billboard?
The modern consumer is hungry, and they’re looking for someone that will feed them full. The problem is, they don’t know who to trust. Brand loyalty is darn near dead, and the only thing that will revive it is the truth.
With all of the noise and manipulation in the modern market, this article will help you avoid getting mixed up in it. You'll learn how to tell a story that draws your target audience in and then successfully delivers.
“Everybody’s got a hungry heart.”
The Bigger Burger That Nobody Buys Anymore
People purchase your product or service when they are hungry for it. Sure, they would use a more domesticated word like, “ready” for it, but then again, they also don’t think of themselves as consumers.
When you take the lipstick off, marketing is really, “How do I make people hungry so they want to buy my product?” This is why the burgers are bigger on TV and why the models don’t look like us.
Sadly, this is how most of marketing is today. Over-promising and under-delivering. Lying, but smiling. Someone just wanted you to buy, so they said yes to all your questions. They showed you the bigger burger and you bought it. And then you opened it up to find something like this:
It’s so hard to remember and so easy to forget–the bigger burger isn’t real. The average person is seeing more than 4,000 marketing messages a day, all trying to tell people what they need. Imagine if you had 4,000 people a day preying on your insecurities. You would get pretty good at ignoring them!
A recent article from AdWeek spoke of the “atmosphere of disbelief” in advertising and how everyone knows it. This is similar to a recent Forbes article that said, “Today’s audience is a great deal more sophisticated than previous generations. They know how the machine works.”
Indeed, they do. This generation understands the machine of mass-manipulation, they see right through it and don’t buy it. The companies that have risen to the top by way of manipulation, leaving their customers hungrier than ever, are likely to find out how that hunger feels in the coming years.
A Better Story to Tell Your Customers
Here’s the incredibly great news about marketing for the foreseeable future: you can tell the truth and customers will appreciate it.
What does this look like? Positioning your company as the guide in your customer’s story. Underneath manipulation is the assumption that your customer isn’t that smart and that you have the power to fool them into a credit card swipe.
In this new story, your customer is educated and the hero of the narrative. You exist to help them win the day. They need to be informed with content that makes you nervous to freely share. They also need to feel empowered by you, because, in the end, they need it to make a powerful purchase.
If you took it upon yourself to inspire and educate your customer, to make them feel powerful and not powerless, you would gain the trust that a customer needs to make a purchase. Buying is vulnerable and trust is everything.
Here’s a piece of marketing collateral from Gerber Gear that gets “the hero” vibe across very well:
In a world where companies shame and manipulate their customers into buying, be the company that makes their customer feel unstoppable. Your customers will be glad you did.
Lastly, here are a few things you can do today to make your customer feel like the hero that they are:
- Make your website your audience’s dream-board. When they come to your website, you want to see a future version of themselves. Knowing what success looks like for your target audience and how success would feel for them is crucial.
- Update your case studies so that they are digestible, all about your clients success, and results-driven. Sometimes this is all it takes for your target audience to come aboard.
- Ask for client feedback and turn them into testimonials.
- Talk about your client’s success in your email campaigns. Get the word out about what’s happening for your customers.
- Ask your clients what content they would like to see more of. This will take the guessing out of content creation and help you make collateral that is truly beneficial.