THIS ONE QUESTION WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

THIS ONE QUESTION WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

In marketing, it’s difficult to measure success based on one single metric, so we don’t, we look at a whole bunch of different metrics instead: website traffic, bounce rate, links, leads social engagement and conversions.

We take these key performance indicators (KPIs), crunch the numbers and use the results to shape content marketing campaigns. Which is fine. It works. After all, the numbers don’t lie.

But there’s something more important to measure; something that can’t be quantified. Because it’s not a metric, it a question:

Will they miss you when you’re gone?

Seth Godin said that. I’m sure he wasn’t the first person to say it. I think the question is derived from a biblical proverb. But Seth is the first person I’ve heard say it in the context of marketing.

It’s powerful, isn’t it? The more you think about it, the more profound it becomes. And it’s really simple.

If you don’t show up tomorrow, will anyone give a sh*t? Will they even notice that you’re gone?

We all like to think we’d be missed, but are we overselling ourselves? Are people really that bothered about your brand?

If you don’t send out that newsletter or update your Facebook page, will anyone question your whereabouts?

We all know that marketing is about providing value for the customer, but sometimes true value can get lost in the metrics.

So how can be you be sure that the value your content provides is the sort that you’ll be remembered for, and missed if it were no longer around?

Roll out the ‘True Value Test’

The True Value Test is the creation of David Tager of strategy and communications firm Tager & Co.

Here’s how it works:

  • Take a representative sample of your business’s target customers.
  • Provide them with one or more communications vehicles -- website, press release, sales collateral, social media post, etc.

Now, based on the materials, ask them:

  • Who does this organisation serve?
  • What distinct value do its customers or clients get from it?

If the answers aren’t consistent with the message you’re trying to convey, it could indicate a communications problem where messages aren’t connecting or a top-down problem where management isn’t clear on what the message is.

Ask customers what they want

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Granted, this isn’t always the way forward. Customers sometimes aren’t sure what they want or they’ll want vastly different things. And you can’t please everyone.

But consulting with customers can, and has, worked for brands.

California based clothing company Betabrand lets customers decide what they make. With no prior experience required, fans can visit the site, design and submit ideas. If enough people like it, the design will be crowdfunded. If it makes it to store, customers not only earn the right to call themselves fashion designers, they get 10% of sales for an entire year.

T-shirt company Threadless offers similar customer participation, and helped artists make $1.5m last year.  

Make customers part of your brand

If your customers are immersed in your brand, you’re damn right you’ll be missed if you’re not around.

GoPro is a fine example of this ‘one with the customer’ way of marketing.

Take a look at their YouTube channel. It has well over five million subscribers and more than a billion views. GoPro is one of the biggest brands on planet YouTube and virtually all of their videos are fan made.

It’s genius. GoPro gets a load of free content and fans get a huge platform for their videos. Beyond that, potential customers get to see the quality of GoPro products, as used by other customers.

If the GoPro YouTube channel disappeared tomorrow, there would be a lot of disappointed thrillseekers.

Show up often

I receive a ton of emails every day. Some I don’t even bother to open. The ones that I do open each have a common theme: they’re from people or brands that email often.

World-leading email copywriter, Ben Settle, sends out a daily newsletter. Sometimes it’ll be one email, sometimes six. Every day. One day I didn’t receive Ben’s email (I did, it just landed in the Gmail promotions tab) and instantly wondered where it was.

Why? Because I’ve become so used to receive Ben’s emails that they’ve become part of my daily routine.

Another entrepreneur, Yann Girard, does a similar thing: one email every day. Without fail. Doing so sees Yann achieve over 100,000 readers a month.

The moral of this little story: show up often, with valuable content and fans will have no choice but to miss you.

Go ahead and honestly ask yourself: will my customers miss me when I’m gone?

If there’s even a small chance of that being no, change the way you measure marketing success.

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