Make The Customer The Hero

Make your customers the hero of your stories. - ~ Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

Carol Forden Make The Customer The Hero  We’ve all heard it, the customer is the hero of your story, but what does this mean?  How is a start-up or early stage business do you position your target customer into your brand story?

Understand the Customers Story – Before you can put your client into the hero’s role you have known who they are, what motivates them, where they came from, what’s bugging them and what your customer really would like to have that they do not know today.

Carol Forden Make The Customer The Hero  How do you find this information?

It starts with asking, listening, digging for information and paying close attention to answers. Customer surveys, Reddit, forums and other are great

Customer survey’s, Reddit, forums and other are great sources of information, however, at the end of the day, you need to get out and talk to your target customer.  You want to know what makes them tick.

One of the many things that I have done in the past is to go out and meet with a group do my target audience for coffee at Starbucks and other.

Partaking in this exercise, allowed me to ask questions and dig in much deeper than a survey or other would.

Having one-on-one time is probably the greatest marketing research tool you could do. You could learn more than you would ever need about a person by going with them and asking high gain, open ended questions.

Putting in the effort affords you the opportunity to spend time and earns the right to learn about your customer or target customer outside of your business thought process and context. Then follow up and note everything they share in social media for even more insights.

The way to earn trust than to demonstrate you understand their story and motivations.

Every Story Needs An Adversary – Every great story has a bad or evil villain, it’s what makes us root cheer for the good guy.

Many times when you draw your customer closer by assisting them to understand who or what the adversary is. Sometimes they may not realize what the problem is that your business can solve. Many times you have to help them see the extent of the adversary’s grip.

Sometimes they may not realize what the problem is that your business can solve. Many times you have to help them see the extent of the adversary’s grip.

Your story needs to help your customer understand who the adversary is, it can be wasted effort, lost an opportunity, living in pain, or needless risk.

Carol Forden Make The Customer The Hero

Your job is to help them know what they are up against and offer a solution.

The Call To Duty – To be a hero you must be called into action.

Your marketing story must give them hope that they have the power to overcome whatever the challenge is.

I know this is starting to sound a little dramatic, but that’s the point, a connection to a higher purpose or at least a meaningful idea is much stronger than only trying to convince someone that they need what you have to offer.

To create impact in the life of your customer, they need to feel like what you have to offer is hope and empowerment. Those are pretty strong words, and you have got to believe them if your customer is going to be the center of your story.

Help Them Persist– Once you know who your customer is through surveys, meetups, following them on social media and similar, you are aware that they are having a tough time and they have suffered through trying to get results that are not easily available.

Ideally, you now have an idea of what their current and future challenges are and what they are doing to try to overcome them.

The goal is to help them look for solutions to their obstacles and challenges.  As a brand, you need to demonstrate that you have their back and will be there for them.

This is where actual customer experience comes in.

The service and follow up, staying in touch via newsletters, blog posts, product extensions that enhance your value to the client and bringing real value instantly and is where you excel.

This needs to be a seamless experience and not be an exception.

The customer must feel and realize that this is how your company operates; that you are concerned about their welfare and your business and brand work in earnest to better.

Carol Forden Make The Customer The Hero  The customer must feel and realize that this is how your business operates; that you are concerned about their welfare and your business and brand work in earnest to better their lives.

Enable Them – To enhance the customer experience, your job is to assist your client in understanding how your product offering has helped them and how to quantify the results that they have seen.  Moreover, to help them in knowing how your product has enhanced the lives of those they impact upon.

A Brand Story Exercise – Take your marketing copy and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your copy demonstrate who your target customer is?
  • Does it explain the real challenges your customers face?
  • Does it offer hope for what a future without those challenges could be like
  • Does it give a solution for how those problems could be addressed or managed?
  • Does it offer proof that others are indeed experiencing these results?

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