Call it empathy, call it sales psychology, or just call it marketing, but one of the most important parts of any marketing campaign or project is having a strong hypothesis about what your prospects really want, and a plan for how you’re going to give it to them.
If you know the top 3 things on their “WIIFM” list – What’s In It For Me – you can turn even a small marketing budget, or a small piece of sales collateral, into a high performer.
Let’s take a website project, for example.
There are a number of talented designers, web developers, internet marketing specialists, etc. out there working at agencies, consultancies, as freelancers, or in-house that can build a website, and probably make it “better” than the one you have, if your main concern is simply that your site is a bit outdated.
But the question shouldn’t just be “How can I update my website so it looks better than it does now”.
It should be something along the lines of “How do I take whatever budget and timeline that I have, and use this opportunity to create something that is a BIG step forward – a tool that helps me shorten my sales process, increase my conversion rate, increase the time visitors spend on my site, and create valuable lead flow for my organization.”
One of the best ways we’ve found to create a site with immediate impact is by walking the client through these 5 questions before we start thinking about design or information architecture of a new site:
- Who are our clients? If B2C list everything we know about them. If B2B, be sure to identfiy not only the companies and their size, but who are the people within the prospect’s organization that would hire us? Is it the CFO, the CEO, the IT Manager, the Assistant to the CEO – who are we talking to?
- What is the driving force behind someone hiring us? What is going on in their lives that is causing them to seek us out as a potential solution? What are they feeling, how urgent is the scenario, and what are the same generic things that other providers are telling them that will put them to sleep?
- What role do we believe the website plays in our sales process? Is it a lead generation tool? Is it simply a validation point after someone gives us a referral, or someone in sales initiates a conversation with a prospect? Put more simply – when do people come to our site, and what are they looking to do/read/understand?
- How do visitors currently use our site? We don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot by ignoring real user data that we already have.
- What does the competitive landscape look like? What do we have to show to demonstrate expertise, experience, etc. to show that we not only belong, but are leaders?
- And lastly, and I know I’m dumping a lot into one loaded question – What are the most important things a client would care about this month, this year, in this competitive landscape, and how can we address that in an interesting and meaningful way as quickly and directly as possible on the site?
Most website projects start with companies or agencies trying to cram all of the information they have, or at least all of the information they have on their current site, into a new design. Same content, just a newer, less-ugly-more-current version of what they already have.
If you start with by focusing on who your client really is, what’s driving their interest, and what they really want – even if they’re not telling you – you’ll be able to answer their WIIFM questions and move them to the next step of your sales process sooner, rather than later.