Have you ever just started a blog and then within a year or two got featured in Huffington Post, Business2Community and JeffBullas.com? Didn’t think so. But don’t go crying into a bucket of Ben & Jerry’s whilst watching The Notebook too quickly; there’s still hope for you yet young Padawan.
We grabbed a cup of tea with Kasey Luck, the producer of your new go-to email marketing bible, Bold & Zesty, to pick her brains for our Marketing Heroes Series to learn what wizardry she’s conjuring to achieve some pretty outstanding results for her and her clients.
From doing her time at 500 Startups, where Kasey worked in Event Marketing, she learned how to do a bit of everything. From there, she developed the necessary skills and gained the know-how to create her own marketing consultancy business – nicely done Kasey. If you’re looking to do something similar or in the process of doing so, I’ve been really lovely and provided you with a breakdown of the 4 key things she does to be a Marketing Maestro.
1. Don’t just find out who your customers are, find out what they DO
Defining your target audience and writing out your customer persona is Marketing 1-0-1. Most startups and organizations can proudly real-off the neatly written personas they’ve created for each of their products and their carefully designed marketing strategy, but what does this description of a person mean in a practical sense? Kasey explains that organizations can have an idea of their customer persona, but they don’t actually know how they behave.
You might know your persona’s age, their likes, their problems and pain points, what they’re most interested in right now; you might have even taken the liberty to give your persona a name and a face, but have you asked yourself questions such as “How do they make purchasing decisions?”, “What are the triggering factors”, “What’s the buyer’s thought process?”? Kasey challenges organizations to really know they’re audience by asking these types of questions. She explains:
“You need to know intimately what they go through to make a purchasing decision”
2. Don’t use your intuition, discover the REAL problem
“Let’s just ask Fred, the new intern – he’s a millennial” is NOT, I repeat NOT, a sufficient substitute for doing proper research and investigating your target audience. Whether you’re thinking “Oh, shit we do that” or “WTF, people actually do that?!” I’ll leave you with the recommendation of Kasey, whilst I breathe into this brown paper bag and calm myself down:
“Right, so we’ll take a scenario where you know your target customer, here’s what I recommend; actually talk to them and really understand all their problems that you help them with, what they struggle with, everything that would help you understand what they care about”
(I hope that Good Cop, Bad Cop team-up worked because I don’t want to have to use it again)
If you’re not sure where to actually find your target audience Kasey gives some really nice practical advice:
“Of course, talking to people is not enough, it’s a good start, but another thing that I recommend to people and companies that I work with is that your community already exists somewhere; you’re probably not the first person who is doing X. The people you’re targeting are probably already congregated somewhere – find those places and really study what they’re interested in, what they’re reading, liking, sharing and stuff like that. There are tools to do it; you can find out what blogs they’re reading and see what gets the most shares and that way you know which topics your customers really care about and then you can create content that speak to those problems, and study what’s already out there in terms of content marketing and either do it 10Xs better, cover it better, or find a topic that hasn’t been covered and tackle it in a way that the readers wouldn’t be able to resist. It’s hard, but that’s what you got to do.”.
3. Stop telling them you ‘sell fast cars’
You read that right. You’re not giving them a service or a product, you’re not selling them anything, in fact, it’s not even about you. Kasey makes a great point in highlighting the difference between rookie and experienced Marketers: the nuance of the approach and how you view what you do:
“So many companies focus on their features and what they are, basically. Instead, really know your customer and what they care about and focus on what you can do for them; your value and your benefit to them. It’s a fine line and seems like those are the same thing, but it’s all about phrasing and your approach to this. Instead of saying “I sell fast cars”, which is describing your feature, you can say in your copy and content “In our cars, you will get somewhere twice as fast” – it makes a big difference”
BOOM. Pause the video. Think about all those times you worked endlessly to find the perfect way to talk about your product. Now you realise you had the wrong goal all this time. It’s like being on a date: You work so hard on the perfect script to impress your date – you’ve got reams of high quality stuff about how you’ve got a nice apartment, and you’re doing this thing, and you’re this kind of person, but you’ve failed to understand that your date just wants to know whether you’re going to be cool with watching Game of Thrones with a bottle of wine. Problem solved.
Understand that the customer does not care about you, they care about their problem being fixed. Whether you can convince them of that will come down to whether you write in a way that appeals to them solving their problem.
4. Do it again, but better
In the kind and nurturing words of Bop It “Do it again, but better” Just because you’ve redrafted your content with the mindset that you’re fixing a problem rather than selling a shiny new product, it doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to be constantly evaluating where you can improve. Ask yourself “How do I make them click?” Kasey describes the process she uses with her clients:
“Look at each stage and look at what point you lose customers: on the technical side, like load speeds; install tools to see what people are actually doing on your page – actual videos of people’s movements. You can see where people spend most time and so you can see what people like and what people are missing”
Note that there is more than one way of doing this: technical and heuristic. Technical is about the actual functioning of your page and the other is about the usability and ease with which people can make purchasing decisions. It’s important to assess all ways that you are preventing people from actually buying from you.
“I see how many people go the help section to find an answer for something that was not obvious or answered”
This can be as basic as important information missing or inaccessible, not having a clear button or click-through process. Often it’s things that go under the radar until Fred the new intern mentions it a few months down the line when your campaign failed and he’s been tasked with going over the old campaign to get himself familiar.
“The most common mistake that I see people making is that they try to sell at each and every stage of the buyers’ journey, but they are not ready to buy. Most of your customers are still at the awareness stage, maybe they just clicked pricing because they wanted to have a look but they might not be ready”
Kasey helps organizations reassess their sales funnel and look at what they’re trying to achieve with each bit of content, which stage which buyer is at. Sometimes you’ve got to sweeten Mom up before you ask her for money.
I really hope that these 4 takeaways help you in setting up your own personal practice and give you some clarity and confidence on how you could be the next person I’m writing about for our Marketing Heroes Series! Or if you’re still looking for some guidance and inspiration check out our other Marketing Heroes like Sujan Patel or Emilia Chagas.