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How to Focus Your Marketing Messaging on What People Really Want

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Josh Haynam, the co-founder of Interact, a platform for creating lead capture quizzes. He frequently writes about using content effectively and getting the most from it. Follow Josh on Twitter @jhaynam. This is an adaptation from the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

We all have principles - driving forces within us that are motivation for why we act the way we do. When faced with decisions, we resort to our principles to make a choice, often without even consciously thinking about it. In marketing, it’s important to understand principles so we can gear our message towards them. To illustrate, let’s consider a scenario in which a variety of marketing people are considering purchasing a new technology for the organization, such as marketing automation. Take a look at why people buy depending on what his or her core principle is with the following hypothetical scenarios.

Tom is work centered: Tom is climbing the corporate ladder. He’s the type of guy who bosses don’t particularly like because they’re afraid he’ll take their job. Tom has neglected other things in life such as relationships and family to focus on his career.

Tom purchases marketing automation software to streamline his work so he can do more. If the product is positioned as a way to make Tom’s work take less time so he can accomplish more, he’ll bite.

Kate is success centered: Kate is the most ambitious person in the office. She’s always doing something new, whether it’s writing for the New York Times as a contributor or hanging out with elite businesspeople on the weekends. She’s the person in the office who everyone knows will someday be their boss.

For Kate, marketing automation represents a way to get ahead. Something to brag about on the golf course with her friends, an opportunity to succeed before others do, and a chance to be on the cusp of innovation so she can achieve more.

If I’m money centered: Bob knows the exact year he’ll become a millionaire based off of his investments. He is dead-set on being among the economic elite and will stop at nothing to reach his goals. Bob is the first guy to ask for a raise and the last guy to take extra vacation days unpaid.

Bob purchases marketing automation software so he can impress his boss and get a promotion, which comes with a raise. By streamlining his work, Bob is able to make more money.

If I’m pleasure centered: Ashley loves to have a good time. She’s the first one out the door at 5 p.m. every day and always has the low-down on all the music festivals. Ashley is the type of person you love to chat with because she’s always doing something amazing outside of work.

Ashley purchases marketing automation software so she can complete her work faster and hopefully eliminate having to stay late at work.

If I’m friends centered: Mabel had to miss out on her best friend’s birthday party last year because she was prepping for a big meeting the next morning, and she’ll never forget that day. Mabel is motivated by people and loves spending time with friends, work comes second.

For Mabel, marketing automation software is a way to make sure she never misses her best friend’s birthday party again. By cutting down on the number of tasks she has to do and eliminating manual data entry, she’ll never be stuck at work prepping again.

If I’m Self-Centered: George goes to the gym – a lot. He brings the craziest foods for lunch to maintain his sculpted look. He dresses in the fanciest clothes and always looks like a hundred bucks. You’ll often catch him browsing fashion sites or fitness magazines instead of filling in spreadsheets.

However, George does understand that he’s got to bring home a paycheck if he wants to maintain a posh lifestyle. George pulls the trigger and buys marketing automation software so he has more time to focus on himself.

If I’m spouse centered: Tim is newly married, and everyone in the office knows it. He avoids company lunches like the plague in order to get lunch with his wife every day. Every new hire who meets Jim gets the full run-down of wedding pictures and stories, whether they like it or not.

Tim is hyper-focused on his spouse and makes sure to never miss dates or special events the two have planned. If there’s a big meeting to prepare for and everyone is asked to stay late, Jim is the first to leave.

He purchases marketing automation software so he can balance his marriage and work more effectively. Instead of sacrificing work, he can get done what he needs to get done more efficiently and still keep up with the workload.

If I’m family centered: Larry has pictures of his wife and kids all over his desk – it’s almost a fire hazard because there are so many wooden frames everywhere. Larry is great, but his co-workers are getting tired of hearing about his kid’s soccer games – it’s just not that interesting.

Larry is successful and understands that his career is crucial to a great family life. He purchased marketing automation software to ensure that his career stays on a good path and he doesn’t risk falling behind the times.

The principles that guide us are the key to why we make decisions. Understanding what your prospect’s principles are and selling to those points is much simpler, yet more meaningful, way to engage with your audiences.

 Do you understand your audience's wants and needs? Check out our Guide, "How to Create Personas For Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy" for more. 

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