One time I heard Gary Vee say that Uber doesn’t sell transportation, Uber sells time.
What he means is that Uber provides a means to give people their time back, which happens to be a human’s most valued asset (whether they realize it or not).
This concept sent me down a path of thinking about what customers TRULY want beyond our products and services.
After digging deep, talking to a few influencers, having several conversations with The Modern Marketer community, and evaluating the hundreds of interactions I have had with clients and customers, I narrowed it down to 6 things.
…6 things that our customers truly want, besides our products and services.
Customers want collaboration
A few months ago, I read a book called “The One Minute Negotiator.”
It was a very eye opening book that caught me by surprise. At first, I didn’t really think I would care much about ‘negotiation skills.’
Man, was I wrong.
Almost everything in life is a negotiation when other humans are involved. Period. Everything from choices in your household, to situations with employees, to business decisions, to buying and selling and everything in between.
I started to realize that there was a lot more to learn about the subject of negotiation.
The first mindset I had to break was that when I think of negotiation, I tend to think about the fact that someone has to come out on top. That’s the biggest myth of negotiating.
There is no winner in true negotiation.
This book split negotiation into a quadrant of Negotiation strategy:
The book went through each quadrant and explained that when you are competing, avoiding, or accommodating, someone loses which means everyone loses.
But when the negotiation reaches collaboration, that’s when growth, opportunity and peace happen.
I’ve really been taking this same principle into all areas of my business. Finance, HR, sales, and marketing.
Whether big or small, you have to learn to be a collaborator. To have enough emotional intelligence and self-awareness to create situations where the parties involved collectively win.
Customers want positive interactions
One of the things I strive for in my content is to use words like “we, us, ours” instead of “you, yours” etc.
My reasoning is simple.
…I know, it sounds silly.
But, I know plenty of businesses and organizations off the top of my head who are trying market but every time they have any public facing marketing message, they talk AT their audiences.
…and often in a negative tone, without even realizing it.
Their content is titled “why your _____ doesn’t work” or “5 ways to stop sucking at ______” or “my beef with _______” and on and on and on.
Their brand voice talks about why a customer needs something, or doesn’t realize something, or is missing out on something.
Their conversations with customers on social media give off the vibe that the customer or client is an inconvenience to them and a waste of their time. Short answers. No enthusiasm.
I get it, you need to sell. But you don’t have to have an “I am doing you a favor” mindset in marketing.
I urge you to stop talking to your audience like you have the solutions and are on a higher level than they are.
My mentor once told me that true professionals don’t give advice from the perspective of always being on top–the truth is that even when you have a better product, service, perspective or experience, your tone should always be positivity.
So, if you are a bakery, a kids clothing brand, a pool installer, a consultant, a publication or any business in any industry use positivity in your content. Change your headlines, your content, your ads, and your emails and shift it all to a positive light.
Yes, there is a certain ‘stickyness’ in blunt, solid value that has a little spritz of friction here and there. I get it. But, don’t adopt an approach or tone of negativity.
Positivity breeds virality. Remarkability breeds virality. Practicality breeds virality.
Customers want to be a part of something big
Of the consumers in our study who said they have a brand relationship, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason.
This was an awesome statistic coming from Kapost’s website that really hit me hard because I know that many of the hard core Modern Marketer fans share similar values with us.
Our team cares deeply about our customers’ and clients’ success, about the people in our circles, about our audiences and ultimately about providing products, services and business that people CAN TRULY believe in.
Because of that authenticity, we are able to have deep relationships and influence with our customers and audiences.
So let me ask you this.
How do you plan on sharing your values with customers? It’s not a trick question. The answer is content. The answer is media. The answer is storytelling.
At this point in digital marketing, how do we still have entrepreneurs and business owners that don’t understand content is the only way. Literally. Tell me 1 other way that you can sell people without content.
Go ahead… try to sell one thing without a single piece of content.
Other than being spammy or using black hat techniques.
Let your consumers have relationships with you on an intimate level and share the values, mission, vision and objectives of your company. Market with purpose.
Customers want to be loyal to brands
Building loyalty with 5% more customers would lead to an increased average profit per customer of 25-100%.
Vertical, vertical, vertical, vertical.
You need to think vertical instead of horizontal.
- You need understand that growing vertical with 5% of your customer base is better than growing horizontal with 95% of your customer base.
- You need to understand that it’s better to have 100 people follow you on social media that care, than 10,000 that kinda care or don’t give a crap.
- You need to understand that it’s better to have 1 brand advocate, than 10 customers who are decently satisfied but probably won’t buy again.
- You need to understand that it’s important to prioritize what actually matters in your business and ignore the rest until you have so many customers and so much revenue that your only play left is to look horizontal.
Some of you spend day after day after day reaching wider and wider. Instead of spending your time going deeper.
You are about to start video marketing when your blog sucks.
You are about to start going on Snapchat when you haven’t figured out how to leverage Facebook and Instagram.
You are about to implement a new product when you have figured out how to maximize the funnel of your last product.
You are about to run a mail out campaign when you haven’t figured out how to make customers stay with your brand.
You are about to run advertising dollars when you haven’t satisfied the people who are ALREADY giving you money.
You’re thinking wide-wide-wide-wide when you should be thinking deep-deep-deep-deep.
Trust me. I see you. And I want this to empower you to take a different direction with your efforts.
Customers want community
One of the things that I’ve seen over and over again is the power of community.
- The first business I started in my career was a music education community. 1,000,000 views on Youtube in 8 months, tens of thousands across social media, tens of thousands in unique traffic per month
- The business I currently run has a brand called The Modern Marketer with tens of thousands in the community and is already one of the fastest growing marketing brands on social media.
If you think of the top brands that you purchase from, or pay attention to, there is a community behind that brand in most cases.
Communities are powerful because the driving force behind a good community is value.
Building a community is another one of those marketing approaches that a lot of small to medium sized owners and entrepreneurs don’t think they are qualified to do. If you have a product or service that has purpose, vision and passion behind it (which you should) it’s possible that creating a community is exactly what you need to reach that next level.
Again, the first business I ever built was 150% reliant on the community we built behind it. Our most successful client accounts have active communities behind them. The Modern Marketer is great because of YOU the community. Not because of me. Because of community
Yes, I personally provide the daily value, but all of you provide the amazing stories. The great businesses. The insane perspective on social media and so much more. I’ve learned just as much from all of you by creating this community as you’ve learned from my team and I, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
So, I encourage you to evaluate if you have what it takes to build a community, where that community would live and what type of value you would continually serve to them.
Side-note: To close this section, I will name some companies/brands with an awesome “community” behind them. Frank Bod, Foundr Magazine, Adobe, Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, Jack Threads, Birch Box, Fight The New Drug, Harley Davidson, Playstation.
Customers want to help YOU grow
I am very self-critical—overtime, however, I’ve learned a little trick about feedback simply by pulling from two sides of the same spectrum.
- My significance as a human and a business owner isn’t predicated on customer feedback, good or bad.
- Customer feedback is authentic and raw and it’s exactly what I need to become the best version of myself.
I had an instance recently where I knew that I was a little behind on something for a client. There was no way I could have gotten ahead because I am a human and only have so many hours in a day.
The client wasn’t even upset, but I reflected internally and thought to myself “do I just want to have clients that aren’t upset, or do I want to have clients that are raving about my work?” So, I corrected the situation, communicated, and moved on.
We need to have the self-awareness first to understand that customer feedback is necessary and second understand that even when a customer isn’t “mad,” if they aren’t raving about you then you need to improve something.
That last statement was for someone out there reading this.
Let it sting and go make some changes.
You can’t scale a business with satisfied customers. You scale a business with raving customers. People who just can’t get enough of you and your brand.