‘Top of mind’ is not the same as ‘close to heart’

Value PropositionThe last week of 2019 I’ve been working on a project in which I assessed two Industry marketing approaches. And while I immersed myself in the material and browsed through the content like a visitor, I realized that talking the language of the vertical is about so much more than just using some words that are common in that vertical. Too me it felt the sites I visited were merely there to put a stake in the ground and say: ‘We’re here! Come and check us out!’ It didn’t work. There was no click, so I didn’t click.

I guess we have all experienced this. We’re visiting a website, and although we know it’s aimed at us, it’s not grabbing our attention. Nine out of ten, the problem is not the experience of the vendor – to the contrary, they are often well established. The problem is the fact there’s no heart in the content. And when there’s no heart, it doesn’t feel we belong there.  It feels odd. There’s a disconnect. And that’s exactly what we do next: we disconnect. And that’s exactly how I felt as well.

So, what should we do different? What I have come to experience and see working time after time is the value that comes from building empathy with your audience. They often say, ‘stand in their shoes and aim to see the world the way they see it.’ I can tell you, that’s hard, but it’s worth putting the effort in. One very straight forward way to get that insight is to simply ask i.e. call a couple of customers that you are close to and have that discussion.

Ask them: What’s on their mind? What do they see? What is changing in their world – and how do they feel about that? What are their aspirations? What stresses them out? How does this change their priorities? What do they struggle with in order to achieve these priorities. What do they value and care about? What gives them energy? And obviously – how does your product help them make a difference within that picture?

With that in mind you can start to think how you deliver the most value to people like them, and how to communicate that in a way that hits the right nerve – where they’ll say ‘That’s me! You can spend millions on marketing to try to get noticed, be top of mind and attract visitors to your website. But clicks and being top of mind is not the same as being close to heart.

Here’s a challenge for you: Print out your home page and challenge it. How much empathy is really in it? More importantly: What can you change to make people feel they could become part of something they value?

Ps: Often we don’t see the wood before the trees – simply because we’re too involved. If that applies to you –  joining the Remarkable Effect Tribe might be of value. It’s for tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission, people like you, on a journey to do something big and meaningful. It’s all about leveling up, giving and getting generous feedback, to deliver our best work.

About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.