“I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion… If everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way…” — Al Pacino as salesman Tony Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Your greatest enemy as a marketer is not your competition. It’s not the economy. It’s not even the IRS.
If your marketing message doesn’t cut through the noise, it will be lost.
Notice we didn’t say ignored. Nor did we say considered and dismissed. But lost.
It will evaporate into the ether without ever being heard or seen by your target customers. It will be drowned out by the incessant din of all the other marketing noise being blared at your potential prospects. All day. Every minute.
In fact, according to an advertising specialist, Americans are exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads and brand messages each day.
It may sound like marketing is useless when you consider how much competition you’re up against, but marketing done right is still highly effective and offers a worthwhile return. So, how do you cut through the noise to market effectively? Keep reading to find out.
1. Be Where Your Customers Are (And Where Your Competition Isn’t)
One of the first tricks to getting heard by your target customer is to be where your customers are, and where your competition is not.
At a recent seminar, a very successful marketer explained how he had spent a fortune on:
- Facebook and got thousands of clicks but no conversions
- Google ads and broke even on his CPA (cost per acquisition)
- Email lists and made a few sales but not enough to create any lift
Then he hit the jackpot and raked in a ton of quality leads that converted at high profitability.
What was the traffic source?
Full-page newspaper advertisements!
That’s so old school that it’s downright embarrassing, right?
Not if it helps your target customers find you. In the end, revenue is more important than the “coolness” of a channel.
Many marketers have a preference for trendy marketing channels and will stick with them no matter how much the costs increase or the returns decrease.
Instead, they’ll dig their feet in deeper and focus on CRO (conversion rate optimization) instead of trying to reach customers outside of their sandbox.
Now, the newspaper may not be where your target demographic spends their time, but what other advertising media are you overlooking because it’s not trendy or because ‘nobody else is doing it?’
Are you thinking like everyone else? Or are you looking for advertising media your competition has overlooked?
2. Talk About Your Customer’s Challenges (Not Yourself!)
One surefire way to get ignored by your target customer is to only talk about yourself. Talking about your CEO or detailed product features is, frankly, not going to stop your customer from scrolling past your email, social media post, or ad.
If you want to catch a prospect’s attention, talk about the challenges they’re facing. They’ll feel understood, especially if you use the same language they use when describing their challenge themselves. Even better, they’ll feel like you’re a credible option when they’re ready to purchase a solution because you’ve already shown that you understand them.
3. Stop Selling Your Product & Start Selling Solutions
Now that you’ve shown you understand your audience’s challenges, you can start selling your solutions. But don’t confuse solutions for features.
Instead of selling a credit card with 3% cash back (a feature), sell an easy way for a customer to save up for their next vacation (a solution).
Solutions are much more likely to catch someone’s attention because they’re very tangible, plus they speak to something your target audience is struggling with (trying to save money). It shows that you understand them and offer an automated, effortless way to put away cash for something that matters to them, like a vacation.
Deciding how to position your solutions so that they resonate with your target customer can be a challenge, which is why you need a plan for testing your strategies.
Start Cutting Through the Noise
If you’re ready to stop wasting your time and money on ads that no one will see, then you should start by looking at your data:
- Customer data in your CRM
- Google Analytics
- Competition data
- User surveys
- Your goal is to learn about where they spend their time online, where they look for solutions to their challenges, where they look for the solutions you offer, etc.
Then based on your data-driven analysis, create a series of hypothesis-based tests about your customers. Center these tests around:
- How you acquire clients
- Various methods to get from a ‘Freemium’ client into a paying one
- Creating referral incentives
- Ways to get your existing clients to purchase more services
Once you’ve determined the kinds of tests you’d like to run, you’ve got to figure out which channels you want to test. Below are some less conventional channels we’ve used in the past to help our clients gain traction.
We recommend picking just one or two new channels first and seeing if you get results. Soon, you should start seeing an impact as you gain market share while your competitors are still duking it out on Google & Facebook. And more importantly, you’ll uncover new customers at a lower CPA!
What are some ways you’ve cut through the noise in your industry and gained significant traction?
If you’re struggling to cut through the noise yourself, it may be time to get assistance with your marketing strategy from a digital marketing company like ours. Get in touch if you’re ready to get started.