Customers Have Feelings
1. The Thought Process: How to think like a Growth Hacker and hack every system you find.
2. Instagram: Grow your Instagram following by thousands per day, and turn that into sales.
3. The Perfect Landing Page: Based on millions of data points from thousands of companies.
4. SEO in One Day: Exactly what you need to do find and rank for the best keywords. It works every time.
5. Becoming an Authority Site: Hijack the discussion of the web and become the authority overnight.
6. Getting Press: Exactly how to reach thousands of reporters per day with the perfect, personalized pitch.
7. Twitter: If you don't get 50 highly targeted leads/signups per day using Twitter you're doing it wrong.
8. Pinterest: They say it's the hardest social network to growth hack. It's among the easiest.
9. YouTube: The YouTube ranking system is quite simple, and we can easily beat it.
10. App Store Optimization: Steal downloads and customers from your competitors with barely any work.
11. Paid Search Marketing: With focus on Facebook & Google, we beat their systems to get dirt cheap ads.
12. How to Track Almost Anything: How to measure what works and what doesn't with precision.
13. Content Marketing: Probably the reason you ended up reading this table of contents in the first place.
14. Live Presentations & Sales: How to give rooms full of people your sales pitch for free, as often as you'd like.
What is This Book About?
This seemed like the best way to do it. For me, someone that grew up alongside the evolution of digital communication, to sit you down and tell you everything I know. Well, not everything I know, but at least everything I’ve come to learn about acquiring customers.
If you’re in the Marketing world at all, you’ll most likely find solace in my customer discovery framework or my playful outreach strategies. If you’re a business owner, you’ll feel drawn to my thoughts on corporate self-awareness.
That’s right. I like to treat businesses like they have a pulse. A beating open heart in fact. And whether you’re trying to stop the bleeding or become more muscular, everything you’re about to read takes place in front of a mirror. In other words, it all starts with your DNA. Your mission. Your people.
From there, we’ll walk through how that connects with an external group of people to create a community.
Where other books lure you in with trendy terms like Growth Hacking or Bootstrapping a Startup, this book is designed to take a realistic and actionable glimpse into the soul of customer relationships.
If by the end of this book, you don’t feel like you can 10X your startup (buzzword points!), send me an email so we can discuss your action items together.
Let’s get into it.
Section 1: Building Your Brand
The 5 Phases of Marketing Growth:
Section 2: Understanding Your Customer
The 3 Perceptual Stages of Consumer Brands:
- 1.Unknown: Pure first touch. No trust. Either a complete leap of faith or a great deal of due diligence is required at this stage. This is where Kickstarter brands tend to flourish. The best success stories are rooted in ambitious ideas or relatable people trying to do good.
- 2.Unbiased: The impression could fall between first and fifth - as long as the customer has not conducted any brand research yet.
- 3.Reputational: Driven typically by a sale, product launch, or a perfectly timed problem/solution scenario, the brand has enough of a track record for new customers to know where to go for answers. They’ll ask their friends, social networks, or audit the marketplace for competitors. Either way, they know the facts will lead them to a purchase or not.
- 4.Familiar: Educated customers in the related industry know of the brand. At some point, the customers have either made a decision for or against the prospect of buying, have bought in the past, or are waiting for the right opportunity to make the purchase.
- 5.Behemoth: Over 99% of the company’s target market knows the company exists. These brands market and advertise to stay top of mind and/or control the narrative. Often times, the messages distributed by these companies derive from new product lines, creative and/or humor-based promotional campaigns, or community-building purposes.
Section 3: Marrying Brand & Customer
Where To Start
You. Me. Your neighbor. My grandma. That weird guy Carl you just met.
We all have a lot in common. For starters, we’re all human beings. We all have emotions, desires, and cravings. We all have things we want, things we need. We may differ in our preferences, but our decisions are made in the same way.
We’re all customers.
We all buy things. Whether it’s a spice we need for a recipe, that new outfit we saw the mannequin modeling, or the Ferrari we know we didn’t actually need to splurge on, most of these purchases are rooted in beliefs, biases, and perceptions that either originated from the product manufacturers themselves, or through the power of reputation via word of mouth. Either way, as customers, we’re connecting with that message. We’re connecting with the value we’re being told we’ll receive.
Above all else, we’re trusting companies. Everyday customers engage with brands that can potentially make lives better. By feeding, clothing, protecting, enlightening, or exciting human beings, brands are positioned to fulfill the lives of their customers - one engagement at a time.
The following is the re-telling of the greatest love story of them all… the one between the brand and the customer.
What is a Brand?
Let’s start at the beginning. Before there were ever customers, there once stood an island of festering ideas. These concepts of innovation stirred inside the first creators of the world. From these thoughts came the advent of the lightbulb, the telephone, and the motor vehicle.
Invention breed product, though. Good products
Whenever a brand can be built on top of an urgent problem, you bear witness to how a person’s need is superior to a customer’s craving. A need is something that an individual can not live without. A want, on the other hand, can simply be classified as a toy. What’s left in-between the two is the distribution of disposable income.
When you build your product around a need, your target demographic expands. In a sense, it expands beyond measure since the product applies as a utility and not an accessory. Depending on how you look at it, this could be good and bad. Expanding your target audience makes for a larger opportunity to reach customers, but it also reduces relevance. The problem would have to be so deeply embedded into life scenarios for the result to play out positively.
Using my framework you will be able to Target exactly who your beachhead is and take your company to the next level. Marketing is one of the most important parts in business. If you don't know who you're targeting, you're going to spend advertising money without a purpose. This results in money essentially going down the drain.
Customer and Prospect Discovery Questions
These four discovery questions are designed to help us determine our target market’s triggers and pinpoint what the relevant issues are so we can effectively educate and build a case for selling to them in our messaging.
Answering these questions is the first step in writing powerful marketing content, and must be completed prior to writing headlines, documents, letters, or lead generation tactics.
The goal is to extract emotional statements and stories that reveal deep wants or fears from our buyers.
Get beyond ‘list’ answer and find out the “Why” behind their wants and needs. When the customer says “Price” is important, that is your queue to learn what happens when the price is too high. When the customer says “Speed” is important, that is your invite to capture what happens when the speed is too slow.
You will need to prompt your interviewee to get deeper. We ask for outlandish answers because we want emotional and transparent statements of what really matters to them.
Please plan to record at least 40 of these interviews.
Questions to Ask:
- 1.What is the best experience or the most frustrating experience you’ve ever had when doing business with a X?
- 2.If you had it to do over again, what types of materials or proof or evidence would help you make a better-informed decision?
- 3.When you first start looking for X, what led up to that and what was your process for it?
- 4.What are the most convincing offers or guarantees that a X could offer that could win you over?
What is the criteria for success?
A successful interview captures emotional, unfiltered descriptions of polarized feelings, events, or outcomes. This is why it is live instead of asynchronous.
Instead of “Price is important.” which we already know, we want “I lost the local contract because I couldn’t quote with the options I needed.”
40% should be prospects who said “no” to doing business with us.
After collecting between 10 to 20 per person, we consolidate and group all of the wants, scenes, knowledge, and assurances together, and map these to our ability to deliver and create effective triggers and messaging for them.
It’s alright to modify the questions.
Modify the questions to fit the scenario, but report changes back to your advisor to ensure consistency.
How to balance time?
Your customers (prospects) are doing you a courtesy by agreeing to take part in these interviews. The shorter their time is, the more likely they are qualified.
You will find that most interviews cannot cover all questions thoroughly. Take a look at what is missing in prior conversations, and emphasize these in the later conversations.
The best answers come toward the end when the prospect has let go of the “I want out of this call in 2 minutes” thinking and has resigned themselves to simply being open about providing their input.
Never explain, sell, or correct them.
If the customer says “You cracked my bank account and stole all the money after selling me your product.” then say, “We’ll definitely need to rectify that. Tell me more about what happened.”
If the customer says “I didn’t and won’t do business with you because you don’t sell “Blue Widgets” (and you specialize in Blue Widgets), DO NOT correct the customer. Instead, ask, “If we were to sell Blue Widgets, what would be the best way to get your attention that they’re the best ones for you?”
Don’t forget to record these calls to be transcribed thereafter.
Always attempt to capture a recording. This frees you to focus on the conversation instead of taking notes.
Remember that you must always have permission before recording a conversation with a customer. You’ll need a telephony solution for this.
Speechpad provides great transcription services for $1/minute, if interested.
Hi Jeff, This is Pat from _____ thanks for taking my call. [pause] [possible banter/boundaries etc]
The reason I’m calling is to give you the stage for a moment, and listen to your opinions on _________.
I’ve got four questions and I’ll just listen to what you think. Are you OK with that? [pause] [possible banter/boundaries etc]
Oh! This is just for our internal managers - is it OK if it record your answers so we can listen to your advice internally here? [short pause] [if not yes or long pause… then ] It’s only for internal review by our managers to improve. Thanks!
[If no] No problem at all Jeff. [STOP the recording and continue with questions]
OK - the first question.. I need you to really not hold back here… ;
- 1.What is the BEST experience OR … the most FRUSTRATING experience you’ve ever had when doing business with a _________
- 1.Hard time answering? Ask OK, let me ask in another way… If you had to do it all over again, would you choose us (or if chose a competitor, choose them), recommend us (them), make the same decision? Why?
- 2.OK I got your BEST experience - Can you recall a time when you were frustrated doing business with a ______?
- 3.OK I got your MOST FRUSTRATING experience - Can you recall a time when you were REALLY HAPPY doing business with a ______?
- 2.If you had it to do over again, what types of materials or proof or evidence would help you make a better-informed decision?
- 1.OK - hard to remember - right? Posed a different way, what were the factors that ended up convincing you in the end?
- 3.When you first start looking for [ ], what led up to that and then what was did your process look like?
- 1.Biggest frustrations you had during the search process?
- 2.Words used, like in Google, to describe what you were searching for
- 3.What had the most influence on your choices?
- 4.Can you think of where you’ve seen ads for _________?
- 5.What are your opinions on how we should make others aware of ________
- 4.What are the most outlandish and convincing offers or guarantees that a ____________ could offer that would compel you to to choose them?
When buying/using what we sell, what do users want or want to avoid? This defines Triggers and Assurance (share knowledge and persuade). We don’t use these phrases directly in the messaging. That’d erode credibility. But we do transform these into applicable messaging tokens to be used across channels.
List bullet points of all participating team members below:
Logan (Examples as place holders):
- Avoid: Confrontation with customer when major part fails
- Avoid: Feeling of being ‘taken’ with new parts supplier
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