Who’s the person you think about the most? Chances are it’s yourself. I don’t blame you, we’re all biologically predisposed to put our personal well being first; it’s linked to our survival instinct. Unfortunately, sometimes this natural animal trait interferes with our ability to develop successful relationships and be effective at marketing. To be really good at marketing you have to stop thinking about yourself and start putting your customer first.
You see, “marketing” is defined as a set of activities for the purpose of identifying the customer, satisfying the customer, and keeping the customer to meet the objectives of an organization. The fact “customer” is mentioned three times and “organization” only once is by design. My customer’s don’t really care about “me” or my “organization”, they care about themselves and it’s our job as marketers to make sure we’re thinking about their needs more than ours.
Many companies and marketers fall into the trap of only thinking about themselves. This is evident in the promotions people clog up social media channels with, newsletters that only talk about what’s new at the respective company, and blog posts that are nothing more than long sales letters disguised as “information”. Yes, I know that self-promotion is a part of marketing, but there’s many ways of doing it besides always coming across as “Me first and the gimme gimmes”.
As an exercise, the next time you’re preparing a marketing or social media communication consciously try to not talk about yourself. Focus on messages that might be informative or entertaining to your audience. For instance, instead of sending out a newsletter with your latest promotions or company news try providing a link to a useful article that will enrich your audience’s lives (tips, stats, expert advice, reviews, etc). And when making a social media update try share a link to an interesting article or make a witty observation on society. Perhaps your next social media communication could even be a reply to somebody else’s message.
The focus should be on what’s important to your audience and meeting their needs. Resist the urge to brag, self promote, or give updates on mundane aspects of your life/business. Practice this for a bit you’ll be over yourself in no time and ready for a new relationship with your customers. If you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you.
By no means am I perfect marketer and I still have a lot of learning to do. What are your thoughts? Do you have feedback or a personal example you can share? Please comment below.