It’s about me, me, me, me, me. OK, it’s about you.

You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.
— Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People

Whether you’ve read the Dale Carnegie classic How to win friends and influence people or not, most people have a sneaking suspicion that unless they possess the features of a Storm model, a dull 60 minute monologue on a topic of their choice delivered at a Saturday afternoon BBQ will have their audience make excuses about needing to help Jane out in the kitchen with the potato salad.  

We all get instinctively that to make a connection with someone we need understand and be focused on what’s interesting and important to them.

Marketing is no different. You can have all the right channels and all the pretty branding but if you are talking about parts of your business that aren’t interesting or relevant to your customer you will lose them to the mayonnaise and bacon bits.

Like getting to know anyone, knowing your customer takes time, thought and some questions. An exercise we do with our clients is called ‘customer feel and do’. For at least an hour, slide off your shoes and firmly plant your feet in your customer's. Work on how your client feels about their lives, their situation, the things they like about themselves, the things they don’t and what worries them.

I find this exercise much more helpful in developing a solid foundation for your social media marketing than the much talked about ‘customer personas’, which to me can be very focused on the physical, and don’t really get under the skin of the human that is at the end of your marketing. (Hi, my name is Maryanne, I’m 36 have 3 children and like to go out to dinner on the weekend, I like technology and am always first to get the iPhone update, BLAH, BLAH, who cares!).

Here is an example of one we put together for a client around affluent, professional woman with children that looks at what really makes them tick on the home front.

 

professional women customer insights

Insights like the ones here make forming a plan on how your business should communicate a much easier task because it makes clear which elements to dial up. Allowing YOU to become the person everyone wants to stand near when they eat their sausage on bread.

 

Jodi Gaylard

Jodi Gaylard is co-Director of The Revery, a marketing consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia. The Revery make leading edge marketing and powerful creative available to businesses that are striving for growth but looking to stay lean.

Image via Flickr/CC 55Laney69