Overheard on a recent marketing field trip
Please be careful exiting the vehicle.
We’re on the edge of a cliff.
That’s why I said to be careful.
I thought we were going out to see my buyers, my ideal customers.
And that’s why we’re here. Take a look over there. See that cliff on the other side of the canyon?
I see it. What are those little creatures moving around over there? They look like ants.
Those are your buyers.
Why are my buyers wa-a-a-a-y over there?
This gap represents the virtual distance between you and your ideal customers. Relative to how close you could be, this is how far away you are from them right now.
I think I’m going to be sick.
Feel free to use the marketing sickness bag in the glove compartment.
Tell me. Do I look as small to them as they look to me?
Pretty much. Would you like to get a little closer to them?
I’d like to build a bridge over this gap and get right next to them.
Good! That’s exactly what we’re going to do. Pull up a rock and have a seat. Here’s what you need to do…
The Business Operator sat in rapt attention as the guide spent the rest of the day explaining how to build a bridge across the gap. I’ll summarize for you. It won’t be as much fun to read as this dialogue, but it will take less of your time.
Building the bridge
To begin building a bridge that will connect you with your buyers, construct a tower on each side of the gap. From these towers the cables connecting all elements of the bridge will be suspended. But these are no ordinary bridge towers.
Tower 1: Buyer Persona
On the buyer’s side, we will build the Buyer Persona tower using insights that identify:
- Events or changes in circumstance that make buyers realize they need the product or service you provide
- How many other solution providers they consider
- Research they conduct before making a decision
- How many other people are involved in the decision
- Outcomes that would represent a success to them
- Reasons they buy from you
- Barriers that keep them from choosing your solution
- Steps the buyer takes (buyer’s journey) in crossing the bridge to you
Tower 2: Brand Position
On your side, you will construct a Brand Position tower that shows all your buyers — wa-a-a-a-y over there — why you should be their first choice. The building blocks of your brand position will include:
- How you are different from and better than your competition in ways that appeal to your buyers
- What you do better than anyone else
- Essence of the unique emotional benefits and rational justifications for doing business with you
- The promise you make to every customer
- Your value proposition
- A one-paragraph positioning statement that clearly states what your company stands for, whom it serves, and why your ideal customer prefers to do business with you
- The visual and textual representations of your brand (logo/tagline)
Once you’ve built these two towers, two extraordinary thing will happen:
- While many people on the other side will continue to look teeny-tiny, you will see your ideal customers clearly. They will be fully in focus and approachable.
- Your buyers will see your brand standing out from your competition, thereby clarifying their choice and making it more likely that they will choose your company.
But what about the rest of the bridge?
True, two towers alone do not a bridge make. Something has to span the gap and connect the two towers.
That’s what content is for
Content comes in as many forms and platforms as there are cables on a suspension bridge – blogs, videos, articles, podcasts, newsletters, games, ebooks, white papers, etc. – but its intent is always to strategically align brand goals with buyer needs, thereby bridging the gap between them in order to inform, promote, and persuade.
Content is the reason people find you on Google, why they go to your site, and why they take the time to learn about your brand, products, and services before they are ready to speak with a salesperson.
Content is the bridge between your brand and your buyers, built on the twin towers of buyer personas and brand position.
Top photo by Grand Canyon NPS, Creative Commons License