When you discover WHO you are targeting everything becomes much more clear. I often come across software sales pages or other marketing messages that describe WHAT problem their software solves but gives hardly an inkling of WHO it solves it for and that can make a HUGE difference.
Take this quick example: You feel like you need an energy boost because you really notice yourself fading in the afternoon meetings with your junior staff. You don’t want to drink any more coffee because that has diminishing effects and you loathe the crash. You think, “Maybe I’ll take some vitamins!”
You get to the drug store and are overwhelmed by the choices. You decide on a multi-vitamin to see if that helps and are faced with 5 choices:
- A-Brand General Multi-Vitamin
- B-Brand General Multi-Vitamin
- C-Brand General Multi-Vitamin
- D-Brand General Multi-Vitamin
- E-Brand General Multi-Vitamin
You pick them up and have trouble distinguishing them from each other. Some brag about their quality, one of them says they’ve been in business over 50 years, another says they use state-of-the art equipment. As far as you’re concerned they look the same so you decide to grab the next-to-cheapest and be done with it.
But, before heading off to the cash register something catches your eye. You see another row of vitamins.
- Multi-Vitamin for Active Teens
- Multi-Vitamin for Executives
- Multi-Vitamin for Seniors 65+
- Multi-Vitamin for Bodybuilders
You think, “Hey, I’m an executive… but this is more expensive than the General Multi-Vitamins, why?”
You look at the bottle and see a couple of blurbs:
- “Extra B12 For All-Day Energy”
- “More Vitamin D to help get a good night’s sleep.”
- “20% more B6 to help you keep calm under pressure.”
Suddenly, the Executive bottle looks a lot better… I mean, it’s mentioned you by ‘name’ and hit on your top 3 needs! It no longer looks expensive. Now, it looks like the only sane choice.
It was specially formulated for YOU.
Any of those other General Vitamins could’ve had the same blurbs on them but they would have had MUCH less impact.
The answer lies in Context. It is not enough to know it internally. Everything in your marketing and advertising must bear it out. This is specifically for YOU.
The Context must be unmistakable. If you can swap out benefits and have it still apply to non-targets you don’t have it down yet. While the feature might be the same, the benefit, the language, the viewpoint will all be different depending on the Context, the WHO.
Now imagine the Context is Multi-Vitamin for Husbands (or Wives). There’d be a whole DIFFERENT set of statements on those bottles, wouldn’t there? Maybe something having to do with *ahem* performance?
The WHO, the Context, makes the benefits seem more real, even more believable. You suppose if it was built/designed/engineered with YOU in mind and it mentions your top concerns and benefits, why consider anything else? Any vendor who has taken the time to do that has a better shot of actually helping you. They get the nod even if they are more expensive.
Any haggling on price is an indication that the WHO is not well-established and the context-specific benefits have not been thoroughly ferreted out. Price sensitivity means they have others to compare your offering to… but when those two things are nailed and communicated properly, there is NO competition. (Price sensitivity can also be created by HOW you are selling but that is a subject for another post).
Context sets you up to get to your prospects early and educate them right into the sale. Further, by creating quality content explicitly for them you can BE FOUND instead of using expensive advertising dollars to compete for their attention along with everyone else.
Which are you more likely to download and actually read, “How Executives Can Have More Energy Throughout the Day” or “How to Have More Energy Throughout the Day?”
How to do this wrong.
I’ve seen sites that had a “Who Is This For” type section which listed all of the WHO’s the software could be used for… I won’t call them out, that’s not my style, but it is rampant.
And, it is weak. In fact, I know it to be detrimental. When they connect in the Context, they shouldn’t see “How Busy Mom’s Can Have More Energy Throughout the Day” with your formula on it.
That destroys the magic.
Is it for me? or Not? If the magic is destroyed then they’ll assume it’s not. The connection is dashed and now they know it was just a cheap marketing gimmick. You want to create a different formula for Busy Moms? Fine. If I’m a Male there should be almost no chance I ever hear of it. If I’m an Executive AND a Busy Mom I might come across it but it should look VERY different or the magic context is destroyed.
Pick your WHO and dive in. Commit! Build everything in that funnel to that WHO.
Most are too scared. They think they are leaving money on the table. On the contrary, you will be penetrating deeper, your cost of acquisition will be low and you’ll be able to charge a premium. If done right, you will have NO direct competition and it will be easy to show why the alternatives are a poor choice.
Picking your WHO makes everything easier. The best time to pick your WHO is before you even have a product.
Second best is right now.
If your software sales are lackluster. If it feels like the cost of acquisition is high. If you have to discount, engage in sales, negotiate on price or do special deals to close a sale consider that you don’t have the magical context, the WHO, nailed down.