By Martyn Cook
In my first book, You're Just a Good Advertisement of Success, I wrote about how to know your customer and create a customer avatar. If you were a consumer of my first book, you can remember the chapter well. I drew a terrible stick figure with speech bubbles containing interests, celebrities, niches and so on. It was a lot of fun and we received a lot of positive feedback on this chapter.
But it is so important to know your customers that, despite this detailed chapter in my first book, I feel that it is more worthwhile to delve deeper into the subject.
The more you know who you sell to, the better you can sell them. If you know exactly what makes your audience tick: your fears, desires, routines, habits, struggles, friends, family members, interests, likes, dislikes, engagements, shutdowns, who they're trying to impress, what they're trying to say secretly, what's going on in her head, and so on. You can adapt your products to them much better.
Realistically we probably will never have the luxury of knowing all this information about our target customers. However, we know with certainty that when you buy products or services, there are usually two reasons: to turn to pleasure or to move away from pain.
Let's look at an example. Suppose you are an ice cream seller. They sell ice cream. Your customers come to you and demand the cold stuff. Maybe they had a particularly hard day at work. They were stressed, had challenges, faced problems and it was hot and stuffy in the office. Her sweet tooth longs for something to satisfy her. They long for your product.
Although they know that eating ice cream in the long term is not a good health decision, they do not care. At the moment, they will exercise caution and buy their favorite ice cream from you. They will absorb the creaminess, the beneficial cold and the taste – and even temporarily bring pleasure a step closer.
Well, I think that's a pretty easy scenario to understand. As an ice cream seller you sell pleasure. Any marketing material, any kind of message you bring out is best positioned as a move toward pleasure, as the pleasure that your ice cream will prepare for future customers.
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Now let's talk about how to get away from the pain. A close friend of mine has a brother who is a chiropractor. In fact, he is a very good one. Nevertheless, his treatments typically hurt.
Take it from me, he once solved my migraine. I had a terrible after spending a long day in Budapest. He sat me on a stool and played with pressure points on the neck, head and shoulders. It did hurt (do not get me wrong – it hurt a lot), but it was a very short pain that lasted about 20 seconds. And then my migraine disappeared, the migraine that I had been struggling with for over an hour at this time. So, although his treatments hurt, he is extremely popular.