Providing 'Information of Value'
The best way to penetrate the minds and hearts of your customers is a marketing strategy that gives them the information they crave.
By Amy Campbell
When you build your marketing strategy around "information of value" you position yourself or your firm as an expert a helpful expert a real "go-to" girl or guy. The "show don't tell" philosophy is at work here. The claim that "We're the greatest firm since sliced bread!" is hollow in comparison to a booklet on "5 Simple Tax Savers Many Businesses Overlook," for example. People will soon forget the hollow claim, but they will remember the helpful advice and who gave it to them.
Below are two excerpts that support this concept of "information of value" so well, that I thought I'd let them speak for themselves.
Legal marketing strategist Larry Smith puts it as bluntly as I've ever seen it put in his article "When 'Value-Added' Really Means 'Value-Added'" in the February 2003 issue of Strategies, the Journal of the Legal Marketing Association. He writes:
When you apply this value-added logic to your own marketing efforts, the conclusion Smith comes to is this:
Walk A Mile in Your Client's
Adopting this information-of-value approach to your marketing requires a shift in thinking, from a firm-centric perspective (it's all about us) to a customer-centric perspective (it's all about the customer). It is easy to understand this approach in theory, but it is difficult to pull it off in practice.
Start by eliminating language in your marketing materials that sound like this: "We were founded in 1955... We are organized into three divisions... As the region's largest firm... Our professionals have over 200 years of experience combined... We strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers...." Firms find it difficult to let go of this approach because it is familiar to them, but to your customers it sounds like "blah, blah, blah." It is not differentiating, memorable or engaging. Your customers care much less about when you were founded or how you are organized internally than how you can help them solve their specific business challenges today. Your marketing should address that directly.
Penetrating the minds and hearts of your customers, requires putting yourself in their shoes. Work to understand their needs and then engage them by working to fill the information gap (between their needs and your expertise). That will make them think you really are the greatest thing since sliced bread! and that my friend is the start of a beautiful relationship.