Today is the day! You’re finally ready to launch the promo campaign for your newest product. What’s your first step?

Isn’t it obvious? You build a website providing visitors with product information, features list, its perks, price and distribution points. Right? Nope! It’s a common yet quite expensive mistake. Website building should be your third, fourth, or even fifth step. But, for Zig Ziglar’s sake, not the first!

However, it is not the action order that requires a shift. It is the way you perceive the marketing campaign.

The article was created together with the Polish company Heads & Noses Academy – the organizer of online marketing training.

Despite constant reminding that the offer presented to the customer should use the statistical persuasion and highlight all the product’s benefits, we stick to the old product/service thinking scheme. The problem is the customer doesn’t give monkey’s about it. The receivers of your marketing message don’t want to buy a product or service. They want their problem to be solved. The problem that makes them feel bad and uncomfortable. And they need to change it, to be transported to the “after” moment, i.e. the moment when a problem is solved, and they feel the relief – this is your trump, your clincher, and customers will eagerly pay to get it.

Example: when you suffer from a headache you don’t want pills. You just want your head to stop killing you right now. The pill is just a method to solve this problem.

Converting Lead into a customer is nothing more than helping him get from the “before” state (I have a headache) to the state of “after” (I feel good). In the “before” state the customer is unhappy. He may experience pain, boredom or anxiety. On the other hand, in the “after” state – life is better. He has nothing to fear, he is not afraid, he is relaxed. This simple change of thinking allows you to make an approach switch when it comes to the offer preparation and its presentation.

Why is it so important? Because it’s the client, who decides who is going to help him go through the “before / after” path. Or simpler – to whom he wants to give his money.

At the beginning of the path, you must convince the customer why should he pick you – your idea to solve given problem, to be exact. From a marketing point of view, this path is nothing more nor less than a sales funnel.

The most common mistake made by many companies is:

  • not presenting the offer of the desired state of “after” (bad offer)
  • lack of clear presentation of the transition from “before” to “after” (bad marketing)

The first step in building an effective sales funnel process is to find answers to some client’s needs-focused questions. Here they are:

  • What does the customer have in the “before” state?
  • What does the customer have in the “after” state?
  • How does the customer feel in the “before” state?
  • How does the customer feel in the “after” state?
  • How does the average day of the customer look like in the “before” state?
  • How does the average day of the customer look like in the “after” state?
  • What is customer’s status in the “before” state?
  • What is customer’s status in the “after” state?

Remember – the client pays only for the transition from the “before” state to the desired “after” state. The distance between one state and the other is measured … in prices.

While developing a new offer, setting up a business or entering a new market, keep in mind that, first of all, you should provide very clear information about the “before” and “after” states.

The problem with clearly articulating how you can take a potential customer from a “before” state to the desired “after” state – can indicate a product and its market adjustment problem.

The first step leading to defining all “befores” is to find the person – the potential customer – which these “befores” will relate to. In the marketing slang, this model customer is called Buyer Persona. Monitoring customer behavior on the website gives you access to huge customer knowledge base. Data collected through the marketing automation platform allows you to understand your customers’ needs, segment your audience, find direction for further development, create new features, or expand your offer with the new products – you gain a better insight to your customers’ needs once you start collecting their behavioral data.

The first step of building the buyer persona should include answering a series of questions. The answer will help you understand who are you referring to in your campaigns, for whom you create products and services, and for whom you design the entire journey from the “before” to the “after” state. Sample questions:

  • what motivates my customers to buy
  • what they want to receive when they feel they have reached the goal
  • what constitutes a barrier in the decision-making process
  • what budget they have
  • what values are close to them.

The most common mistakes made when creating a persona are to let the wishful thinking in, spreading oneself too thin and accepting once created persona for granted. The persona that will allow you to determine the states of “before” and “after” should be data-based rather than imagined by its creator. What’s more, it must evolve along with the market, the product and the competitive environment of the company – once in a while it has to be evaluated. And finally – remember that your persona is not a living person. There is no need to name her and hang her photos on the office fridge. It is just a representation of a model customer, and that is exactly what it should remain: a functional model that will allow you to tailor your product and marketing message to your audience.

Learn more about creating a Buyer Persona – download a free ebook