Is Your Consumer Marketing Transformational?
What the Consumer Marketing Manager Should do Next
Even if you live in a world of Consumer Marketing, you may not have heard of Tara-Nicholle Nelson. You should put that right straight away. Her book, The Transformational Consumer, has levelled up the thinking in the world of marketing. It is the must read book for Consumer Marketing Managers in 2017.
She has used her knowledge of transformational consumers to help counter the biggest problem we all face when consumer marketing.
Consumers are faced with way to wall advertising and the filter it out. Some of it easily, because it is generally of the kind that is me, myself and I advertising. Aren’t we good advertising.
Consumers miss more than half of all messages simply by turning their heads. Imagine that. Your self-serving, we’re great aren’t we ad has fat chance of engaging consumers. For some, the answer t all this disengagement, is for them to bombard their target audiences with more, not less, emails. Tara points out that human disengagement is a human problem, so the consumer marketing solution will not be something from the digital world, but with be a human solution.
Consumers need help living the lives they want from themselves, they need help achieving their aims in life. They want to transform themselves. Few of us say to themselves or anyone that may want to listen that this time next year I want to be on the same amount of money, I want to weigh the same, be in the same position at work, or want to know just what I know now, nothing more. No, we want to be the best versions of ourselves for ourselves, our families, our work-colleagues and for the people we spend time with.
Transformational Consumers represent around one half of all consumers. Not a niche then.
Consumer marketing managers should be the first within their respective companies to see the logic of Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s book. If you want engaged consumers you have to provide products that motivated people buy to live a healthier, wealthier and wiser life.The prize of attracting Transformational Consumers is their pursuit of living healthier, wealthier and wiser lives rubs off on their friends, colleagues and neighbours. They engage in a never ending series of personal disruption campaigns – I must fix this about myself, now how do I get that done? Their mindsets are about never-ending growth and taking action.
Personal disruption campaigns? East better (Healthy), exercise more (Healthy), lose weight (Healthy), save more money (Wealthy), invest more wisely (Wealthy), learn a new skill (Wise). Don’t allow yourself to be too narrow gauge on the definitions here. The whole world isn’t about technology and finance.
The Transformational Consumer is constantly looking for brands that will help them change their behaviour and lives. When they find brands that transform their healthy, wealthy and wise goals, magic happens. They fall for the brand. They fall in love.
About Them Consumer Marketing
The key to transforming your consumer marketing, is to do the opposite of what everyone has been telling you recently. Stop telling the stories of your brands or your company, start authentic, relatable, honest before and after stories about them! Then deliver products and content that helps them progress with their journeys – their personal disruption campaigns.
Your challenge as a marketing manager is to remove the resistance, difficulty, frictions and pain points from a Transformational Consumer’s journey. Rethink how you sell to your consumers. How do you currently market your services? All about you?
A good place to start is doing some consumer research. Visually map out and document what the real world journey that someone goes through that your brand or company helps solve. Then use that map of the journey to understand where your company can remove obstacles in the way of customers reaching their health, wealth and wiser goals.
Can you see a time when your company is seen by its consumers as a facilitator of change? If you can remove the ‘stuck moments’ in a person’s life, you can see why folk will really like, engage with and even love your brand. This facilitating knowledge part is where content marketing gets its day. Provide clarity and direction for what to do next, with content that is specific to where they are on their journey and the precise stuck-point they have arrived at. This is all about you as consumer marketing manager (aka entrepreneur, business owner, member of the team) seeing their journey and applying your thinking to how to unstick their journeys. Do that, and they’ll not need selling, they’ll be buying.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson says your company’s role is as mentor, aide, guide or tool to support your consumer’s journey. And if you’re like me, about this point in the book (and podcast) I started to think all this was just west coast of America liberal thinking. You know, a bit woolly. It isn’t of course. It just works. So if you are burning endless finances on me-first advertising, then wake up and smell the Starbucks. Your job is to place your brand at the cross-roads in a consumer’s journey. Kill the disengagement, kill the distrust. Offer them content about them, their problems and show them a way forward that is truly helpful to their journey.
Taking up this new consumer marketing mantle is your call to attention.
Problem First NOT Product First
2017 Consumer marketing is about transitioning from PRODUCT FIRST to PROBLEM FIRST. By answering the “what do we sell?” question in a new way, you’ll discover far more buyers to attract. Can you metophorically helicopter up and have a good look at the real lives of your customers. Are they buying your product’s features? Are they instead facing problems where the transformation your product brings is the answer – e.g. is Slack a group chat system or a way to make better decisions faster? Slack’s website https://slack.com headline is Where Work* Happens. The transformational meat is in the sub-head:
*Whatever work means for you, Slack brings all the pieces and
people you need together so you can actually get things done
So, how do you know whether you are product first or problem first?
- the dictionary name of the product is in your company name.
- your brand guidelines are rigid, despite evidence that brand messages aren’t effective.
- your research programme consists of the CEO testing with a group of friends to confirm the rightness of a previously made decision.
- you pride yourself being very good at making your product, you’re the best at making your particular product, your the oldest, most innovative, biggest, best whatever that makes your product.
The problem first marketing manager is fixated with solving a problem or a set of problems for their consumers. That’s what they lead with when ask what they do. This approach is un-limiting. A product fixation will limit how creative your product and marketing can ever be.
How to Become a Problem-First Company
Ask your consumer audience what specific behaviour change they want to make. Zoom out.
Use Story to rethink what you sell. Look up ‘story spine’ its a simple template for telling a story. Fill in the blanks…
- Once upon a time, there was ____(your customer)________
- Every day, ______(problem your customer is having)___________
- Until one day, ____(NOT your product’s attributes, but fill this with a progress or behaviour change trigger)____________
- And because of that, _____(a consequence of 3. was)_______
- And because of that, ____(a consequence of 4. was)________
- And because of that, ___(a consequence of 5. was)_________
- Until finally, ____(aspiration achieved)_________
- And ever since then, ___(in what way is the consumer making progress?)_______
This exercise will also help you get to your why, too. You’ll have heard of Simon Sinek, the TED star and author of Start with Why, who said: “People don’t buy what you sell; they buy why you sell it”.
You’ll also need to start thinking of consumer marketing and specifically your customers in a different way. Your customers are NOT just those people who have bought and reside in your customer database. Your customer is anyone and everyone trying to solve a personal disruption conundrum, like achieve a goal, engage in the healthy, wealthy or wise lifestyle that you help with or support.
Find out where your customer go to get unstuck now. These could be physical or digital locations. Tara-Nicholle Nelson calls them micro-moments. They can reveal valuable insights. Google has done lots of research into micro-moments. They broke them into 4 buckets:
- I want-to-know moments
- I want-to-go moments
- I want-to-do moments
- I want-to-buy moments
Mobile searches are evolving these. 90% of us use our mobiles to make progress toward a long terms goal on the fly (one-step-at-a-time moments).
You need ti understand these micro-moments so you can show up when they happen.
And when you do show up, then for Goodness Sake, USE NATURAL LANGUAGE in your consumer marketing. Your customers don’t use corporate language to search, or describe their problems, they use natural language. So if your site is populated with corporate gobbledegook, then good luck attracting your target audience!
Once you zoom out and YOU see the problem through the same lens as your customers, then you are equipped to get a deep understanding of how they are approaching and solving that problem. That is a lens in which you will see all sorts of opportunities for re-jigging your marketing, developing resources that they will click on and care about. Even developing product features that they actually care about.
Tara Talks About The Transformational Consumer
Tune into The Next 100 Days Podcast, Episode 64, The Transformational Consumer. There you will hear Tara explain the book’s premises and how your business can directly benefit from new thinking.
Here’s what Tara said of The Next 100 Days Podcast…
Tara praises The Next 100 Days Podcast:
“Your podcast is a great example of transformational content. You have sifted and sorted through what the experience of an average leader or marketer or executive is, and you realise that people are scattered, people have a lot of stuff going on, very easy in the day to day lives of the people who listen to this podcast to get distracted, and focus on the things that are very urgent instead of things that are important. So, the idea of taking one thing and focusing deeply on it, for 100 days, is itself a content solution for a real transformational problem that your audience has. That is very different from a podcast that would position itself as say, hey, what we do is focus on a bunch of business stuff. The concept of your brand and your podcast is a perfect example of customer centric content”
The essence of Tara’s book is here. But, the best way to learn is it get a copy and read it. http://transformationalconsumer.com
You find much more actionable strategies there too, like how to engage your own staff, your to re-think WHO your competitors are,
Use this link to get a chance of getting a copy of Tara’s book:
If you want help locally, here in the North of England, with making marketing transformations, start a conversation. Call me on +44 1535 654930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org