Learn how to focus your marketing spend in the areas that will yield the biggest results for your business. Josh and Dan tell us about the importance of thinking about your customers' needs and how to invest accordingly.
[00:02] - Voiceover
Business owners, do you want an unfair advantage over your competitors? Do you want to dominate in your area of expertise? You are listening to Business Life Hacks. Learn to influence consumer psychology and shortcut your way to business success with tips, tricks, and hacks from award-winning digital agency, JMarketing.
[00:25] - Dan Lemp
Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Business Life Hacks. If you run an agency or if you just run a business, you probably have to wonder sometimes where should you be putting your money? Because there's a lot of varying advice out there and none of it seems very trustworthy. Should you be putting your money into Facebook ads and the Google ads and the website design and the CRO and the CEO? Should you do one before the other? What kind of order should you pick to allocate your money? It's a lot to figure out. So today we're going to give you a structure to think through: where you should be allocating your money and in what order should you be allocating your money into different resources and services. So there are three things that you need to think about to understand and effectively advertise to your customers. Number one: you need to know the problem your customer is trying to solve. Number two: you need to know your customers' anxieties and their frustrations. And, number three: you need to know what your competitors are doing and promising. So, Josh, how would someone who is running an agency or business, try to figure out what problem they're customers are trying to solve, and what to do with that information?
[01:42] - Josh Strawczynski
Yeah, this is the very foundation of marketing and it's something that often gets skipped. We just assume that everyone is the same as ourselves. The problem is everyone's got varying degrees of the problems they're trying to solve and it's not always clear. So one of my favorite example is: someone searching for a vacuum cleaner. They do all the research. They spend hours and hours and hours trying to find the best vacuum cleaner. They go into the store and just as they're about to make the purchase, they realize 'ah, I was actually just trying to keep my apartment clean' and they hire a maid. And the further you delve into that example, the more you think about, well, why were they trying to keep their apartment clean? Now we're getting to the root of this. This is the real problem the customer is trying to solve. And you can start the segment because of the different groups. Were they trying to impress girls when they came around? Maybe. Were they so busy at work that they don't want to come home and then find that they're going to spend an hour cleaning a messy apartment? Do they have children? And the kids make a mess every day and they step on Lego? All of these are possible scenarios. But they're the real reason that the person is searching for a vacuum cleaner. It is very, very hard to think that they're a vacuum cleaner enthusiast who just really wants to have the best model.
[03:16] - Dan Lemp
Right. So it's kind of like the different anxieties and the different frustrations that each customer has. It gives you some information about what their actual problem is.
[03:25] - Josh Strawczynski
Yeah, they're definitely, definitely related. Your original question was a good one, though. You said, how do you test those? There's a whole heap of different methodologies. But let me give you the simplest. For most businesses, they're going to think about the egalitarian version, which is what's the greatest good or the greatest wife for the greatest number. I love what Tim Ferriss did when he was naming his book. We do something similar, which is: write very specific ads, talking to those pain points, and advertise them on Google ads to just one or two keywords. Now, will that work as an overall marketing strategy? No, this is a research tool, but what it's going to come back and tell you is, 'hey, the one where you talk about never step on Lego and break your leg again' - had a much higher click-through rate, meaning engagement rate. And that is a really good window into the customer's psychology. You now know that that pain point performs better than all the rest.
[04:28] - Dan Lemp
So even if a business owner is prioritising a website design first, they can run Facebook ads or Google ads just as a trial to make their website design better and more effective with a higher conversion rate.
[04:42] - Josh Strawczynski
Yeah, absolutely. Actually, a friend of mine in Australia who is very, very successful in technology does this proactively before he even has a product to sell. He'll put up the product parameters and see whether people are interested, pretending it's a real product. So you can do that long, long before you have a website. But the other two points in the chain are very important also: know your customers' anxieties and frustrations. Dan, we've talked about this in a previous episode where we talked about the different stages of the buying cycle. You recall the second stage, the middle of the funnel problem that most companies are experiencing with their customers?
[05:27] - Dan Lemp
Yeah, it's basically the customers have a decision paralysis where they're evaluating and re-evaluating, reevaluating, and testing out their options, but they never actually jump out of that cycle into the sale.
[05:40] - Josh Strawczynski
Yeah, and why do you and I do that? We do it because we're not completely sold. We're feeling risk; we're feeling anxious about the decision. If you came to me and you said, 'Josh, I have got this solution to keep your apartment clean, that will mean you never step on a Lego. Every girl comes around will feel amazing. You'll never have to spend a minute cleaning your apartment again. And guess what? It's on sale right now for a lifetime price.' I couldn't sign up fast enough because you've sold all of my needs and you've removed all of my anxieties. Don't get me wrong, there's other anxieties. I would be thinking in my head to that pitch, 'what's the catch?' And you need to address that. But for the sake of an example: if you know all those things and you address them, you're gonna push me through the bottom of the funnel and I'm gonna want to convert. Which is why point number three - knowing your competitors, what they're doing, and what they're promising - is so important. Because you need to differentiate and you'll learn so much from what they're doing about what's working, what's not working, and the gaps that are available for you to play in. And Dan, if you had a competitor that was doing really, really well, would you copy what they're doing or would you go in the complete opposite direction?
[07:05] - Dan Lemp
I would copy what they're doing and improve on it and adapt it to my own brand.
[07:05] - Josh Strawczynski
Exactly. That is exactly the right answer. And no more so in digital marketing. If you can see that people are actively downloading something because it's a really valuable guide, awesome. If you can see everyone's buzzing about an amazing article they wrote, awesome. That is information. That's power in your pocket. You can see what customers want and you can deliver on it as well. No market is so small that you can't borrow a good idea and find a fresh bunch of people to sell it to.
[07:41] - Dan Lemp
Yeah, I believe it was Picasso who said 'Good artists create. Great artists steal.'
[07:48] - Josh Strawczynski
Very, very good. So, Dan, if you're a marketing manager or a business owner out there right now, the question on your mind is, 'OK, very good. I feel like I know my customers and their anxieties. Maybe there's a bit of testing I can do, but how do I work out where to allocate my resources? Should I just give the agency the ten thousand bucks they wanted for SEO, or how can I get smarter about this?
[08:18] - Dan Lemp
So the first thing you really need to do, you want to get a context and orientation for what is going on with your customers. So the first thing to do is: map out each stage in the sales funnel. Where are your customers first becoming aware of your brand? How are they going to your website? How many people are spending time on your website? Do you have retargeting set up so that those people who visit the website then see other ads specific to them? How are people actually converting? What is the last stage? Where does the actual sale happen? And get an idea of how each of those stages of your sales funnel are performing.
[08:58] - Josh Strawczynski
I could not agree more with that advice. I'll make it simpler, though, because there are a lot of steps there and I don't want to confuse anyone into thinking this is way too hard. Simply, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Give yourself that need that we've talked about that you've explored and say, 'okay, my need is that subconscious need that I keep stepping on my kids Lego and it's driving me crazy' and then go through your own sales funnel. Open up six nearest competitors, whenever you search Google for whatever search term you search, go through each of the websites and think about when you're on your website does it solve your anxieties and your problems? That's stage one. Would this get you to either inquire or download something, or take another action? If not, there's your first area to target. Next question, if you leave, how are you going to get back? How is the website either remarketing to you or what's the message that you took away from the website, so when you come back to this decision, it's ingrained in your mind? If it's nothing, that's the area to target. And finally, is there anything that's going to pull you through? if you're going to take a few days to decide, which most of us do, what is it that's going to make you come back and convert tomorrow, that day? Is it going to be an offer? Is it going to be a special limited-time stock deal? What is it? Those are the things you should be asking yourself as a business owner right this minute.
[10:31] - Dan Lemp
Right. And so I'm assuming you can just fix that one problem and then forget about it and never come back to it, right?
[10:38] - Josh Strawczynski
Oh, absolutely. That's how business works. Just fix one problem and you're an instant millionaire.
[10:42] - Dan Lemp
Beautiful, life is easy.
[10:44] - Josh Strawczynski
Yeah, it's a continual thing. And you want to repeat this cycle. The best businesses map out each of those points in the funnel. They run tests. They review statistically - 'ok, we've increased the conversion rate from three percent to four percent. Right. Let's do it again next quarter.' But you don't need to get too far ahead of yourself. You can stick to the basics and that will give you a huge step in the right direction and then get more formal with it later on. Don't let the analysis paralysis take over.
[11:15] - Dan Lemp
With things like paid ads, Google ads and Facebook ads, the click-through rates, and the engagement of those ads, that data is actually there in the platforms. With SEO, you'll need to download a Google Analytics onto your site so you can go in and see what the conversion rate of the website is; how many people are coming through. Josh, if someone is just testing a different headline on the website, what would they use to test that?
[11:41] - Josh Strawczynski
A product called Google Optimise, which is an AB testing platform that will send off the traffic to one version, half the traffic to another, no coding involved. And it's going to give them statistically relevant insights into which perform better than the other.
[11:57] - Dan Lemp
Yeah, that's really important for our process as an agency is to have specific data about what headlines are performing best and not just guessing about what we think is going to do the best.
[12:08] - Josh Strawczynski
Exactly right. Dan, I think we have covered this topic in a lot of detail, but from a beginner's perspective. So I think that was the goal today. We don't want to get too far ahead. We don't want to go down the path of way too much data, or too many things. If you're listening right now and this is striking a chord, the next step is very simple. Get a cup of coffee, clear your mind, and then go through your own sales funnel like you would a customer. Let us know how you go and what you think the next steps are. Send us an email if you'd like. Dan, what are the contact details?
[12:45] - Dan Lemp
So for me, it's firstname.lastname@example.org, to talk about SEO. And yours is email@example.com.
[12:54] - Josh Strawczynski
Fantastic. Dan, another great episode, thank you for producing. I guess I'll see you next week.
[13:01] - Dan Lemp
All right. See you next week, Josh.