According to the Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million businesses in the U.S., and some have estimated that, on average, over 550,000 people start new companies each month. As many are finding out, growing customer engagement and topline sales in this intensely competitive environment is extremely difficult.
With so much competition, you might have had a less-than-stellar 2019 and are looking for ways to better compete in this increasingly complex business environment. One way to kickstart growth in 2020 is to use the power of behavioral science to not only capture your prospect’s attention but also their hearts, minds and dollars as they sort through all the companies vying for their business.
To do this, your customers must effortlessly and automatically think of you (i.e., consideration) when they are thinking about their needs. As I’ve shared previously, one of the most efficient ways to make this psychological connection is through mindstate marketing.
A “mindstate” — a term I coined in my book — is your ticket to understanding how to emotionally engage with your customers to drive the consideration and sales for your brand. So if you’d like a greater share of mindstate and the increased revenues that come from it, here are three steps to follow.
Step 1: Determine what business you’re really in.
To begin, you must deeply understand your customer’s goals. What really keeps them up at night? What dreams do they have for themselves? Not for their company— themselves.
To illustrate this point, imagine you’re a marketing consultancy and you’re trying to grow your business with heads of marketing. With some cursory questions, you might determine that your ideal clients want to be better marketers and achieve a good return on what they spend.
If you assume those are their goals, you’d be dead wrong. You need to look deeper to find out what’s really going on and identify the personal goal your client is seeking to achieve.
Many senior marketers struggle to implement the constant evolution of marketing technology. With every month comes a “new-and-improved” technology or tool that is sold as the solution to drive effectiveness. Most feel overwhelmed because they can’t prove the impact of these tools — and more importantly, their work — to their bosses.
Change is rapid within the marketing industry, which means your clients are working days that feel long and tiresome. You can best serve them not by making them better marketers, but by supporting them as they seek to gain greater control over their work and their outcomes.
This desire matches perfectly with the “optimistic empowerment” mindstate, which is defined as: the desire to feel capable and equipped to take on life’s challenges.
Step 2. Build solutions that match the mindstate.
Let’s keep going with this scenario. Knowing that your marketing clients most often operate in the optimistic empowerment mindstate, your next step is to evaluate your services and match them all back to this mindstate. At every turn, ask yourself: Will this service help our clients gain more control over their marketing and outcomes?
At every level, you should be looking at the products and services you offer as vehicles for empowerment. If you find that your services don’t naturally align with this psychological mindstate, you’ll want to create new offerings that do, such as articles or a workbook that teach your clients how to gain greater control over their marketing. Follow this up with activation workshops that go more in-depth and you’ll be the brand most associated with their need for empowerment.
For projects you’re working on with clients, you’ll want to frame your work as giving them greater control over their marketing. In doing so, you’ll be empowering them to tackle the challenges they face, which will make them sleep better at night.
Step 3: Be ruthless.
Once you’ve built or framed up all of your services around control, be ruthless and own this mindstate positioning. Think about your marketing, sales, product strategy and even your total customer experience. How would you activate these goals and this mindstate?
Your job is to build an association between the optimistic empowerment mindstate and your brand, so that when the need for greater control arises (which happens almost daily in the marketing world), yours will be the first name that pops into a customer’s mind.
For example, you might position your company as being innovative and providing more control, versus being a “tried-and-true solution.” For sales, you’d remove any ambiguity from your proposals because people who desire more empowerment don’t like unclear outcomes.
As you’re building out your technologies or your solutions, can you let clients add or take away options so that they have greater control over their interactions with their customers? The same goes for your customer experience: Can you provide clients with more ways to engage with you?
Leave no stone unturned. Revamp everything you’re doing around optimistic empowerment.
Target mindstates to rise above the competition.
If you suffered through a lackluster 2019, it might have been because your offerings didn’t strike a psychological chord with your customers. Or, you might have been trying to help them achieve their business goals instead of their personal goals, meaning your offerings fell flat.
When you work to understand your customer’s true goals, you will uncover their mindstate. From there, you must build your products and services around that mindstate and be ruthless in owning that corner in your customer’s minds. When they seek more desire in their work as marketers, you want your marketing consultancy to be the first one they call.
No matter what kind of product you build or service you offer, you can use this same strategy to rise above your competition’s positioning, thus allowing you to increase consideration and choice for your business. And with so much competition out there, winning the battle in your customers’ minds will go a long way in helping you not only rebound but also thrive in 2020 and beyond.