Why Marketers Need To Go Deeper Than Value

As the popularity of people like Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Neil Patel continues to explode in the Marketing world, so does the popularity we have of providing value. As Marketers, a question we ask ourselves before creating a new strategy is, “How does this product provide value, and how can I convey that?”

This is a very important question and finding the right answer for whatever product can lead to a remarkable marketing campaign when done correctly. But, there is one thing Marketers are overlooking when beginning to market a product or service — the goals of the customers.

Before you get skeptical, hear me out. People are not buying the product or service you are trying to market because of the product or service, they are buying it for what it can do for them. For what it can do for their goals. But, before you can look at a customers goals, you need to know who they are.

Who is it for?

This question will remain at the top of importance for every marketing strategy or campaign. It cannot be overlooked. If you do not know who your product is for, you will fail. Hard and fast.

Once you know exactly who your target customer is, it is so much easier to answer the rest of the questions. How will my product help them? Who do they want to be? Will my product get them there?

Whether your target customers are Single Mom’s in the rural US, or Millennials living in NYC, they have goals for who they want to become, and what image they want to fit into. As Marketers, it is our job to figure out how to position our product as something that will get them closer to their goal.

How Will My Product Provide Value?

Before you can help people achieve their goals, you have to understand how your product can provide value. This understanding influences how, and who you market to. Go deep. Think outside of the box.

Before you can find the “Why?” of your ideal consumer, you need to find the “Why?” of your company and your product. Ask yourself the questions — Who are we? What do we provide? Why do we provide that? Don’t let yourself cop out with easy and typical answers. Really take time to find your “Why?”.

Brand awareness is key when you are striving to go deep into the meaning and value of your product. You need to able to convey the value you hope your product can provide to consumers and you can’t do that without knowing your brand’s purpose from all different angles.

How Can I Find Their Goals?

The famous saying is still true today, people don’t buy a drill because they want a drill, they buy a drill because they want a hole. But, go deeper than that by continuing, people don’t want a hole, they want a bookshelf or a desk, or picture hung up. Go even deeper and ask Why?. Ask why after every stage. Why do people want a bookshelf? To make their office seem more professional. Why do people hang up pictures? To make their house feel like a home.

By asking these questions you go deeper into the mind of your target customer. This allows for you to find their goals. The goal of buying a drill is not just to make a hole, that is the surface value. For the customer, the goal of the drill is to make their office look more professional, or their house feel like a home. Your product will hopefully help people achieve many different goals. If you can figure out how to market to that goal, you will win.

What Are Consumer Goals?

Consumers buy products based on emotions and justify the purchase with logic. But, have you ever wondered why the consumer lets their emotions make the decision for them? Think back to the last purchase you made. Ask yourself, “Why did I buy that?”. Go deeper than into the emotion, but into the goals of the purchase. Consumers buy products because of the goals they think the product will help them achieve and also, because of who the product will help them become.

If you buy books, part of it is because you find pleasure in reading. Completely normal. The other part of the purchase, most often overlooked, is that you buy books also because you want to consider yourself a reader. Another reason you buy books is to take a step towards becoming the person you want to be. Meaning you might buy, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear not necessarily because you want to adopt a bunch of new habits, but because you know adopting new habits will help you achieve whatever goals you have for your life.

When products are not bought due to pleasure, they are bought to act as a step. When I bought Atomic Habits, I pictured myself with my ideal life, habits and all, super successful in the future. I didn’t picture myself reading it, or implementing the habits, I pictured the end goal.

Products aren’t just products to consumers, they are steps towards a greater goal.

This could be a simple goal — a Mom buys Febreeze because she has a goal of coming home to her house smelling nice, and other people noticing the smell too. People buy phone chargers not so they can charge their phone, but so that their phone is charged. That might seem counterintuitive but it is the truth.

People don’t buy things because of the process, they buy things because of their end goal.

Product Designer at CBS Sports | Passionate about designing and building delightful experiences | DM me on Twitter — @jnelly2

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