The audience you have in front of you has needs, and problems. The very reason your product exists for is to overcome these needs and solve these problems. Your business is basically offering a proposition, an alternative to the issues encountered.
Although the theory is simple, and straightforward, the application is not so much. Indeed, especially when considering products or services that target many issues, the emphasis can be hard to make, and the value proposition difficult to distinguish. Overall, a marketing campaign could, and should be doing better than most of its current results.
There has and always will be more or less effective ways to convince an audience. Whether we are talking about a presidential election, or trying to sell a product, the process is the same.
It is the one we will be dealing with today.
Define your aim
Target what you want to do. In most cases that step is pretty simple: your aim is to sell your product. Whether you are marketing yourself for a presidential campaign, or marketing a new phone for a new brand, you want your audience to buy into the idea, and choose it among other propositions.
Although on one hand it can be easy to reach a specific target, thanks to a specific marketing campaign, the real challenge comes, on the other hand, when you want to convince a broader range of people, which are outside the initial field.
For instance, if you were marketing a product for women aged 50, you might want to try and gather up women age 40 or 60 around it. In the case of the presidential elections, if you are Donald Trump, you would want to gather Hillary’s electors.
The real challenge ends up not being about having new customers (the ones who enter the market field) come to you, but having the old ones change for you. You want to claim and explain how you add value to existing products with yours. You want to make people prefer you. This is what arguing is all about. You want them to choose you among all the others.
The Steps to Achieve It
1. Appeal to your customer
The first step to have to take to convince your audience is to recognize their needs.
Whilst this stage can be fairly easy when dealing with direct, daily issues (for instance, making the use of a product way more practical), it becomes a little more complex when dealing with indirect, timeless issues (for instance, political or economical decisions).
In any case, you have to figure out your customers’ needs, and define your strengths, and weaknesses. Learn how to emphasize the first ones, while minimizing or even solving the second ones in order to appeal to your customer’s requirements.
Remember most of the time your audience itself might not know their issues, until you tell them.
Donald Trump, for example, is a well-off business man running for presidential. If his lack of human skills, or diplomacy can be a burden in his position, his strong leadership skills, his focus on the terrorism issues, and his slogan itself “Make America Great Again” reflected the American population’s current state of mind.
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2. You position yourself among others
As we just saw previously, the whole idea of convincing comes up when there is a choice to make. Indeed, you are willing to be chosen over others, which means you are positioning yourself among them.
Now, this is the true key to success when it comes to convincing an audience. You stand out, only if you actually show that you are standing out. Whilst only comparing yourself to your competitors, or dismissing them does not work, using them in order to add a value proposition to your offer does.
Learn how to distinguish yourself from others, by showing what makes you different. This is where your first argument will come from.
The only risk you have to be aware of is not completely entering this “default” process. You do not want to make people choose you, in order to not choose your competitors. This is basically what Hillary did – and we surely recognized it did not work as effectively as it was supposed to. Putting herself as the alternative to Trump, only enhanced the businessman’s influence, and resulted in having him elected.
Market your product for what it is – innovative, modern… – and compare it in order to have feedback, and really place yourself at the top. Remember your product is for your customers, your competitors are only a part of your strategy to reach these customers.
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3. Marketing strategy is all about flexibility
The remaining feature you want to take into account whilst building your marketing strategy is flexibility.
Indeed, we live in a constantly changing environment where the arguments that work today, might not be working tomorrow, and your argumentation must take notice of that.
Although Donald Trump did not change much of his policy and thoughts during his campaign, this emphasis he put from the beginning on the ISIS fighting techniques were relevant to the current USA. Indeed, the american population is more and more worried about terrorism issues, and addressing them directly has been a master argument. It really meant to the population “let’s deal with our country’s real issues”, which reflects the strong position people are awaiting their leader to have.
For a product, the issue addressed is more technical. Indeed, technology evolves quick, and people learn how to use it on a daily basis. Remaining relevant in today’s market means keeping up with your time. Finding the innovative idea is not enough, timing also matters.
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In order to convince an audience, and have them buy into your product, you have to clearly establish your marketing strategy. This strategy goes through 3 stages.
- Target your customers, identify their needs
- Target your competitors, reach your customers
- Be flexible
Especially with a defined competitor in a sector, the goal is to convince your customer to chose you over them, by emphasizing your product’s value proposition, and comparing it to theirs.
Make it clear you are ahead, and give out the image your clients are expecting you to have – reliable, clear, secure, but also flexible. Show that you are futuristic in your approach, that suiting them today is a promise to suit them tomorrow.