The most basic rule of marketing is so easy to forget. You’ve just purchased some new clothes or shoes online. As part of the transaction, you hand over your email address or mobile number knowing full well that three things are going to happen.

  1. You’ll get a receipt via email/text. Good!
  2. You’ll get shipping notifications and tracking information via email/text. Good!
  3. Before, during and after #2, you get flooded with promotions. Not good!

Would most people buy something they don’t even need, just because it’s “20% off, TODAY ONLY?” This is marketing in many retail and consumer product companies.

In this example, what if fashion retailers stepped back for just a moment and gave some thought to how consumers aspire to look in the many facets of their social, personal and professional lives – then used those considerations to drive their marketing?

They would send regular fashion tips targeting those aspirations, complete with context (“here’s why this is a great look and how to make it work for you”) and examples of their wares so that consumers could imagine themselves in that look.

It makes you wonder: Do fashion retailers truly understand that their one and only goal is to make consumers look good?

It exemplifies how easy it is to forget the most basic rule of marketing: Understanding the ultimate aspirations of your target customers – and then messaging to those aspirations.

It’s much the same in B2B marketing. Here’s a common scenario. “Sales of product X are underperforming. Let’s find all customers who don’t have product X and start promoting it.”

Step Back and Think About What You’re Really Marketing & Selling

If you’re a product or service company of any type, B2B or B2C, you only have one goal: To make your customers better or more successful at something that’s important to them. The million-dollar question is, what is that “something”? In B2B, it’s not revenue, profitability, market share, etc. It’s some other aspiration that makes revenue, profitability, market share, etc. easier to achieve.

Once you’ve got it, build conversational marketing and sales dialogues around it. Instead of making your value propositions about things that you do well, make them about the things you’re going to help your customers do well. Help them imagine how successful they can be with your products and services.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when marketing and selling is that your target customers are far more interested in their own success than they are yours. Make their success your top priority and their money will be easier to get.

If your marketing and sales dialogues aren’t aimed at the aspirations of your target customers, contact Proficientz to discuss how our Framework and Product Management University training workshops help you identify those aspirations and create the tactical marketing and sales tools to engage them.