Most marketers and business owners are instinctually good at presenting problems and solutions. Need to lose 30 pounds? Here is a great program and before and after photos to boot. Need to simplify your life? Here is a home organizer and a picture of how beautiful your house will look after we’re done. Need financial planning help? Here are all of our qualifications.
While you ALWAYS need to present the problem and solution/results in marketing, stopping there falls short of one major ingredient: Hope. Hope differs from solutions/results in one distinct way. It shows the feeling beyond the result.
Let’s go back to the weight loss example. Many fitness centers and nutrition companies use before and after pictures to display the results their product or services can achieve for their customers. While results give a little hope, it’s the story from the grandfather who can now keep up with his grandkids that creates the hope. Here’s why…someone feeling hopeless might see a results picture or read a testimonial and helplessly think “I could never get there.” Chasing grandkids, however, provides a feeling beyond the results… a feeling of hope that helps the ideal customer say, “Okay, maybe I will give this one last try.”
Now let’s take the home organizer example. Showing a picture of an organized home isn’t as powerful as a picture of a family, say, playing a board game together in all of their newfound time. Doesn’t everyone hope for more authentic family time?
Getting a qualified financial planner will help you put your assets in the right buckets and plan for the future, but does that guarantee even compare to seeing a photo of a family who was able to save more for their kids’ college education because they used better strategies? What if there were even a quote from those children, who were so fortunate to be able to focus on their studies rather than to have to work two jobs during college to put themselves through school?
After hearing these examples, you may be trying to think of ways you can elicit hope among your ideal customers in your own business. Here is a question set that will help you frame your thinking:
- How is your ideal customer feeling now? (This question is driven by the problem your product will solve).
- How does your ideal customer want to feel? (This question is driven by the solution and results your product will achieve).
- How will your customer feel when they actually achieve what they want to feel? (This question is driven by hope).
The distinction between questions two and three is important. While question two displays solutions and results, question three displays transformation (i.e. before and after pictures vs. images of chasing grandkids, an organized home vs. more time with family, or a qualified financial planner vs. the ability to take the financial burden of college off of your children.)
In addition to knowing the difference between results and transformation, creating hope also entails knowing your ideal customer well. For example, if the hypothetical weight loss program mentioned above catered to young moms, the grandchildren example might not be the right choice. This is why knowing your customers is so important. To regular readers I am a broken record here, but when is the last time you called three ideal customers and got to know them?
Creating hope is the third part of a marketing trifecta I’ve been building on my blog for the last couple of weeks.
Two weeks ago, I showed you how to create scarcity in a way that makes you unique versus at the mercy of the market. Last week I talked about establishing expertise through being contrary. This week I’m asking you to create hope through transformation. When you combine scarcity, expertise, and transformation, you have three of the strongest marketing tools not only to getting customer conversions, but creating pull marketing for your business.
Pull marketing is when you employ strategies that encourage your customers to seek you out at their time of need versus push marketing, which is when you seek your customers out in their moment of need. Every marketer wants to get to a place where they can rely on pull marketing… and now you have the tools to do it.