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Has Your Marketing Accidentally Turned Clients into Objects? How to Tell – and How to Fix It

Clients are people – we all know that. But your marketing may have accidentally turned them into objects, dollar signs or numbers on a spreadsheet.


Let’s figure it out together. And then let’s fix it.


The inspiration for this blog post is courtesy of a fantastic article I read yesterday. If you have time, read the whole thing. I’ve summed up the best bits below – and added my own guidance.


Has your marketing accidentally turned clients into objects?


If you have, don’t feel bad. It’s how our brains are wired. Are you familiar with the concepts of “fast thinking” and “slow thinking” (first introduced by David Kahneman)?


Fast thinking is intuitive and instinctual. It’s why we can solve 2 + 2 without thinking about it. This is how our brains function 95% of the time. We basically run on autopilot.


Slow thinking is rational, logical, and takes effort. It’s why we need to pull out a pen and paper to solve 4,322 x 7. It’s why we are exhausted after a brainstorming meeting. Our brain is happy to think slowly, but not for long.


So, because our brains are wired to use fast thinking, your marketing could be running on autopilot. You might be focused more on you than your client. Instead of viewing clients as individuals with different needs, wants and interests, you might lump them together.


As a result, your marketing sucks. It’s not speaking to your clients anymore.


How to tell if you’re doing this


First, you need to know what your clients are thinking about, worrying about and talking about.

Answer these questions:


  • What’s keeping your clients up at night? (If you don’t know, get on the phone!)


  • What questions are you asking them? Why?


  • What questions aren’t you asking? Why not?


  • How often do you check in with clients and have meaningful conversations?


  • How often do you have meaningful conversations with non-clients?


  • Are you listening to what clients are saying on social? How are you using that information?


Now that we have a better picture of your clients, let’s make some changes.


How to turn your marketing around


First, put together a process / schedule to ensure you are in regular touch with your clients. This will help ensure your marketing is always on point and focused on them as individuals, not objects.


Next, take a look at your current offerings. Do they address your clients’ current needs – or their needs from before the pandemic? You might need to tweak existing products or services, or you might need to create new ones from scratch.


While you are working on your offerings, keep in mind that you probably need to update your brand messaging. Have your brand’s values shifted? Do you have a different value proposition?


Finally, think about content. You have a list of challenges and needs that your clients are facing right now. Create content that speaks to those needs so they can find you, get to know you and start conversations with you. This might include articles on LinkedIn, videos on Instagram or how-to guides for download.


Here’s the funny thing about doing this hard, slow thinking work: Once this stuff is in place, it’ll become instinctual. Your fast thinking can take over.


As long as you do this slow thinking work a few times a year, your clients will remain individuals, not objects. Your marketing will improve, and your company will grow.

Image by Vladislav Klapin via Unsplash

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