Is Your Value Proposition Winning the Race for Relevance?
When is the last time you bought toothpaste in your local drug or grocery store? Did you notice how many choices there are? Do you want whiter teeth? Fresher breath? Tartar control? Stronger enamel? All of the above? None of the above? (Yikes, hopefully not that last option…!)
And how about water? Have you seen the water aisle lately? Do you want flavor? Sugar? Fizz? Vitamins? Water that’s “Smart” (whatever that means)?
Here’s the deal. If commodities like toothpaste and water are going to these great lengths to create relevance in the marketplace – to appeal to the right person with the right message – how can you and I expect to grab the attention of our prospects without giving the necessary attention to the important strategy of Relevance Marketing?
Our brains are processing thousands of pieces of information every minute. And this, by the way, consumes a tremendous amount of energy. One way our brain attempts to minimize its energy consumption is by always asking the question, “Is this relevant? Do I need to pay attention to this? No? Great. What about this? A threat? An opportunity?” And so it goes … every waking minute of our lives.
I submit, therefore, that the most important ingredient in getting and keeping someone’s attention is relevance. If your messaging is not relevant, it won’t even get noticed.
For example, starting with a relevant subject line in an email will likely get that email opened. A generic and uninteresting subject line will doom the email to the deleted pile.
2 Types of Relevance Marketing Essential to an Effective Value Proposition
How much attention do you put on making sure all of your messaging – emails, voice mails, website, LinkedIn profile, etc. – is bullseye relevant for your prospects and clients?
Here are two levels of relevance marketing to consider as you message your value proposition:
Strategic relevance marketing comes in the form of clarity of your target market and clarity of your ideal client profile.
Generally speaking, the narrower your target market, the better (as long as it has the critical mass of potential clients).
When you are clear about your primary market and how to reach them, your messaging will become more relevant to them – as long as you attend to it. And a relevant message will at least get their brain to stop for a second to think, “Should I pay attention to this?”
Once you have a clear primary market, you want to get even more specific to your ideal client profile. With whom do you work the best? To whom do you bring the most value? And who brings your business the most value in return? What are the demographics and psychographics of your ideal prospects and clients?
The more specific you are, the more powerful your messaging becomes. You can speak to their exact wants, needs, fears, and desires. You can say just the right things that will get their brains to say, “I need to pay attention to this.”
Tactical relevance marketing comes into play when you’re communicating with one specific person (or possibly a small group).
For example, let’s say your client has introduced you to their colleague, whom you believe could be a perfect fit for your business. Do you reach out to them with a generic message – maybe something you cut and pasted from your website?
Or, do you take the time to do a bit of research on your new prospect so as to immediately win and sustain their attention?
I sincerely hope you chose the latter!
Examples of cold research include checking their LinkedIn profiles, their bio on their company website, any presence they might have on Facebook. Cold research often yields great information that you can use to grab someone’s attention in your email subject line or first sentence of the actual email.
Warm research is what you learn from your referral source or anyone else who personally knows your prospect. They can tell you things that cold research might not ever reveal. You can learn about their personality and what’s most important to them in their life (as it relates to the work that you do).
The bottom line… Get clear, and get specific. If you attempt to appeal to everyone, you run the risk of appealing to no one.
PS – Don’t keep these ideas a secret. Tell your colleagues and business-owner clients.