A Q&A with Mike Gospe (Part 4): on mapping messages to the customer’s buying process

Recently, I was interviewed by the editors of DemandGen Report. Here’s part 4 of 5.

  • You break downThe Message Box,” a tool for marketers to tell their stories. Can you explain how this works and why “storytelling” has become a successful way to communicate the value proposition?

Nobody likes being sold to. In fact, I’d venture to say that most people go out of their way to avoid the sales rep. This is because most companies yell at prospects with their “buy now!” messaging. This intrusive approach to marketing is all about the manufacturer and not about the customer. We need to change this. People are in control of their buying processes, meaning that they choose whom to listen to, and when. If we aren’t in tune with their buying process, we will annoy our customers and prospects will ignore us.

The message box offers an approach to remind us that we need to understand the customer prior to selling to them. The message box is a tool with a singular focus: to summarize the value proposition, using customer-friendly language that will hook the prospect so they will respond with “Tell me more.” Those three little words are magical, offering an invitation to delve in to deeper details.

In short, customers will never buy from us if they don’t know who we are and if they don’t feel we are a credible source of information, solutions, and expertise. This must be established first before we offer coupons, discounts, and the like. Rather than blurt out all our messages at once, the message box helps us create and deliver our messages in a logical sequence. This approach allows us to overlay their buying process with messages that will guide them through (or out of) our lead gen funnel quickly.

*** Read part 1 on the dangers of being seduced by new marketing tools

*** Read part 2 on why market success requires having a focused positioning statement

*** Read part 3 on a tip for discovering your competitive differentiation

*** Read part 5 on tips for communicating your marketing plan internally

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