When customers have great experiences, they want to buy more and are more likely to remain loyal. A positive customer experience often results in positive word-of-mouth referrals. 73% of customers say a good buying experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties (Source: PwC).
Daniel Burstein is the senior director of content and marketing at MECLABS Institute. He oversees all content marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands, while helping to shape the marketing directions for MECLABS Institute, digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience. Before joining MECLABS Institute, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications—a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 21 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement, and field marketing communications.
In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss customer-first marketing and how we can help our customers see the value of our products and services
Daniel is passionate about what he calls “customer-first marketing”. This is an area where MECLABS Institute has done a lot of research. Daniel said there are many different ways to succeed as a marketer. However, from different studies and research, they’ve done, they’ve found one of the most successful things we can do is put the customer first. As marketers, it’s part of the job to ask for a conversion. Daniel believes the best thing we can do is go back to our team and ask, “What can we do to put our customer first?”
MECLABS conducted a research study on 2,400 consumers to determine how they perceive companies. The research found that the customers who could perceive that their needs were being put first were more loyal to the company, more satisfied, and more likely to be repeat customers.
Daniel said the most important question we need to ask whenever we need to make difficult decisions, is the question of how we can put the customers’ needs first, while also achieving our business goals.
“Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.”
– Clare Muscutt, Founder of CMXperience
Actual Value Vs. Perceived Value
It’s important to understand the difference between the actual value and perceived value. Marketers have to communicate to customers the perceived value of the products a company is creating. This is the reason why we have content marketing and marketing in general. That’s why marketing plays a vital role in value perception. If marketers don’t do a good job and show the customer the value of what they’re offering them, they will likely choose another company.
Though the difference may seem subtle, it’s really important that our customers can see the value we’re providing. I see this happening all the time when companies provide so much value to the customer but they fail to communicate this value to the customer effectively. As a result, this makes it much harder to make the sale.
We can’t just provide value to our customers. Our customers have to perceive the value we are providing.
What is Your Sign Out Front?
Just as luxury real-estate companies invest a lot of money in the sign in front of the development, we as entrepreneurs must ask ourselves, “What is our sign out front, and what does it say about our products?” Our “sign” can be our website or a free version of a premium course we’re offering. This sign has to indicate to our customers that what we offer is what they’re looking for. It has to help them perceive the value of our products.
Trust Through Transparency
Daniel mentioned the research from Michael Norton, at Harvard Business School, who spoke earlier at their event. In his research, he talked about what he calls “trust through transparency”. Once again, it comes down to value perception. A lot of times people don’t understand what went into making the product or service they’re buying. This includes the many years of experience we’ve accumulated to be that good at what we do.
If we’re trying to monetize our content, we need to show all the work that went into creating the content in order to help customers and potential customers perceive the value of what we’re offering.
The Conversion Sequence Heuristic
MECLABS Institute has patented methodologies based on research done to understand the factors that go into customer decisions. The MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic is a framework of five factors on which marketers need to focus their optimization energy.
Daniel focuses on the “D factor” which represents the force of the value proposition. There are four elements that affect the force of the value proposition. Daniel believes these elements are critical when we consider monetization. Because then we have to build a value proposition for our product. It’s even more difficult when it’s a digital product when customers can’t just walk into a store, pick up a book, flip it around, and perceive its value. That’s why, with digital products, we need to make sure we’re communicating the value proposition right.
The four factors that form the force of the value proposition are appeal, credibility, exclusivity, and clarity. When we’re trying to create the value proposition for a product, we have to ask ourselves how we rank on these four different factors to a customer.
First, we need to ask if our product has appeal. After we’ve created something that has appeal in the marketplace, our customers will want to know why and how our claims will work.
We need to look for ways to add credibility to our product. This can be achieved through some third-party certifications, customer reviews, or testimonials. This is also where content marketing can come in.
After we’ve created an appealing product that people believe in, we need to think about exclusivity. If everyone else is selling our product, it’ll be a commodity that we won’t be able to sell at a higher margin. This takes us back to building the value proposition for our product. We must ask, “What is the exclusivity that we bring to this niche that no one else does?” It’s about finding out what differentiates our product.
The fourth element is clarity. We can have the most appealing, credible, and exclusive product but without clearly communicating these values, the customer won’t care. We won’t be able to get their attention and convert it into interest. Daniel’s advice is to look for the exclusive value we offer in the marketplace and make it the headline.
Thank you so much Daniel for sharing your stories and knowledge with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. If we don’t put customers first, they won’t put us first.
2. If there’s one question we have to ask, it is, “How can we put the customers’ needs first, while also achieving our business goals?”
3. It’s important to show our customers all the work and experience that went into creating our content so they can perceive the value we’re offering.
4. To make sure our products have exclusivity we need to ask, “What is the exclusivity that we bring to this niche that no one else does?”
5. What is exclusive and appealing to one customer is not going to be to another customer. That’s why it’s important to identify and target our ideal customer.
Connect with Daniel Burstein
If you enjoyed this interview and want to learn more about Daniel or connect with him, you can find him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielburstein/ or visit MECLABS website, meclabs.com
Want to be a Better Digital Monetizer?
Did you like today’s episode? Then please follow these channels to receive free digital monetization content:
1. Get a free Monetization Assessment of your business
2. Subscribe to the free Monetization eMagazine.
3. Subscribe to the Monetization Nation YouTube channel.
Share Your Story
How do you help your customers perceive the value of your products and services? Please join our private Monetization Nation Facebook group and share your insights with other digital monetizers.