May 14, 2009
Everyday I receive marketing reports loaded with statistics and numbers that have the appearance of relevance but in fact merely mask the true meaning of what’s important: human emotions, not rational reasoning, are the subconscious basis for most decisions.
Reliance on rational quantitative analysis leads people to ask the wrong questions, implement the wrong solutions, and produce disappointing results.
Your website presentation is how you tap into your audience’s subconscious desires. If the feature-benefit approach hasn’t yielded the results you want, perhaps it’s time to try something different, and that starts with asking the right questions.
Website Presentations Are Evolving
The way material is presented on websites is evolving; delivering your core marketing message in an effective way requires the use of multiple presentation options, each aimed at an audience sector that prefers that particular information delivery method.
Some people prefer text as a way to get their information, however the vast majority of Web users find reading on a computer screen tedious, due to the resulting eyestrain. Some people prefer audio, which is easier to digest, but in a multitasking environment where attention wonders, engagement can be problematic. Then there is video which has the potential to make the most impact if it is done right, but which often is implemented in the most monotonous mind-numbing manner.
Doing it right involves understanding more than the technical issues involved in production; doing it right involves understanding how to maximize the psychological impact of content, performance, emotion, and perception.
A tool is only useful if you understand how to use it effectively. In that regard we have developed a series of questions that help businesses form the basis of generating an effective Web marketing presentation.
Questions That Need Answering
Who Are You, Really?
One of the hardest things website businesses have to do is gain people’s trust and confidence. Unlike face-to-face sales, websites are remote and often devoid of any engaging properties.
Your website needs to present a personality to which your audience can relate. What we are talking about here is the business’s personality not yours – it’s your brand image that’s important – Betty Crocker, the Geico Cavemen, and World’s Most Interesting Man from ‘Dos Equis’ beer, don’t exist, but they represent the brand personality.
1. Describe the identity, character, and personality of your business?
2. Is that personality presented in a manner that effectively captures the Web-audience’s imagination, and sticks in their memory?
3. Does your website presentation take a strong position or point-of-view?
What Do You Really Do?
Telling people what your company does, seems like a pretty fundamental question that every business owner and executive should be able to rattle off without hesitation
Answers to this question often fall into four categories: the one-word answer from those who think everything is a trade secret; a rambling technical explanation of everything ever done or intended; a series of clever sounding platitudes that sound impressive, mean nothing, and are instantly forgettable; or merely a presentation of products and services without reference to how they serve the audience’s interest.
4. What’s your business model?
5. What is your core, marketing message?
6. Does your marketing message resolve a conflict, solve a problem, tap into some hardwired desire, or profound influencing experience?
7. Does your marketing presentation present a surrogate personality to which your audience can vicariously relate?
8. Does your marketing message offer the hope of improving the business or personal lives of your audience?
Why Should Anyone Care?
A cell phone allows you to make phone calls, text message, and take pictures; lipstick colors your lips; and perfume makes you smell good – so what? What’s the real reason people buy what you sell; what’s the underlying need your offering fulfills? Cell phones provide a sense of connection and even safety; lipstick makes a woman feel confident in her appearance; and perfume triggers the pheromones that lead to attraction.
9. What’s your psychological and emotional attraction?
10. What makes you special, unique, or different from others in your business?
11. What element engages your audience and keeps them on your website long enough to hear your marketing presentation?
12. What element prompts viewers to tell colleagues and friends about your website/business?
Why Should Anyone Remember You?
Every company wants to make money, that’s not a goal it’s an imperative. But making money is a function of the decisions you make, and your ability to present what you do in the most engaging, compelling, persuasive, and above all memorable manner. After all, if no one remembers who you are and what you do, your business isn’t going to get very far.
13. Does your website tell a story?
14. Does your website delivery a bold, unexpected, entertaining, or emotionally charged experience?
15. Is your website psychologically and emotionally memorable? Does it tap into the hardwired desires and audience life-experiences that form attitudes and behavior?
Implementing Your Content
The preceding are only questions; what counts is how you implement the answers, and turn them into effective presentation. Try to take some risks, and think outside your common frame of reference.
The answer to how to deliver persuasive marketing is found in discovering and presenting the emotional and psychological motivation. Success in business is about solving people problems; try to use that perspective when answering these questions, keeping in mind that most decisions are made on an emotional level and not on a rational one.
Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit http://www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads,
http://www.sonicpersonality.com, and http://www.136words.com. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (905) 764-1246.