One of the things I’m most fond of saying (besides, “Why, yes. I’d love another drink.”) is this:
Your prospects don’t care about you.
Your prospects don’t even care about what you do.
Your prospects care about what you can do for them.
There are a lot of ways that ignoring this truth can hurt your marketing, but perhaps the most damaging, in terms of digital marketing and your website, is in the perspective you adopt when building your website and developing content for it.
photo: Reinhard Wolf
Website Marketing – More You Than We
If your website slavishly mimics your org chart, or the first item on your main menu is “About Us,” or if your home page copy mentions “we” more than “you,” you’re looking at your potential relationship with clients from your own perspective.
And your prospects just don’t care. At some point they may care “About Us.” But when they first arrive on your website, their primary interest is figuring out whether the solution you’re offering is the answer to their prayers. Or at least their business problems. So the first order of business needs to be a focus on how they’ll benefit from your solution. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about the details of your solution. They want to know if your solution can help them.
Differentiation Comes Second
Once they feel that your solution may be a viable option, they’ll begin to focus on who you are and what you offer that others don’t. They still don’t care about you, per se. But now they are beginning to care about the details of your solution.
And that’s what you should cover in the pages of your website that are designed to appeal to prospects who you’ve convinced to dig deeper. How your solution works, who it works for, and most importantly, what benefit they’ll realize.
Ideally, your differentiation sets you so far apart from any possible competitors that you become the only logical choose. For many B2B firms, that level of specialization is difficult to achieve. Still, it’s worth striving for as it not only stands to tilt the playing field in your favor, but it can increase your margins and fundamentally change the nature of your relationship with your clients. (You’re the expert and trusted partner you strive to be seen as, rather than a vendor or supplier.)
Better Isn’t Better – Different Is
It’s critical that you stifle your impulse to point out all the ways you’re better than the competition. It’s been many generations since anyone believed the hype – any hype: yours, big consumer brands’, politicians’ – and “we’re better” is almost always hype. Even if you back up the claims with data, most consumers, including B2B consumers, recognize the ease with which you can cherry-pick the data that supports your story and ignore everything else. Better is generally a hard sell regardless of the underlying truth.
You should still quantify results whenever you can, but do so while emphasizing the differences in your approach, in your strategy, and in your process and why those differences matter.
And crow about the ways these differences reduce risk for your prospects. That not only can help you win against your competitors in the marketplace, but can also give you a leg up on what may be your most powerful competitor – inertia.
Make them care about you and you’re much more likely to get them to take the scary first step of abandoning what they know in favor of what you promise.