When Bob London's client hit the Inc. 5000, everyone in the honored company was elated. They celebrated all night long. Of course, the next morning, they had more to deal with just the ramifications of a headache from a festive celebration.
Worse Than a Hangover
When the CEO arrived to the office that day, she was inundated with emails, voicemail messages, and inbound marketing from companies making assumptions about what the Inc 5000 company might need.
Less than one day after landing on the much-coveted list, the company was being spammed into submission. Marketing technology makes it possible for marketers to identify names, titles, and phone numbers quickly. Just because you can locate a name and contact information, does not mean you should use it. I've omitted the company name to spare them the same insanity, again.
I had the good fortune of interviewing London, CEO of London Ink recently on the Grow My Revenue Business Cast. Bob and I laughed about what happens to Inc. 5000 honorees. They go through a swift shift from euphoria at making the Inc. 5000, to the frustration with being inundated with spam from companies that don't understand effective sales and marketing. The interview is embedded at the bottom of the article.
Businesses routinely rev their business development engines fueled with the wrong ingredients. Salespeople reach out to potential customers with misguided messages in the seller's language, not the customer's words.
The company received messages like
We're going to be in your area, and we'd love to meet with you.
We have great solutions for growing companies.
We are a full-service marketing firm.
Of course, none of these messages captures anyone's attention because each message is missing the point. I especially laugh at the "full-service" concept. Unless your competition regularly categorizes their organization as "partial service," you are wasting your breath.
Bob shares some of the biggest mistakes he sees marketers consistently make in business. "If you really want to show your customers how you are different, start by marketing to them in their own words," says London. Bob describes the concept of an Elevator Rant - a concept of getting your customer's own words into your marketing messages about the problems you can solve for them.
Good Messaging - Based on Rants
During our discussion, London shared insights about a success story in John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile.
When hired, Legere listened to live customer calls to hear what customers were actually saying in their own words. Based on competitor advertisements about network coverage, dropped calls, and bad technology, Legere instead heard repeated complaints about contracts.
Legere discovered a pain point and launched a four-year campaign as the provider with no contracts. They even paid people's fees to break contracts and move to T-Mobile. In short, he addressed the customers' elevator rants when no one else would. They have seen their share price almost triple in the past three years.
It's Your Turn
If you want your message to capture your potential client's attention, you have to tap into your customer's rants in their own words, not descriptions of your products and services. When you get that right, companies will welcome your outreach instead of trying to hide from you.
What marketing strategies capture your attention? Are they describing features, or problems? Join the dialog in the comments below.