One of the reasons our clients respect us so much is that we aren’t afraid to tell them no. We tell them no when they ask for leaflets that no one will read. We tell them no when they want web pages that no one will click on or editorial about topics which aren’t, well topical.

We’re a consultancy service and we aren’t afraid to consult. Sometimes (a lot of the time), that means telling clients what they don’t need, rather than what they do.

Creating marketing materials or content that your customers don’t need costs money and muddies the water for modern consumers who need their information fast and concise. Drown them in a stream of long-winded information and they will jump ship to the competition faster than you can say “download this death-by-PowerPoint slide deck”.

So, let’s flip that on its head. Only create marketing materials and content that your customers need and you will save money, attract customers and therefore make money. Yup, you heard me – save money and make money at the same time.

How? By thinking like your customers.

But that’s the oldest trick in the marketing handbook, right?

Lots of companies like to think that they can put themselves in their customer’s shoes, when the truth is, many decision makers are too close, too passionate or too senior to do it effectively. That’s where we come in.

We combine the latest industry research on purchasing and online browsing behaviour, with an in-depth knowledge of our clients’ markets to embody their customers from a completely neutral stand point. This enables us to map out:

  • Which of those 200 suggested webpages will actually get traction
  • Which downloads, guides, datasheets or infographics will peak interest
  • Which topic to submit as a synopsis to that all-important trade magazine hit list

Common faux pas

There are a number of common mistakes businesses make when deciding where to place their marketing spend. Stop. Put the cheque book down and get the kettle on; chances are you don’t need much of what you’re planning to produce.

Here’s the two most common faux pas:

Laying yourself bare at the first touch point

A website is often the first touch point for a customer – in other words it’s the first time they will come into contact with your brand. A really common error is thinking that your website needs to contain endless streams of technical information to demonstrate your skill and product excellence. This leaves you with nothing to offer later on and so many pages on your website that navigating it becomes unpleasant at best, impossible at worst.

This really isn’t necessary. E-commerce sites aside, as the first touch point your website should build confidence, reassure browsers that you’re a real, active company and display just enough of your product or service to get them to pick up the phone.

You need to achieve this in as few clicks as possible. If you’ve just employed a web design agency who know very little about your company or sector, chances are this won’t be reflected in the site map they produce, so work with an experienced consultant who knows your field to nail this important step. Why is it so crucial? If customers can’t find what they need quick smart, they will head back to the Google results page and scroll past you.

Talking to competitors instead of customers

Another error is accidentally talking to competitors instead of customers. This may sound ridiculous, but we see it a lot. Clients will say “my dream is to be in this magazine”, when in reality the readership of that magazine is people just like them; fellow engineers, manufacturers or merchants – their competition!

We see it with content creation too, most often with clients who are so passionate about their industry they want to shout about it from the rooftops. They will say “I want to write a how-to guide about how to make the best soup”, but they already sell the best soup so why are they telling other people how to do it?

The inevitable lightbulb moment

One of the most rewarding parts of consultation is the inevitable lightbulb moment when we explain to a client why we’re not going to let them spend money on things they don’t need – whether that be with us or one of their other creative agencies.

The important thing is we work with them to explain why we’ve put our foot down, and they always appreciate the insight once the lightbulb has been switched on.

It’s our analytical thinking, love for creative industry best practice and sector experience which enables us to save our client’s money and make them money at the same time. Honing marketing spend and resources to enhance their customer journey, not overcomplicate it.

If you’d like help to understand exactly what your customers do and do not need, call The Enamel Works.