Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to unlock success. This was the insight that led me to develop a new approach to marketing communications. I call it the ACE Marketing Framework. ACE stands for:
Over the course of my 20-year career in marketing and communications, I’ve worked in a wide variety of organizations and with many different people. One thing I have observed is that it can be extremely challenging for people working within an organization to detach themselves from their knowledge about the business, their own goals, and their own biases, in order to truly grasp the perspective of the target audience.
As a new business owner, I understand the challenge. It is difficult to put yourself in your customers’ shoes when you know all the ins and outs of a business.
This is why I believe its important for organizations to stop asking themselves “how do we sell more” and instead ask “how do we empower our customers?”
The questions to ask are:
How do we empower customers to achieve their desires?
How do we empower our customers to become the individuals they aspire to be?
How the ACE Marketing Framework Will Help You Succeed
Today’s customers are more discerning than ever. They have high expectations and a wealth of information at their fingertips, and they expect more than just a straightforward transaction. Customers want to feel valued and understood, and they want to do business with companies that care about them as individuals.
When the focus shifts from making a sale to empowering customers to achieve success, it’s easier to develop messaging that speaks to the customer’s needs. It’s also easier to create content that forges a meaningful connection with a prospective customer.
Endeavoring to empower the customer naturally leads to curiosity about the customer’s experience before and after a purchase. It also provides an incentive to understand the customer on a deeper level, which is critical to marketing success.
Attract Potential Customers
With the ACE Marketing Framework in mind, your initial objective is to attract potential customers by demonstrating that your business offers what they seek.
When people are in need of a solution to a problem, they often turn to Google or another search engine to ask a question. You can attract them, by providing the answer to that question.
Once you have signaled to the customer that they can find the solution to their problem by engaging with your brand, it’s time to deliver and make the connection.
Connect with Potential Customers
To make a sale or secure a client, you must connect with prospective buyers in a meaningful way. Valuable content that helps a prospective customer broaden their scope of understanding about their problem and the potential solutions is a great way to make that connection. At the same time, you can include content that demonstrates how your business empowers people like your prospect to achieve their goals.
It is imperative to delve into the core of their genuine challenges, understand where they are emotionally and make the connection between their problem and the realm where your business offers the solution.
All too often, companies gravitate toward focusing on the attributes of their products or services rather than the emotional benefits of their products or services. With the ACE Marketing Framework in mind and the goal of empowering customers, you can avoid that generally unproductive path.
When to Talk about Product or Service Attributes
The above information doesn’t mean that there is never a time to talk about the attributes of your product or service. Once a prospect has developed an emotional connection with your brand, product details can influence the final purchasing decision.
Research by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio provides evidence that the “reasoning system” evolved in humans as an extension of the “automatic emotional system.” Product attributes are appropriate for messages appealing to the rational, “reasoning” part of the brain, but they won’t be effective without some level of emotional connection already in place.
Get Started Implementing the ACE Marketing Framework
Spend some time today brainstorming your customers’ frustrations, goals, and dreams and how you can empower them to thrive. I promise it will help you develop better marketing communications.
With a focus on nurturing relationships and understanding customer needs, you will set the stage for sustainable growth and success.