What’s better, simple or easy? If you buy a product that is easy to use is it better than if it were simple to use? Is there a difference? Or does simple sound insulting. We had to make it simple because we didn’t think you could figure it out on your own. And so the dilemma arises for marketers around which word to use. Select the right one and buyers respond, chose the wrong word and you can find yourself on a path to nowhere.
Understanding your buyer is the first step to learning what words or phrases will resonate the best. Once you have the words down you can design and develop content, or campaigns, that speak the words that buyers find most engaging. Here a few quick tips for identifying the best words or messages that will drive a positive (lead generating) response from your prospects:
- Survey. Do a quick survey of your existing clients using e-mail, SurveyMonkey, or phone. Ask them to provide you with words, or a description, of what comes to mind when they think of your company. Leave it general. The more parameters you place around the survey the more constrained their responses will be. Allow them to think freely and simply react to your question. Remember playing word association when you were a kid? I say blue, you say sky.
- Key Word Test. If you have a company blog, focus on testing key words in your titles and then throughout the blog piece. You’ll find that the view and/or response rates will provide good insight into the words, topics, phrases that are most engaging to your audience. Of course you should keep records to track responses when using certain words as this data will allow you to adjust future topics, titles, etc.
- Councils. Both b-to-b and b-to-c companies use councils. Customer Advisory Councils are mechanisms or tools you can use to gain quick and direct insight into your buyer. Depending on the size of your company and the type of offering you are selling I would recommend no more than 11 Council members, always having an odd number. Why? The most effective and productive Councils I have been a part of, involve their members. Council members are engaged under an NDA and have access and input into new ideas, strategies, and tactics the company is considering. Often times a vote is involved, hence the odd number requirement.
Once you have deployed some or all of these ideas you must document and record your findings. The data set you will create is your road map for developing your messaging. If your customers refer to you as “easy”, you now know that there’s a good chance easy will resonate. Likewise if the feedback you receive suggests “you are the simplest X,Y, Z to work with”, then your message should revolve around simple.
The fact is it’s up to you to find out what the right and wrong words, or phrases, are when marketing your product or service. And the only one that truly knows what will work and what won’t is your customer…so ask them…involve them. Once you do you will be on the road to creating a value proposition with supporting messaging that will engage the audience and generate lead response.