OK, I had to write about the latest phrase that has gone viral, but not from the perspective you might think. I am not going to go into the swamp of talking about how the TSA new screening procedures may or may not make flying safer, or how some may feel the screenings are a violation of 4th Amendment rights. Rather how this phrase “don’t touch my junk” has gone viral…classically spreading via “word of mouth” throughout the marketplace.
It just shows how something like Jim Tyler’s four words have touched a nerve within the general populace. This may have all been innocent on the part of Mr. Tyler, who now can claim his 15 minutes of fame. That is to say, he may have planned the episode since he did record it on his cell phone, but I do not think he planned on it gaining such traction across the United States.
What it does show is how this phrase touched the responsive chord within the marketplace. When it comes to marketing, don’t we all wish everything we say and do would resonate with both customers and prospects so fast? Understanding your customers’ needs has made your business grow. Understanding your prospects is another matter entirely.
To find out what will resonate with prospects can be much more difficult. First you need to do your homework and that means creating Buyer Personas for your product line(s). Roughly the process goes like this:
- You and your team need to gather ‘round and come up with a list of assumptions about people that are not yet your customers. What are their hot button issues, how do they go about solving business problems or make buying decisions. This process will give you level “0” in this process. You may be spot on in the analysis or way off base.
- Next you need to ask your customers similar questions. This may validate some of your assumptions, but then again the input is coming from a source that already knows you. What you are looking for is, “what it will take to reach the buyers or prospects that are not yet customers.”
- Now you have the hard work, asking Buyers/prospects what are their business problems or buying decisions and how do they go about solving them. Then and only then will you have the ingredients to fashion a Buyer Persona or Personas for your company. You may find that your assumptions are way off.
The reason I say your assumptions might be way off is you might be too close to the trees to see that you are in the forest. Being so close to your company and products, you might think you know what prospects are looking for, but not really. For example: I was talking with a friend that has a business that offers surveillance systems. He thought the number one search term for his company was “High Definition surveillance systems.” Using any of those as keywords in a search did not yield any results for his business. The prospect for his solution would more likely be looking for “closed circuit surveillance systems” or something similar.
Still creating a Buyer Persona is much more involved that three simple steps.
Word of Mouth
Once you know what your prospects are looking for it will be easier to draft a message the will resonate with them. Ultimately your message should be crafted to impact Word of Mouth (WOM) for your company and spreading what you want your message should be. You want your target markets to think and talk about your company and your solutions in the way you want them to. That is controlling the uncontrollable. With all the new tools (social media, blogs, networking, etc.) and the traditional tools (printer, electronic, public relations and the like), marketing is still about controlling WOM with the message you want to be heard and spread.
Understanding your market, using the words and in the places they are most likely to be seen, will help you not only Being in tune with your market can help get your message to spread virally. Still easier said than done.
What do you think?
Do you have any examples of how you have made your message go viral?