Clutter describes our marketing world these days. What author Seth Godin calls our Connection Economy is creating content so fast most of your customers are overwhelmed, time stressed and short on attention. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt noted we create as much content every two days now as from the dawn of man until 2003. The world is cluttered and becoming more so every moment. When everyone has a website yours better be GREAT or why bother.
What Makes A Website Great?
Think of the Internet as one huge lie detecting amplifier and you won’t be far off. The web doesn’t create greatness it rewards it. The web doesn’t cure marketing problems it broadcasts them. Before creating a website or next quarter’s campaigns it is important to know yourself, your company and your important points of distinction – your Unique Selling Proposition.
Unique Selling Proposition Video
Here is an Atlantic BT Conversation I had with Andrew Bartlett one of our business consultants about Unique Selling Propositions:
USPs should use words such as “longest”, “world class”, “leader” and “Best” painting a clear line of distinction between your company and its competitive set.
Atlantic BT Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Atlantic BT creates cross functional teams with deep business and technical expertise to design, develop and employ unique technological processes such as Customer Quality Score (CQS), Employee Quality Score (EQS) and GoTime to develop awesome and award winning software and websites that exceed customer financial and aspirational goals helping clients save the world in some quantifiable way while creating a powerful “word-of-mouth” recommendation growth engine.
Quick Tips To Create Your USP
- Be specific (note the reference to CQS, EQS and GoTime our project time audit trail).
- Think BIG.
- Include your customers.
- Think bottom lines, but don’t be limited to money.
- Leave some mystery to explain later (such as the double meaning of the “word-of-mouth” engine).
Unique Customer Aspirations (UCAs)
Knowing yourself, while an important first step to creating great Internet marketing, is not enough. Your marketing must match your customer’s aspirations or you risk being ships who pass each other at night without ever knowing the other sails nearby. Customer aspirations are more than the resolution of pain points partnering with or buying from your company is sure to resolve.
Aspirations speak to your customers dreams, hopes and fears. Your customer are not always fully in touch with their aspirations, but you and your marketing must be in sync. Every partnership or union of buyer and seller must be mutually beneficial or scale can’t be achieved and the interaction isn’t sustainable. You both (your company and your customers) need to WIN or neither of you do.
Start With Jim Stengel’s Brand Ideals
Jim Stengel, author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profits at the World’s Greatest Companies and a fellow former P&Ger, believes brands aligned to “ideals” are more successful than those who are not. I agree and have used Stengel’s simple brand ideals definition over and over.
Stengel’s Brand Ideals
- Eliciting Joy: Activating experiences of happiness, wonder, and limitless possibility.
- Enabling Connection: Enhancing the ability of people to connect with each other and the world in meaningful ways.
- Inspiring Exploration: Helping people explore new horizons and new experiences.
- Evoking Pride: Giving people increased confidence, strength, security, and vitality.
- Impacting Society: Affecting society broadly, including by challenging the status quo and redefining categories.
Most companies work will touch several of Stengel’s brand ideals. Atlantic BT’s work designing software and websites touches every brand ideal in some way, but our work is concentrated in creating connection. The websites and software we develop helps our customers connect with supporters, buyers and advocates.
Atlantic BT Unique Customer Aspirations (UCA)
Atlantic BT’s customers want to understand the “inside baseball” secrets of Internet marketing well enough to be able to expand their thinking about how to communicate their Unique Selling Proposition to create the word-of-mouth and social support needed to sustain an ever more profitable company, brand or distribution of products via online marketing.
Quick Tips for Creating Unique Customer Aspirations
- Remember UCAs is about how your customers are changed by your interaction.
- Speak to universal concerns such as scale, profitability and brand health.
- Speak to what is happening now such as social media marketing and always changing Internet marketing.
- Tie in your Stengel brand ideal.
- Be specific to what YOU can impact.
Your customers have many aspirations, but focus your UCA on those aspirations you can impact. Knowing how your company aligns to Stengel’s brand ideas, articulating your USP and UCA creates an outline for great marketing online and off.
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* Image at top of this post is a painting from Shepard Fairey named Duality of Humanity and is part of his “Obey” series.