Marketing Like a PsychopathBy Bryan Adams

Psychopaths have no empathy for the people they interact with, or concern for their actions on others.

They’re not capable of understanding, appreciating, or caring about the needs and feelings of others.

They’re single-minded about achieving the outcomes they want—irrespective of the consequences for other people.

Does that make marketers psychopaths, in some form?

Here’s an easy way to check.

To qualify as a psychopathic marketer, all you need to do is:

  • Produce marketing material based on the wants and needs of your company, not your audience.
  • Not consider—or worry about—the true value you bring to your audience.
  • Focus purely on what you get out of your campaigns.

An overwhelming number of marketers are guilty of psychopathic marketing. Every day.

The Six Rules to Avoid Marketing Like a Psychopath

How do we avoid selfish marketing sins? When I feel in danger of becoming too single-minded, I remember six primary rules.

RULE ONEPut your audience’s needs before your own. Always ask, “Is this in the best interests of my audience?”

RULE TWO: Conduct an empathy mapping exercise to discover their true pain and pleasure. If you haven’t tried this before, there’s a link in Rule Three.  Put yourself in their shoes and make sure you understand what they see, hear, feel, seek, avoid, appreciate and desire. If you do this you can win hearts and minds.

RULE THREE: Understand all of the personas of your audience, not just the obvious ones. You’re likely to alienate a large proportion of your audience who’re looking for different features and benefits to suit different needs, wants and desires. Download this free guide to persona and empathy mapping and get started.

RULE FOUR: Context is king. Content needs to be tailored and timed to be most useful and relevant. If you don’t understand the context of your customer journey, you can’t be sure you’ll deliver real value when it matters most, and it’s likely your content will be ignored or forgotten. Understand your customer journey through your content, on your website or in the social space to determine publishing times, social channels and the call to action, alongside the type of content you’ll publish, based on the annual habits of your audience. They may be influenced by the weather, social or professional events, buying cycles or other key factors that are specific to your audience(s). You need to understand what they are!

RULE FIVEAlways ask for feedback and aim to improve on previous endeavors. Producing content is an opportunity to learn more about what your audience, appreciate and how they react and engage with you. By dissecting analytics after you’ve published, you’re able to inject key learning into your future work. The day you decide you know enough about your audience is the day you become a lazy marketer. Again.

RULE SIX: Satisfy both the rational and the emotional aspects of communication. Amongst your various personas you’ll have characters that like to make quick decisions, as well as those who take their time. You’ll have people who react to headlines and those who prefer the detail. Some respond to lists of facts and others enjoy a story. Cover all the bases and package your products, services, expertise and advice in a way that’s most convenient and appreciated by your audience.

Understanding how to connect emotionally is essential to designing a winning strategy.

Think about the stories you could tell to effectively deliver a powerful relevant, valuable message.

Follow these six rules and you’ll be on your way, but there’s lots more you can do it improve your inbound marketing efforts and avoid marketing like a psychopath!

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is CEO of Liverpool’s award-winning digital agency Ph.Creative and author of Getting Goosebumps. A strong leader with a background in communications, Bryan is a social media addict and inbound marketing strategist with a passion for contagious content and disruptive ideas.

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