What’s in It for Me?: Determining Why People Buy

7 09 2012

It gives me very great pleasure to introduce today’s guest blogger – my dad and marketing wizard, Fred Tomczyk! Without further ado…

Why do people buy?As a Marketing Communications Manager, one of my jobs is to identify the messages we want to tell our customers about our company and our products. The usual goal, of course, is to move them towards purchasing one of our products.

Here’s a simple way to approach this task.

Let’s start by talking a bit about how to select a message that has the best chance of stimulating sales.

The first thing you need to recognize before settling upon a message is why people buy your products or services. I emphasize the word “people” because whether you’re selling B2B or directly to a consumer, there is always a person making the decision to buy what you have to offer.

Recognizing that you are selling to a person, you need to ask yourself why your customers would want to buy what you have to offer. This is actually more challenging than it sounds. Everyone who is considering whether or not they should buy what you are offering is standing in front of you with a question written boldly across their forehead, just waiting for you to read it and give them the answer they need.

What’s that question? It’s simply, “What’s in it for me?”

What your customer is always asking is how will what you’re offering benefit them. This is really powerful, so let me emphasize this again. They want to know how the product or service you’re offering is going to BENEFIT them.

That word “benefit” is what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter if your widget has a two inch diameter while the competition only has a one inch diameter (the feature). It doesn’t even matter that that two inch diameter means you are stronger (the function). All that matters is the BENEFIT he will derive from the fact that your widget has a two inch diameter and is stronger.

For example, because of this larger diameter, which makes your widget stronger, your buyer will experience increased confidence in using your widget. This may even help him protect his employees. It might help him make more money, improve his customer relations, reduce risk or save time..

Whatever the underlying benefit, your customer will decide to buy your product because they see the benefits that answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”

Here’s a simple example: Two people bought wrist watches. They both say they bought the watches so they can tell what time it is. One of them bought a $20 no brand, while the other bought a $4,000 Rolex. Both watches tell time. So why would one person buy a Rolex while the other buys a $20 disposable watch?

It’s all about the benefits they were seeking.

The $20 watch buyer may be content with telling time to be sure she gets to her appointments on time. The Rolex buyer says he’s buying the same function, but he’s also buying several other benefits. He’s buying the feeling of prestige. He’s buying something he believes makes him look and feel good. He’s buying something that he thinks tells people, “I’ve made it!”

So, if you were selling a Rolex, would you talk only about the high precision manufacturing process? The composition of the metal? The spring tension on the watch band?

Or, would you explain to your customers how their friends will admire them? How good it will look on their wrists?

Use the following list of benefits (“Reasons Why People Buy”) with your products or services. Develop your list of deliverable benefits so you can use them with all of your communications tools – face-to-face sales, web site, ads, literature/flyers, press releases, signs, packaging, etc. Remember to differentiate between Features, Functions and Benefits. Then use your lists of benefits to answer your customers’ question, “What’s in it for me?” and increase your sales

Reasons Why People Buy
To Increase:
• Profit
• Satisfaction
• Confidence
• Convenience
• Pleasure

To Protect:
• Investment
• Self
• Employees
• Property
• Money

To Make:
• Money
• Satisfied customers
• Good impressions

To Improve:
• Customer relations
• Employee relations
• Image
• Status
• Earnings

To Reduce:
• Risk
• Investment
• Expenses
• Competition
• Worry
• Trouble

To Save:
• Time
• Money
• Energy
• Space

Next Blog: Just two weeks away. If you can’t wait that long, contact me! I’m always happy to talk smart business.

Found today’s topic fascinating? Me, too! Here’s a bonus TEDx video, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” that makes a phenomenal compliment to what my dad wrote above. Thanks to Chris and Jenny of Body Within Personal Training for bringing this video to my attention!

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





The Hardest Easiest Thing You Must Do to Succeed

28 10 2011

Be yourself.Before you ask whether I’ve recently sustained a closed head injury or just completely spaced out on grammar, let me point out that my post titles – unusual as a rule – always make sense by post end. This one will be no exception… you have my word.

So let’s dive right in: What IS the hardest easiest thing you must do to succeed where so many other businesses fail?

Difficultly simple: Be yourself.

That means, understand who YOU are as an individual and a business owner, as well as your personal motivations, and cling to those babies like coral on a reef.

You’re nothing without knowing yourself. Your business can only survive so long on the recommendations, expectations and demands of others before it implodes like a black-hole-forming supernova. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your business decisions satisfy the world’s population, your community or your mother (no offense)… if you have to become something you’re not to make it happen, your heart can’t and won’t be in it.

But, being yourself should be easy, right? I mean, all you really need to do is… well.. exist.

Alas, as any high school student can tell you, existence IS crushing pressure to be someone else.

Peers, mentors, customers, loved ones and even yourself are constantly heaping expectations, on top of advice, on top of demands in an effort to mold you into who they think you should be. It’s rarely malicious, just part of the whole human gig.

This is where setting personal goals, designing plans, making internal check-ins and building a core identity come in handy. They help define the founding ethics, values and purpose that make you YOU – regardless of the other changes you and others make in your life – and help you ‘remember’ who YOU are in the midst of all the inter-relational chaos.

When you’re solid on who you are, your business has a rock-hard foundation to build on, and success suddenly becomes a very viable option.

“I yam what I yam.”  ~ Popeye

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

All content on this site is Copyright © DMT Artistry, LLC. All rights reserved.





How to Know When It’s Time to ‘Dump’ Your Old Website

13 10 2011

Dumping your old websiteYou know that girlfriend who’s been playing discus with your glassware, or the boyfriend who encourages friends to wipe Cheetos-fingers across your white couch? Sometimes it’s so easy to know when they’ve simply gotta go.

But websites that misbehave, misrepresent or just completely miss the mark are surprisingly agile at ‘dump’-evasion. The reason? Time.

Business owners and entrepreneurs are, by definition, time-deprived. Clients, dilemmas and opportunities are constantly (and rightfully) laying claim to the limited landscape of our schedules. So, an ineffective website can, and frequently does linger online for years past its expiration date, while our attention is elsewhere.

When’s the last time you combed through your website? Heck, when’s the last time you even visited? It’s easy to get hyped at its initial launch, then forget it’s there as the years go by. Too many sites are filled with irrelevant, expired or inaccurate information. And, unfortunately, those inconsistencies are making your company look bad.

Facing the reality of how critical an online presence is these days, we have a mission: Determine if our existing site is destined to go the way of the dinosaur. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time to ‘dump’ the old site:

1) When it no longer accurately represents your business. It’s important that your website reflects the look, the feel, the culture, the clients, the mission and the message of your company.

2) When it’s difficult to use. If your navigation is clunky, your website resembles an advanced level maze, there’s acres of page scrolling or your customers can’t figure out how to get past the home page, it’s time to let your old site go.

3) When user response is negative or non-existent. If your customers don’t like interacting with your site or, worse yet, AREN’T interacting with your site, then it’s definitely on its way out.

4) When its out of date. This warrants refreshed content at the very least and, optimally, a fresh, new design. Retro can be cool, but not when it means that your website looks like it was built in a prehistoric, glitchy edition of Publisher.

5) When you can’t update it yourself. This is something I feel strongly about. With today’s technology, you should always have the ability to tweak your own site content. Hours change, prices fluctuate, images need refreshing. If you prefer to leave that in the hands of experts, as a web designer, I applaud your decision. We designers can apply our creative skills toward making those updates look exceptional! However, you should never be locked out of your own site’s maintenance, particularly when frequent updates may benefit your website’s traffic flow.

6) When it’s not multi-device friendly. With the rise of hand-held devices – iPhones, iPads, iPods (yep, I’m an Apple fan), Droids, Blackberries, etc – your website has to at least be viewable on a variety of different systems and screens.

7) When it can’t grow with your business. This goes along with the updatability of #5. Your business is constantly evolving, so the needs of your website, the needs of your customer and the needs of your company are going to change. Your website should have the flexibility to grow, morph and support those changes along the way.

8 ) When it’s no longer benefiting your business. If it’s not serving the purpose it was intended for – whether that be an online brochure, e-commerce store, resource center or place for customers to connect – then it’s time to ditch the site.

DMT Challenge of the Week
Give your website a once-over for potential problems. Then run through it again with a customer’s perspective in mind. Was it easy to navigate? Does the ‘look’ suit your business? Is it welcoming? Are the text and photos all current and correct? Do you have administrative access, so that you can easily make updates, as needed?

Jot down the issues, and decide whether it’s time to ‘dump’ your old site and launch your company back into online orbit with a fresh, new website.

You know what I do. You know I can help. Please feel free to browse samples of DMT web designs, and contact me for a quote. It would be a privilege to light the spark of life under your online presence!

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Choking on Butterflies: The pretty v. practical compromise

4 08 2011

Choking on butterfliesI saw someone choke on a butterfly once – my husband, in fact, though we were dating at the time. It was on a mountain biking expedition that this kamikaze Lone Ranger of the insect world fluttered headlong into my husband’s unsuspecting mouth. It wasn’t pretty… for either him or the butterfly, but it sure made for a memorable date!

Businesses choke on butterflies daily. Only their butterflies aren’t winged insects. They’re the fluff and glitter and show that bedazzle their customers into a purchase. They’re the colors, and sounds and snippets of wittiness that draw attention to what you do or sell.

As humans, we’re all susceptible to the influence of beauty, whether that beauty be a gorgeously arranged display, a stunning store model, a picturesque shop location or a brilliantly designed ad. And, visual beings that we are, this facet of marketing is critical.

Where problems arise is when a business focuses too much on its “butterflies”, and not enough on its content. No matter how flashy your marketing may be or how exquisitely your store may be laid out, if there’s no substance to your offers or no real purpose behind its presentation, there’s nothing to keep your customers coming back. And at that point, you’d better be prepared with the Heimlich maneuver, because your business will be choking on butterflies.

DMT Challenge of the Week
Take a look at the layout of your store and your marketing materials and techniques. How much of it is pure show, and how much has a practical foundation for the betterment of your business? How much actually gets across your company mission?

Be ruthless. Cut the fluff. And remember, more customers isn’t necessarily better. Your time and your resources should be dedicated to the visuals and activities that bring you the RIGHT KIND of customers for repeat business.

DMT Artistry gets to the heart of your message, so that your marketing is both visually stimulating and purposeful. Call us to learn more!

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Ode to Self-Employment

17 06 2011

Self-employment is remarkably revealingOperating your own business is about as revealing as traipsing through the mall in your skivvies.

People learn – YOU learn – an uncannily large amount about who you are by the way you handle self-employment. You can clothe your business in any perception you care to create, but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of how you offer and follow through with your service, the truth will out!

Because the reality of it is that, for every 2 hour lunch break, mid-week vacation or impulse purchase, self-employment demands double overtime to make up for missed time and opportunity. How you do – or don’t – embrace that responsibility, speaks volumes about your devotion to self-employed success.

The “high-schooler-on-spring-break-in-Cancun” style of self-management results from a critical failure to recognize this, and that’s why being self-employed purely for the sake of being self-employed is a recipe for disaster!

But when managed correctly, there’s so much to love about being “master of your own destiny”. It creates accountability. And accountability fuels motivation. Motivation drives creativity. And creativity is the bread-and-butter-and-meat-and-potatoes-and-ice-cream-sundae-with-a-cherry-on-top that a true entrepreneur lives for.

It’s what I live for.

I love knowing that a glowing testimonial is the direct result of my time and effort.

I value the opportunity to make mistakes, learn from them and evolve into something better, without biting my nails over managerial disapproval.

I thrive under my own values and standards, because I am behind them 200%.

I enjoy the flexibility of working as inspiration strikes – whether that be 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning – rather than when the time clock demands.

I empower myself to make decisions and act on them.

I even appreciate the days when my heels are dragging because, in the process of questioning my sanity, I always wind up reaffirming my enthusiasm for what I’m doing… and dive right back in!

There is, of course, a reason I’m able to enjoy all of this… that reason is my clients. My clients will ALWAYS receive the highest standard of service from me and my business. Consistently exceptional work is what ensures and insures the future of DMT Artistry and the career and lifestyle I’ve chosen.

So banish the image of a couch potato selling “the next big thing” between Price Is Right episodes and hours-long gossipfests. That’s a hobbyist.

The true self-employed will be the ones who get visibly excited “talking shop”, who amass a die-hard following, whose businesses evolves daily, who keep popping up on your radar, who are just… driven.

“The meek shall inherit the earth”, my foot. If I were you, I’d put my money on the entrepreneurs.

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com

 





Snooping (Respectfully): A Marketer Must-Do

18 05 2011

Market research doesn't have to be nosyFor this blog, you’ll need your binoculars, tape recorder, telephoto lens, phone bug and… just kidding.

All you REALLY need for some good, old-fashioned dirt-digging is your computer, your common sense and your courtesy. Here’s the deal…

Knowing where to advertise is half the battle when you’re making your marketing decisions. And deciding where to advertise starts with an understanding of your customers’ interests. What do they read, watch and do? Where do they travel, relax and work? When do they buy, daydream and socialize?

The answers will give you important clues about where you should lay those marketing dollars.

You can pay an arm, a leg and a first-born child to have demographic and target market research managed by professional firms. And if you’re on your way to Fortune 500 status, this may well be a viable and valuable option. But, if you’re a smaller company with a budget to match, there is another way.

So, let’s start our respectful “snooping”, shall we…

Lay It All Out There
Let’s start with the most forthright fountain of information – the customers themselves. Asking well-thought-out questions with total transparency makes people feel comfortable, excites an eagerness to help and provides you with just what you need to know. Questionnaires, surveys and “how did you hear about us?” at the cash register are excellent places to start.

Do the majority of your customers read the Sunday paper? Then that’s the perfect day and place to advertise your kite repair service!

Do they spend week nights on Facebook? Post your pizza coupons!

Travel the highways on their work commute? Get those hand-brewed coffee billboards up!

Working Social Media
Savvy marketer that you are, you’ve been on Facebook (or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or…) for ages, “friend”ing your wonderful customers, and building up “likes” on your business page. You’re posting great information regularly. But are you “listening” as well as you “talk”?

Your customers’ comments, the pages they “like”, and the causes they support are valuable nuggets of marketing information. A runners’ shop might notice that their fans are all raving about a particular race. Perfect! It will receive the shop’s full support – advertising and man-power – next year. Maybe you catch your customers quoting regularly from The Wall Street Journal. An ad there could be worth it’s weight in gold.

This is non-creepy, perfectly respectful information gathering at it’s finest.

Participate
Through friendly chats and social media, you’ve learned about events, shops and restaurants that your customers totally “dig”. Now go the next step.

The ones that pop up regularly in these conversations are ones you should consider visiting. There may be marketing options there, OR you may be wise to advertise where they’re advertising OR a visit may inspire some zany and wonderful marketing ideas. Just be creative!

Understand that I in no way condone underhanded, disrespectful or illicit acquisition of information.

So, rather than private eyes and magnifying glasses, think in terms of honest curiosity. The information is there. See what you can discover!

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neal Hurston

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Website 101: So you need a new website…

6 04 2011

Starting your website design adventureLaunching a website – new or renovated – is truly an adventure. And like most adventures, the happiest endings start with the most informed plans. So, in honor of the spring surge of DMT website design projects, I give you three of our top pre-design considerations:

What is the purpose of your site?
Is it to act as an online billboard? Be a resource? Generate hype? Sell?

Be aware, many businesses wax enthusiastic about a plethora of purposes and, like anyone with a 3-mile long to-do list, they overwhelm themselves into inaction. This is where it’s vital to prioritize. Determine your primary, secondary and, if necessary, tertiary purposes and use those as your guiding design stars.

If you’re having trouble pegging down just what you want your site to accomplish, try starting with this question: What ACTION do you want your online visitors to take? If you want them to buy your widget then and there, then your web design should encourage quick-click sales. If you want them to contact you for a quote, then your web design should act as an online business card, with phone number and email address always at the fore.

Who will be visiting your site?
The next step is to determine your target market.

This major component is the determining factor for the overall appearance and “functionality” of the site. A techno-savvy teenage crowd devours the hype and hoopla of a splashy, intricate, quick-byte site, but Baby Boomers? Forget about it!

Fitness fans, businesswomen, antique collectors, missionaries… your website design needs to mirror the demographic it’s targeting. Why? So that it will be inviting to your key crowd. And “inviting” sites generate more traffic. And more traffic is a beautifully manicured road to more business!

How do you want your company to be represented?
It’s equally important to integrate your company’s core culture into your website design. When your business’ personality is well-represented, it gives people a flavor of what to expect from you. Will it be a rip-roaring buying experience or a comfortingly professional one?

After all, you don’t want just any buyer. Both your business and your clients deserve better than that. You want to attract buyers who will enjoy working with you, as much as you enjoy working with them. Your site should give them enough of an insight to help them make that determination.

How would you answer the above questions for your business? Does your current website reflect those answers? What changes could be made to create a better match?

DMT Artistry LLC has also taken these questions to heart, and our own website will be re-launching within a month! Please check back soon, and let us know what you think!

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com