Archive for October, 2013

When it comes down to yes or no, understand how your best customer makes decisions and focus on trust builders to persuade.

Best Online Customer ModelIn our last post, we walked through an exercise mapping the full path to our best customer. Instead of 1 decision maker, we identified 4 audiences, all with unique needs, leading us to our best customer:

1. The Board of Directors
2. CEO
3. VP of Marketing
4. Marketing Manager

In this post, exercise 4 builds a model identifying how each audience makes decisions. This knowledge will help you to brainstorm a strategic, tactical plan to meeting those needs by asking questions that get into your best customer’s decision making mindset.

Click through exercises 1 -3 for a refresher of our best customer model.

My Best Customer Exercises 1 - 5

  1. Begin with straight forward demographics
  2. Brainstorm problems, pain points and goals
  3. Ask yourself–”Are they the final decision
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  4. How do they make decisions?
  5. Finally, brainstorm trust builders- what does

    each person involved in the decision making process need to feel comfortable doing business with you?



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Exercise 4 - How do they make decisions?

There are 4 decision making styles to gathering and processing information. Those mindsets are better understood by asking yourself how each audience would answer the following questions:

Audience 1: Board of Directors

Let’s consider first our Board of Directors. As elected or appointed members, their goal is to oversee the activities and decisions of the company. Think about the collective way they are expected to respond in this situation. It is likely they will need a lot of information.

What is top of mind for the board? Consider questions like these:

  • Does this solution fall in line with our current direction?
  • Do the proposed vendors have experience in the industry?
  • Do they have broad knowledge of branding? We do not want a technology only company.

Audience 2: CEO

It is also likely that our CEO needs a lot of targeted, summary information so that he can weigh options quickly. His perspective is from a strategic business focus. He may ask:

Audience 3: VP of Marketing

This VP of Marketing has a competitive mindset. She asks–what’s in it for me? She expects a lot out of herself and others.

  • What are competitors doing in Social?
  • Who can I trust to guide me through a successful campaign?
  • Is pricing competitive?
  • What if I fail? How will it impact my job?

Audience 5: Marketing Manager

Often times, a marketing manager is responsible for work planned and managed by internal folks and contractors. This marketing manager values people first. His questions are rooted in planning the day-to-day marketing activities of the teams that he works with and that the solution can be managed realistically.

Trust Builders

Armed with this information, our final step in the process is to brainstorm trust builders. What do each of our audiences need to feel comfortable doing business with you?

Our final exercise 5 will result in a targeted list of trust builders that

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will be prioritized by impact based on your goals. Additionally we may need to estimate the amount of time, resources, and budget by meeting with individual team members or managers so that the overall project needs can be estimated.

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