I was sitting at my desk, with the feet up, listening to Mike Michalowicz speaking at a recent Commonsku at Home event. Mike is one of my favorite speakers, thought leaders and authors in the business space. He has written several must read business books including The Pumpkin Plan and Profit First. When he said he is working on a new book about marketing, he had my attention. It was then that he told us about the most powerful word in marketing.
Mike’s new book (still in production) will be called Different is Better. The concept is simple. When there are thousands of options in nearly every business space, how do you stand out? It’s not just about being better (though that is great). It’s about being different. You must do something to differentiate in the customers mind.
Simple right? As we know, simple is not the same as easy.
While I am excited to dig into the book and try many of the tactics Mike discussed, there was one thing that caught my attention. One way to stand out in a sea of competitors is to use the most powerful word in marketing. What is that magic word? What simple word can you put on a piece of marketing that will wildly increase the likelihood that your customer will not only read the piece, but maybe also KEEP it? Let me give you the word…
It’s your customer’s name.
As Mike suggested, we are all attracted to our own name. If we are in a conversation with someone in a crowded room, and someone mentions our name, it will break through the noise. We will hear it. Our name is special to us. It gets our attention. It makes our customer feel important…because they are! If you want a simple way to make your marketing more effective, personalize it. It’s the marketing equivalent of listening to Beyonce and “putting a ring on it.”
The implications of this are simple and powerful. If you are going to create a direct mail piece, you are more likely to get it opened if it actually says the customer or prospect’s name rather than “current resident.” And if you are created a piece of branded merchandise to say thank you to your customers (and you should), what if you personalized that as well? If you create a vacuum tumbler with your logo on it, how much more would it mean if each customer, team member and board member had their own name on it? The effect will be powerful.
And as a side note during this pandemic, it’s safer. If each person has their own tumbler (or other branded piece), then there is a much lower chance of someone drinking out of the wrong tumbler and getting sick.
So now that we are in appreciation season, consider using the most powerful word in marketing to increase the value of your branded gift. Use your customer’s name and personalize your gift for even more affect!
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