All of these terms are a part of our everyday existence. We are constantly being marketed to and through every channel imagined. Something that I have been thinking a lot about lately is how often do we ask the question, “Do the people we’re reaching, need or want what we are offering?” If so, “Are we trying to make a connection or force a conversion?” These two questions have caused me to take a deeper look into why I do what I do, in order to make sure that my focus is on creating value added solutions for those who need what I create.
As an Inbound Marketer, I do a ton of research on buyer personas, industry trends and am constantly tweaking my message to attract my target audience. While this is all very important and powerful, there is still one thing that matters more than any tactic, research or strategy. Making a personal connection with another human is the most important thing any business, non-profit or agency can do. There are two basic emotional needs that every person is looking to have met. They want security and they want to feel significant. If we can focus on these two, innately human traits, we will not only create value in the lives of our prospects and customers, but build credibility with our brand that very few ever do.
For the sake of clarity, I want to define what a “value added solution” means to me and my agency. A Value Added Solution not only meets the physical need but also addresses the two basic emotional needs of security and significance. For example, a local restaurant may serve good, home-cooked food. But what makes it exceptional is that it creates a connection with each patron by reminding them of their Grandmother's cooking (security) and treats them as family (significance). The combination of these elements creates an experience that sets the restaurant, its message and brand apart from the rest. Let’s look at 4 Elements of Value Added Solutions
The quickest way to lose trust with your customers and prospects is to fake it. The reality is, most of the “fakers” are only fooling themselves. For the most part, people know when you are full of bull and will either ignore you or call you out. When looking to connect, be yourself. Many people just look at what others are doing and copy it verbatim. While using successful people in your industry as a guidepost is great, don’t just do what they do. Create your own spin on it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Imitation is Suicide.” When you try to be someone else, you stop being you.
Valued added solutions are birthed out of needs. Whether you run a B2B, B2C or a non-profit, you must create solutions that meet needs first, then go after the wants. For one thing, needs are more pressing and often have a lot more emotion tied to them than wants. Over the last few years we’ve have seen a very turbulent economy. As a result, many people, companies and organizations have focused more on their needs and put their wants on the backburner. If you can create a value added solution that meets their needs and fulfills their wants, you’re on your way to making meaningful solutions that connect and convert.
Pain causes change. As humans, we hate pain and will often do anything we can to remove the pain we are experiencing. A pain point can be something as simple as needing a low cost solution for lunch or as complicated as the need for a lead generation marketing funnel in order to grow your business. Nevertheless, each situation causes some sort of problem or pain that the individual needs to have relieved. Value added solutions look to solve these pain points in order to build trust between the two parties.
When you look at the great brands of our time they all have one thing in common. They create a relationship between themselves and their audience. Think of Apple, Coke, Nike and others who create more than just products, but add value to the lives of their customers and prospects. No matter the size of your company or business, you can do this too. By creating authentic solutions that address needs and alleviate pain, you are well on your way to building a relationship with your audience. The next step is sharing with them, openly and as often as you can, about your solution. Now when doing so, be sure to give them time to digest what you are saying. Relationships are a two-way street and if you do all the talking, you’ll most likely drive them away. Furthermore, this process takes time, but so does success. Build the relationship, create a real connection and you will see more conversions.
While many are looking for the next fast track to success, the most effective and long-lasting brands of our time are the ones that focus on long-term growth solutions. By focusing on creating connections instead of forcing conversions, you will have better leads and happier customers. No matter what widget or product you are trying take to market, you must focus on adding value to your users or audience. With more noise than ever and more ways to block out that noise, the brands that focus on building connections will ultimately see more meaningful conversions and establish themselves as industry leaders over time.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.