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Is it Time to Stop Educating Your Audience?

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I’ve been told by a lot of business owners that they’re always looking for ways to educate their audience. The belief is that if your audience understands more about what you do, they will be more inclined to buy from you. And while that can be true, of course, it’s not always the best approach when it comes to your marketing. Sometimes you just need to get to the point.

It’s actually a chicken and egg scenario. One of the reasons why businesses feel the need to educate their audience is because they’re selling a product or service that’s new or complex and therefore people won’t fully understand it. Because how can you buy something if you don’t understand it?

You know that your amazing new product or service solves a problem. It will transform your customers’ lives in ways they couldn’t imagine. It’s actually going to be really good for them.

But how are you going to get your audience to listen? Here are the problems:

  • If it’s so new, they’re not going to be searching for it, so SEO or keyword searches are out
  • You could be talking about a problem that they’re not aware they have, so it’s hard to touch upon pain points that people are in denial about
  • In a world too packed with media and messages, yours will easily get passed by because it’s not on anyone’s radar

So what do you do?

Behaviour

I got told this brilliant story once. A company needed to get its staff to recycle more. No one was putting the relevant rubbish in the recycling bin. Everyone was just throwing all their rubbish in the main bin. They tried to make it a new enforced rule. It didn’t work. They put up posters educating the staff on the importance of recycling and they shared facts about the environment. But it still didn’t make any difference at all.

It couldn’t be that people didn’t care about the environment. Something else was going on. And if you want to make change, then you need to find out what is actually happening.

So they sat with the staff and learnt first hand just why no one was using the recycling bin. The truth was that everyone had a little waste paper bin under their desk, yet there was just one recycling bin all the way over in the corner of the office – near no one. It wasn’t that people didn’t care. It was that staff were so busy, they automatically threw their rubbish in the closest bin to them. They didn’t have the time to walk over to the other side of the room.

You might think this is incredibly lazy, but when you’re very stressed and busy, what to do with your rubbish will of course drop to the bottom of your priority list.

So what did they do next? They did the only thing that made any sense. They moved the bin. They made it ridiculously easy for everyone to put their recycling in the recycling bin. And do you know what? It worked.

It’s not that people don’t care. It’s that our brains always opt for easy solutions for things that aren’t our primary concern. It’s literally how we work. It’s survival.

If you want to get your clients to use your services, stop telling them about it. Stop trying to educate them. Instead make them see it. Make it easy and change their behaviour.

Emotion

It’s only in recent years that it’s become well discussed just how much emotion is important in B2B marketing. But to me it’s always seemed obvious. You’re not selling to a business. You’re still selling to people who just happen to work in a business at that time.

As people, we are driven by our emotions. If you make me feel something, it’s far more impactful than just telling me about it. The primacy of emotion is the first principle of behavioural economics.

It’s fundamental to how we operate as humans. So make sure that you don’t overlook emotional impact in your marketing.

Writing a blog that educates your audience is a much harder sell than putting together an advert that will grab their attention instantly and make them feel something.

And once we feel something, that’s a first step to behavioural change. It could be joy or hope as much as fear or anger. It doesn’t have to be negative, is just has to be real.

Hard Work

I know a lot of businesses that spend ages on social media posts, their weekly blogs and a monthly video where they share information. They might even throw in a podcast.

But there isn’t one point in any of their marketing activity where they send out a simple, attention grabbing message or they try to incite behavioral change for the better. It’s all very slow, it lacks a lot of emotion and it easily gets lost in a sea of other similar media.

Why not forget your blogs for this month and instead use the time to work on a simple advert that sends out a clear emotive message? Why not try to grab your audience with five words and a ‘I just can’t not look at that’ image?

If you’ve never done that, why not give it a go?

If you don’t know where to start with this, please talk to us. It could be a lot easier to convey a simple marketing campaign that grabs attention, rather than churning out endless messages that just aren’t reaching your target audience. If you want some top tips, let’s set up a call. Some small changes could make a massive difference.

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