There is a nasty habit in the business-marketing world that we should talk about.

na·vel-gaz·ing
n. Slang
OR
omphaloskepsis: literally, the contemplation of one’s navel, which is an idiom usually meaning complacent self-absorption.

We see a lot of companies spending way too much time talking about their plant/warehouse square footage and how long they’ve been in business and how great their process is, and they spend less time talking about how they actually solve their customers’ problems.

It’s an easy mistake to make. When you’ve just invested a lot of capital into your warehousing system, and spent all that time perfecting your ERP process, you want to share it with your customers.

To be sure, there is time and place for all of that information. But it’s not right out of the gate:

  • A picture of your building or factory does not belong on your homepage
  • A timeline of how your family business evolved is for a plaque on the office wall, or on the About Us page
  • Your world-class process counts as one detail in your list of differentiators, but it’s not the first floor in your elevator pitch (or even the second).

Often, things that make you proud of your company have no relevance to your customers.  Do you think your customers care about how profitable you are or where you’re located? Do we find Hamlet compelling because he lives in castle?   

If navel-gazing sounds like something your business is guilty of, it’s an easy problem to solve.  You just have to turn your marketing on its head

This is a common way many companies present their offer:

  1. My company
  2. Has a product
  3. With these features
  4. Offering these benefits
  5. Which solves these problems

This kind of marketing evolves from a need to immediately gain credibility, to justify why you’re here.

We suggest you frame your story like this:

 

  1. Your problem
  2. Can be solved by these benefits
  3. Provided by these features
  4. Contained in this product
  5. Sold by my company

This approach gives you credibility in the customers mind by demonstrating that you know their business, understand their problems and are willing to share that knowledge with them. Most importantly, it shows you care about them.

When they know how your product can help them with their problem, it’s time to talk about your company.

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