Oh, Hello Branding Group
You swipe right, meet up for a small talk-fueled coffee date, share an awkward one-armed hug goodbye, and recite the iconic line, “We should do this again sometime” (which is code for “we’re never speaking again”).
We’ve all been there. Dating is tough. There’s a lot of pressure, and it often feels forced and unnatural — sometimes even painful. It’s a lot like marketing. It’s challenging to form meaningful connections with someone totally new to your brand, but only if you’re doing it wrong.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve been thinking about how inbound marketing and dating have a lot in common — you build a relationship with a consumer by attracting, connecting, engaging, and delighting them.
You have to get to know each other first to determine if you’re the right fit — you’d never get into an exclusive relationship after just one date. If you do... no judgment. We’re experts in marketing, love is a different story.
Use these 8 tips that double as marketing and dating advice, so you can swipe left and avoid lame marketing strategies and red flags in the future.
1. First impressions matter
Everyone knows how important it is to make a great first impression. You’ve only got one shot to prove why you should be chosen over someone else. No pressure, right?
Your brand faces the same challenge — your marketing efforts will directly impact the way a consumer perceives your brand. Make sure your marketing is shaped in a way that reflects your business positively and accurately.
When we talk about first impressions with our clients, we like to refer to this quote from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”:
“Buyers make most decisions by relying on their two-second first impressions based on stored memories, images and feelings.”
You’ve only got two seconds, make sure they count.
2. You have a type = target audience
If you’re more of a stay-at-home bookworm, you’re probably not going to find love in the club. We face the same scenario in marketing. Sure, it’s a nice idea to keep your options open and spread your marketing efforts all over the place — a bigger area means reaching more people, right? Not exactly.
In marketing, it only matters if you’re reaching your target audience. By trying to reach everyone, you connect with no one. Talk about a waste of time, energy, and major marketing dollars.
Once you identify your audience, you can focus your marketing efforts and dollars on the people that are most likely to buy from you.
3. You have to differentiate yourself
Don’t go out on the cliché dinner and movie date. It’s boring. We’re all tired of half-assed appetizers and loud popcorn eaters.
Just like with dating, your brand needs to stand out and offer the consumer something unique and exciting. Why should they choose you over someone else? Use your strengths so you can stand out from your competitors; don’t let your brand get lost in the crowd.
4. You have to be authentic
Everyone’s biggest dating fear is being catfished. No one loves finding out a potential partner has been pretending to be someone else. And your brand is no different — you have to be authentic in your messaging because people can spot fakeness from miles away, and they’ll immediately lose trust in you.
Be real and stick to your brand’s values. People are just looking for human connection, and they’ll stay loyal to brands that are sincere.
5. Never say “I love you” on the first date
You can’t love someone you don’t know. If you tell someone you love them on the very first date, they’ll likely not trust you, and not to mention, run for the hills.
Same thing goes for your brand. When you drop the “L” bomb that early, it comes off as disingenuous. It also becomes clear that it’s a tactic used on everyone, making your prospect feel less special and more like a number to check off.
6. Being first-to-mind matters
When a friend asks about how your dating life is going, typically one person will float to the top and stand out above the rest. That’s the sweet spot you want your brand to be in.
Your company should be the first brand name that comes to someone’s mind when they’re asked about a specific industry. When your brand is first-to-mind, it helps you attract leads, retain loyal consumers, and stand out against your competitors.
7. Don’t talk about yourself too much
If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date. Likewise, as a brand, if you only talk about how great you are, you provide no value to the consumer and they won’t engage. No one likes a big ego.
Listen to what your consumers want, and most importantly, what they don’t want. Uncover their fears and problems and show them how your company can solve them.
It’s important to develop your marketing strategies around your consumer’s pain points and desires. By doing so, it allows your consumers to feel seen and heard, and they’ll feel more connected to your brand.
8. You don't propose (ask for the sale) on the first date
Take. It. Slow. You certainly wouldn’t propose on the first date when you hardly know each other — same thing goes for sales. Meaningful relationships take time — they require nurturing, and each date builds on the last.
It’s important to get to your know prospect before asking for any kind of commitment.
Does your marketing feel like an awkward first date? Are you missing the spark? You’re not alone — it happens to the best of us. We’ll help you put your best foot forward.
Let us be your wingman and set you up with successful marketing strategies that guarantee a second date. Reach out today!