Walking in different shoes


A long time ago I went to my daughter's school assembly. It's a memory that has stuck in my mind because it was quite a good marketing lesson!

There was a pile of shoes and boots at the front of the school hall. The teacher told a story about some people who didn't really understand each other. 

The children were asked to put on a pair of the assorted footwear and walk towards each other. It was amusing because the shoes and boots were too large, and the children took on exaggerated walks according to their allotted characters. Strutting in shiny high heels as an office worker. Dancing along in ballet shoes. Stomping in walking boots, and shuffling in wellington boots. They met up in the middle of the hall and looked each other up and down with pretend-grumpy faces. 

Then they swapped shoes, walked backward and then forwards again, meeting up with nods and smiles. It was a powerful message: we don't really know what others are experiencing or how they're feeling unless we make the effort to walk in their shoes for a short while. 

OK, long story short? What does this have to do with your marketing? 

We promote our businesses from the perspective of... our business, our own knowledge, our experience. We promote to visitors. We look from the inside, out. 

But our visitors look at our businesses from the outside, in. They see what we do from their own perspective. Things that we take for granted or think are obvious, might not be so. 

It's crucial to recognise this. 

When you try to get inside the minds of existing and potential visitors you change the language you use. You show you understand their needs better. You adapt your marketing so it hits the mark more effectively. 

There are some simple ways to do this.

First, is to simply think about one of your ideal clients - someone you already know and ask yourself some questions about them. How do they think? What are their needs, their values? 

Second, is to literally walk up the path to your business and try to see it fresh, through the eyes of your visitors. What do you notice? Maybe take a look at your website or social media too, thinking about it from the perspective of a visitor. What might you need to improve or change? 

Third is easy but also very powerful. Read through your reviews and take note of the things your previous customers have said - and how they say them. What can you learn? How can you perhaps use that information in your future marketing? 


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