Several headlines/links float through my Twitter stream every second. Most of them I glance at, maybe favorite to read later or if they are really compelling, I’ll click through and take a look now. 90+% I just let float by. Same with TV commercials or print ads or even songs on the radio, just about anything type of media I consume. Most of it floats in “one ear and out the other” metaphorically speaking.
It is not that they are bad headlines. It is not that the articles are not meaningful. It is not that the commercials are not entertaining. It is just a matter of timing. My brain, like those of every human, has been conditioned to be drawn to the thing that we most need IN THAT MOMENT.
How often do you stop and think about what the customer you are trying to attract needs IN THAT MOMENT. When I think about a business’ failure to give a customer what they need or most want IN THAT MOMENT, an image that constantly comes to mind is the store changeover at the end of a holiday.
I walked into a major drug store chain on December 26th and the previous holiday items were already gone and they were on to Valentine’s Day. They were rushing me into THEIR schedule. Never paying attention to what I needed IN THAT MOMENT (which, coincidentally, happened to be a New Year card) They were forcing me to jump immediately into the next thing because it was what was on their schedule… not mine.
Digitally we see it all the time. Another great example – I saw my first “year end wrap-up/year in review/lessons we learned in the past year” posts before the end of October! In this industry staying current and knowing what worked and didn’t in social media in the past year is important stuff, but I don’t need a year end wrap-up in October. I need it at the end of December because at the speed digital moves, what you wrote in October is unlikely to be accurate or relevant by the end of December. We do such a disservice to our current, future and potential customers when we fail to pay attention to what they need IN THAT MOMENT.
Our failing to give our customers what they need IN THAT MOMENT is rooted in our general failure to pay attention to what they need and our insistence on giving them what we think they should need. The sad reality about all business today is we are so busy trying to be/do/say/deliver the next big thing and make a buck that we rarely really ask ourselves – Is this…
- something that our customers really want or need
- is it something they need now
So what is it that your current or potential customers need? Are you giving them access to it when they need it or when you think they should need it? Are your messages relevant to them IN THAT MOMENT or are they memorable enough that they will remember them when they need your product or service? Have you learned to walk that fine line between inundating (and probably annoying) them with messages they don’t need IN THAT MOMENT and making sure you are top of mind when they do what you have to sell?
All tough questions that can be fairly easily answered by talking to your customers and asking them. When was the last time you actually did that?