Your Customer Is Not A Computer

treating customers like people not just a computerSometimes Internet marketers seem to do everything right tactically… but they can’t seem to get the sales they’re after. Whenever I see this, especially with extremely hard-working entrepreneurs, the problem is usually one of those “big picture”   strategic issues that can be easily missed when you’re caught up in the work.

It’s easy to forget you’re working on a car when your head is under the hood and all you see is engine.

In the bricks-and-mortar world, sales are made based on relationships. Customers can easily visit your place of business and see your employees face-to-face. This goes a long way to build the kind of trust and comfort that accelerates the sales process.

This is not so easy in the online business world.

Your customers might trust you less since there’s an electronic barrier separating them from the person who’s going to take their money. And as an Internet marketer, a big part of your job involves assisting your clients in overcoming this “trust barrier”.

This is why, no matter what marketing channels you’re using, you need to maintain the right mindset. Despite the fact that you’re constantly working through a machine, you must always remember that a human being is going to eventually buy your product.

  • Your customer is not a web hit
  • Your customer is not an AdWords click
  • Your customer is not a credit card
  • Your customer is not a mouse click

Your customer is a person… just like your best friend or your mother. And the second you forget this, your business is going to run into problems. And this relates to every aspect of how you run your company:

  • When you create 10,000 auto-genned SEO landing pages, you might get lots of traffic through trickery…. but you’re not going to build any relationships with the people who land on those pages.
  • The keyword “500GB” gets a lot of traffic, and it has relatively low SEO competition. But ranking highly for that keyword probably won’t get you many conversions since it doesn’t represent a specific pain point or product.
  • You can use sneaky voting tactics to gain lots traffic from news sites like Digg and Reddit. But you might find these visitors to be flighty and non-committal.
  • There’s no point in spending 4 months developing that killer, full-featured application if you don’t even know whether your customers will want to pay money for it.

Whenever you do anything to promote your business online, you must always think of these activities in the context of someone who’s marketing to another human being as opposed to some anonymous crowd.

  • A really great blog about the political implications of bioinformatics probably won’t attract much traffic to your site. In fact, it might even alienate a portion of your visitors. But targeted content like this can also be very effective in building trust amongst a very small group of highly-profitable early adopters.

If you’re having trouble with your internet marketing efforts, take the time to put yourself on the other side. Forget about “split-testing” and “usability” for a few days. Instead, just take a look at the overall brand experience, and think about how your end-users perceive you and interact with your company.

About The Guest Author: Paul Rudo has been a freelance business consultant for over 5 years. He specializes in B2B marketing for technology companies and organizations targeting geographically local clients.

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