Knowing your value in the digital economy

The polarity in marketing has reversed from outbound to inbound. Most businesses are struggling to adapt their narrative, packaging and product development to this new state, according to brand and marketing expert, Barnaby Wynter. He tells the Mindlab Academy how the best businesses are adapting, and it’s about knowing your value – well beyond price. 

Barnaby Wynter believes that today’s consumers have started the decision-making process before a company even becomes aware that this potential customer exists. He tells us, “We, as buyers, wake up with an issue and the first thing we do is Google it or go to Amazon and check out what’s out there.”

“During that process, we qualify our problem. Is it common? Is it something that can easily be fixed? What we tend to find is not only that people have the same problem, they also have a solution. Very quickly, we’ve got a list of options to look into and you’ve started that process of making a decision.” 

He puts that into context: “88% of all buying decisions start online and at the point that people make contact with a business for the very first time, they’ve made 57% of the decision to buy. These stats are from Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins, the Ecommerce Foundation and CEB, now owned by Gartner.” 

So what can companies do to let customers know why to buy their product or service? “Make buying easy. And don’t bombard customers with features. That goes for online or physically,” says Barnaby. “What customers need to know is that you are the solution to their problem. Very rarely on packaging does it say that so when we pick it up, we still have to work out whether it’s going to do what we need it to do.”

“Even more fundamental is ensuring that every time a customer touches a business, they get a sense of your values. They should imbue everything from emails to call centres to invoices.” To work out how to do that, it’s about focusing everything towards your value proposition, believes Barnaby: “Your value proposition is made up of four elements: your business’ behavioural style or culture, your products’ benefits, what you want people to believe about the business, and what you want to be famous for.”

“Then you define your ideal target market not by demographics but by psychographics so the people you attract have the same values as you. Orientate everything in your business and everything in your marketing to engender excitement and inspiration amongst your target market, and they will buy into your business.”

Barnaby believes FMCG companies aren’t immune to the shift from outbound to inbound marketing. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, behaviour changed”, he states. “Even FMCG has become a much more considered purchase. Where you’ve got to be insightful is not necessarily at the point of sale anymore. It’s much more about using social media and other tools to get involved in communities and demonstrate your values.”

Barnaby Wynter is a speaker, author and founder of The Brand Bucket Company. Find out more

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