The Insomnia Marketing Strategy

Psychographics marketing strategy, aka, marketing via insomniaBefore you read this thinking you’re going to hear a lot about Lunestra and prescription sleep enhancers, know that this is not what I’m talking about.

What I mean instead is tapping into your customer’s negative zeitgeist. Aka, what keeps them up at night?

Anyone worth their weight in salt has had nights where professional concerns keep them awake. Or worse, make them bolt upright out of a deep sleep going “aaahhh!!!”

I’m not talking about fear of losing your job (although if you’re an employment site, this is relevant to what you do). I’m talking about the stuff that makes someone worry about meeting the specific objectives of their job. You know, all the things they have to write about in their employee review.

For example, when I was in sales for a brief, shining, terrifying year, I worried about making my quota. I worried that, come the end of the month, everyone else would report all the deals great and small that they’d closed and me, I’d have a big, fat zero. I would’ve been a ripe target for anyone who could show me a fruitful system for cold calling or an easy-to-swallow guide to the psychology of prospective customers and how to structure your pitch. (I was also 22 and too young to be wearing a big ol’ suit and hawking telephony products for Pacific Bell but that’s another story…)

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C* company, you can—and should—be able to imagine your customer’s greatest fears and the areas of their job responsibilities they’re concerned about. And you must show understanding and empathy along with your solution.

This is not about scare tactics and fear mongering. Forget all that. It’s short-sided and will only serve to tarnish your professional reputation and brand. Let your competitors try that route and fail.

What it is about, however, is a way to cut to the chase. What does your customer really, really need in order to do their job well?

Sure, you can throw in all the demographics you could ever handle—age, income level, education, region, etc. That’s all good information.

But the truth is, I go for psychographics every time. Psychographics marketing means tapping into what your audience is thinking and feeling. Psychographics goes beyond demographics to tap into the lifestyles, behavior and attitude of your audience to build a more detailed picture of who they are. While a lot of psychographics focuses on lifestyle choices that may or may not be relevant to B2B marketing, you don’t have to focus there. The point is to focus on their perceptions. What is this person thinking about? What do they believe? What do they want?

What are they afraid of?

Since so many advertisers concentrate on demographics, using psychographics marketing not only gives you critical insight into more important questions of motivation, it also can help you stay a step ahead of your competition.

By way of example in the B2B space, I have a high-tech client who creates fabulous digital experience solutions. One of the big topics floating around right now (which you’ve probably heard about) is Apple’s announcement that they’re not going to support Flash on their mobile devices. See Steve Jobs’ Thoughts on Flash for details.

If I’m CTO for, let’s say, a major insurance company considering my next big solution to help mobile insurance agents file applications in the field, I’m worried about which technologies to throw my hat in with. What if we choose a cul-de-sac and have to rebuild in a year? What’s our competition doing? How do we future-proof?

As a marketer, your job is to ease my mind by way of making me aware of your solution. Are your marketing efforts doing that?

Something to sleep on.

* Don’t think this applies to B2C? Imagine the 50-something exec who’s worried about balancing job responsibilities against taking care of her own aging father. That’s exactly what customers of a a health care client of mine had on the table. Is something similar on your customers’ minds?