Find New Customers: 6 Marketing Principles from Made to Stick

How to Find New Customers for your business. Lessons from this New York Times best-selling book.

Content Marketing Challenges(Author’s note: As this material is copyrighted and it said “Do not replicate without permission”, so we asked for and received permission directly from a co-author before writing and posting this.)

Co-Author Chip Heath emailed me:

Sure Jeff.  Look forward to hearing how you apply the framework to b2b.

Chip )

If you wish to find new customers for your business, you’ll need to craft messaging that resonates with prospective customers. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the New York Times best-seller, Made to Stick, share six principles of “sticky messages.” The #1 challenge in B2B marketing today is “Producing Engaging Content,” so the lessons here are timely.

What is engaging content?

Engaging content is, by nature, sticky ideas, so the concepts from this book apply to the B2B process of finding new customers.

Let’s examine the 6 Principals from Made to Stick and apply them to marketing lead generation programs.

  1. Simple – it’s not about dumbing down the message but focusing on the core of your message. Simple means it is easy to digest. As we move into mobile marketing, simplicity grow even more critical, as you have little real estate or patience. And the great book, Content Rules, talks about the importance of ‘talking human.’ – using language in everyday life – not gobbledy-gook words. Simple ideas expressed in basic human language connects with prospective buyers.
  2. Unexpected – It’s a noisy world and – to buyer eyes and ears – everyone sounds the same. To get attention, do something different. Kinaxis, a manufacturing software firm, made fun of their industry with their Suitemates series. Hubspot, an inbound marketing software firm, produced a music video. Get your marketing team together and brain-storm ideas – the crazier the better.
  3. Concrete – Be specific. Paint a mental picture. Think of Aesop’s fables. Be exact – growing revenue by 13.2% in just 6 months is concrete.
  4. Credible – Get credibility from outside experts or vivid details. For instance, Aprimo hired Find New Customers to provide expert quotes for their Ten Marketing Imperatives. Highly regarded experts bring credibility you could never have – not even your CEO.
  5. Emotional – People care about people, not numbers. What’s In It for Me? One thing both Hubspot and Kinaxis do well is feature smiling, happy people, such as the Kinaxis blog authors. People relate to people.
  6. Stories – At Find New Customers, you may have seen the best-selling author, Tom Peters, talk about the incredible power of stories. (Watch Tom by clicking the underlined words.) Stories drive action (what to do) and inspiration (the motivation to do it.) A good example of story in B2B is the new Kinexions video explaining simplicity around a dinner meeting.  It conveys the entire concept in how they order coffee – contrasting a complex, confusing order with “black coffee.” The company could say ‘simple’ till the cows come home, but a short story says it so much better.

Embrace the principles of Made to Stick in B2B marketing and you will find new customers.

What do you think of these ideas? We love comments and people who share.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He presented at the 140 Social Media Conference on Long Island and will appear on Sales Lead Management Radio on June 9th.

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

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