I attended the Digital Commerce Summit a little over a week ago, and blogged about some of the featured speakers. For the first time ever, I attempted live blogging with Moz founder (the “Wizard of Moz) Rand Fishkin. Being personally fearless, he disclosed some intensely personal issues about himself and his business, which I really appreciated and wanted to speak with him afterward (he actually had to leave almost right after his keynote, so I couldn’t).
Next up: small business coach Tara Gentile. I wasn’t able to live blog hers because my computer power waned then died. For the next blog entry with Jerrod Morris, I’ll also be summarizing from the live blog notes I wrote.
If there was one thing that I wish the Digital Commerce Summit /Copyblogger folks had done differently, it should’ve been to provide power strips to keep computer batteries like mine going.
Anyway, Gentile presented a very straightforward talk on how to tap into what your customers, followers and fans are saying, then create products that take off. While she emphasized more about webinars and courses, I think travel marketers could extrapolate from this information and create new tours and experiences just as easily.
7 ways to listen to your audience to create products built to sell:
- Listen with the intent to reply – it’s the most important skill.
- Marketing doesn’t start when your product is finsihed, it starts before your product is even conceived of. Handle this first, and see if you can sell them
Choose one or two of the following, and focus on them:
- Social listening – best part of social media is allowing us to listen to conversations of your customers. Target a market, target a conversation. Can be broken down into easily organized categories. From there, you can create an online course.
- What pain points or fears are people expressing
- What goals are they most interested in?
- What obstacles do they perceive as in the way
- Front-end surveys – this doesn’t mean asking people what they want to buy, it means asking them what is urgent for them, what’s top of mind.
- What does your customer know right now?
- If they could pick one problem to solve or skill to learn, what would it be?
- What’s the path from what they know to what you’re selling?
- Back-end surveys – people who expressed an initial interest but didn’t buy. Always have objections, so this can help you figure out what’s going on.
- Why aren’t customers buying?
- What could you adjust about your product idea to overcome those objections?
- How could you messaging or sales copy help further overcome them?
- Market trends – how and where are you currently connected, with influencers, customers, providers? One place is summits or conferences (like this one)
- What are the influencers getting excited about?
- What topics are becoming all the rage?
- What frustrations are influencers expressing and why?
- Analytics – “data can get to the truth faster than most other sources of customer insight.”
- What do you think is true about the content you create? And what is really true?
- Is what is popular the same as what is effective in creating paying customers?
- How have you assumptions affected your product creation?
- Prospect interviews – talk to people you want to buy your products and services, treat them like front-end surveys
- Does your 1:1 line up with what numbers show?
- What’s going under the surface?
- What’s real pain or goal?
- Live presentation – with webinars, local workshops, speaking for local clubs, or your Chamber of Commerce, host panel discussion.
- How did audience receive topic?
- What stories resonated most?
- How did audience receive individual points?
- What was asked at Q&A?
Could you try any of these strategies in marketing your travel brand? Let me know in the comments below!