When working with a client on any type of marketing project – a postcard, a website, and advertisement, a social media post – I always keep my grandclients’ needs in mind.
Grandclients? Yes, I coined that term, for the clients of my clients.
Of course, every decent marketer is focused on their client’s needs and feelings. But I strive to go a step further. The reason we’re doing any marketing program in the first place is to reach out to the people my client wants to serve. So our job is to respond to their feelings.
Our projects usually begin with an initial discovery meeting, where I sit down with the client to discuss their mission, vision, goals and objectives, and what problems they are trying to solve. We also talk about their best clients and prospects: what they want, what they will most likely be feeling. And we’ll discuss how my client wants to make their audience feel.
Here are some examples.
I have several coaching clients. Their clients (and potential clients) want to feel empowered, strong, competent, and hopeful. So those feelings should underscore everything we create together.
I just talked to a law firm who told me their potential clients are usually hurt and scared. So the firm wants to let their clients know that they are safe and will be well taken care of. We need to address those feelings in everything we create for this firm.
My dentist clients have a similar situation. They want to make sure that people who might be scared of dentists feel safe. Some patients might think a dentist appointment is drudgery – for them, we try to invoke a fun, friendly feeling.
I just love working with non-profits because I have a clear understanding of the various grandclients – the many audiences a non-profit has to address. I work with my clients to understand what each audience member will want to know and to feel. (more about this in a future post).
For all my projects (if there is an exception, I can’t think what it would be) we wrap these feelings in the competence that my client brings to the table.
By using empathy for both our clients and grandclients, we create effective marketing materials for everyone.