When you’re marketing your product or service online, anything less than love at first sight is not enough. People look for seconds before they decide if your value proposition is enticing.
Online marketing is more like Tinder than e-Harmony.
Full Disclosure: I am a Founder of MondoPlayer.
Discovering your Aha – (Value Proposition)
The buying process for every product or service is unique, but ultimately every sale must reach what I like to call the “Aha Moment”. The moment where the prospective client gets your value proposition and decides whether it’s a fit.
Quickly convincing your customer that your product offers a unique value proposition can be tough.
For example, our product/service is a productivity tool for social media marketing professionals.
MondoPlayer is a search engine that finds high quality relevant videos, allows a user to preview the videos quickly, create several video posts at once and bulk schedule them to social media tools.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people say,
Why can’t I just use YouTube?
Our “Aha Moment” comes when the user actually tries our product, does a search, finds incredible videos from high quality sources and shares them effortlessly to Hootsuite or some other social media management tool.
We shave hours per week off a social media manager’s workload and increase audience engagement. But experiencing is believing.
In our case, the sales funnel includes the usual marketing messages and calls to action common for most products. But we need our sales prospects to download our App and experience a free trial.
We know that 99% of prospective users give us one chance. That’s one opportunity to prove our worth.
No “Aha Moment”, no client. It’s that simple.
Getting to Aha
We spend a lot of time looking at analytics, logs and other metrics to see where new users get stuck on their way to “aha”.
Data is invaluable because it points the way to where problems may be found.
But there is no replacement for user interviews with real clients and physically looking over the shoulder of new users as they actually experience the product
Pouring over the data and spending time with users can reveal a number of problems:
- Onboarding Process – When a user is first exposed to your product or service, you need to resist the temptation to say too much. But you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to remind the user why your product exists. Like a good author, the experience should foreshadow the ending.
- Interfaces – If your system doesn’t intuitively flow toward an Aha Moment, you’ll lose sales. The path to the Aha Moment should be as intuitive as possible. Some services display tips to encourage the user to discover important features. A simple path to the Aha Moment is the best solution.
- Messaging – The development of a product or service takes time and is rarely a straight line experience. When you roll out, there may be instances where the messaging is outdated or inconsistent.
- Legacy Interfaces – Interfaces evolve as your product is developed and it’s not unusual to have confusing steps.
- Purchase Process – Many products are awkward to buy or have problems with the pricing or bundling. Take care to ensure your clients don’t trip on the finish line.
Not the Right People
None of the data you collect or the interviews you conduct will be worthwhile if you select the wrong test audience.
It may seem obvious, but showing your product to people who don’t need it will end in ruin. They won’t get your Aha message, because they won’t be receptive.
As you’re developing and launching a new service, you should resist the temptation to get validation from people outside your target market. They will either send you down the wrong path or cause you to massively question your sanity.
Beware of the Happy Customer
We all want happy customers.
But even the worst restaurant has a few happy customers who have no taste. Proprietors of bad restaurants will tell you their food is great because the regulars love it. This is a trap every business faces.
To be sure you’re getting useful feedback, interview prospective customers who are not buying.
Your sale proposition is a story. It needs an ending, a punch line that resonates with your target market.
In the words of Jeff Walker (the email marketing guru), you need to sell the “transformation” your customers will experience when they use your product or service. You also need to deliver an Aha Moment during the customer’s first experience with your product or service – a taste of the transformation.
If customers can’t get to your Aha Moment in their first encounter, your relationship will be over before it starts.