do your buyers feel included?

Marketers: Do your buyers feel included?

Technology continues to enable marketers to do more and more personalization, but do your buyers feel included?

Buyer inclusion is different than buyer personalization. Personalization means you’re tailoring your marketing to specific buyers, such as using their first names, sending communications the way they prefer to receive them, and possibly knowing what holidays they celebrate.

Buyer inclusion means your buyers feel a sense of belonging to your organization. Here’s an example. An Asian acquaintance of mine complained for years about how difficult it was to find sunglasses that fit. Recently, while visiting Europe, she was trying on sunglasses in a store. A salesperson approached her and said, “That’s the Western version. Why don’t I get you the Eastern version and see if it fits better?”

After years of sunglasses sliding down her face, she finally found a company that understood and catered to her true needs. She felt included. She is now a lifelong customer of this company.

Stay true to your company mission and vision

Ensuring your buyers feel included takes more than making and using a Message Map. It means having a company mission and vision to guide who your company is, and as a result, who your ideal buyers are.

More and more, even business-to-business (B2B) buyers seek to purchase from companies with like minds, whether it be sustainability, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), or even charities they donate to.

As reported in the Harvard Business Review, “As B2B offerings become ever more commoditized, the subjective, sometimes quite personal concerns that business customers bring to the purchase process are increasingly important.”

Create your ideal customer profile (ICP)

An ICP is different than a buyer persona. Buyer personas are about your current buyers and their habits.

When thinking about your ICP, remember that it’s okay to not be all things to all people. Let your mission and vision guide you. ICPs are about the buyers who will be the best fit with your organization – who are most likely to feel included by your mission, vision, and solutions.

To find your ICP, interview current buyers and internal stakeholders who understand your organization’s mission and vision. If you have a client advisory board, that can be a great place to start. Advisory boards are often made up of loyal clients who feel included by your company.

staying true to the mission helps buyers feel included
Staying true to your company mission can help your buyers feel included.

Remember that you most likely can’t be all things to all people. Let your mission and vision clearly guide your principles, and therefore, your ICP.

For example, IBM’s mission is “to be a catalyst that makes the world work better.” Businesspeople who prefer the status quo and don’t feel a need for change do not fit the ICP for IBM. That’s okay. There are plenty of buyers who are included in IBM’s mission.

Your company has its mission for a reason. To be successful, you don’t need every client in the world. What matters is that the clients you do have feel included.

If your buyers feel included, they are more likely to be loyal, lifelong clients.

I felt so included during my trip to Greece in February that I’m making a list of things I want to buy there when I return. Yes, I can buy those things here in the US, but I’d much rather spend my money with businesses that ensure I feel included.

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