We live in an ever-changing world, and it can be difficult to understand just how all the changes affect us. If you can demonstrate to your Web site visitors that their environment has changed in such a way that your product or service is now more important than ever before, it can convince them that they need it now – even if they had previously decided against it.
- A fitness trainer could say, "In these times, it's almost impossible for busy executives to stay fit with diet alone."
- An investment adviser could say, "There's never been a better time to invest in property", based on the strength of the property market. "
- An environmental activist could say, "We have only 18 months before the effects of climate change become irreversible."
- An accountant could say, "The new tax laws could cost you thousands of dollars."
- A restaurant owner could say, "The economy is booming – come in and celebrate with your friends!"
- A business consultant could say, "The Internet is making it easier for competitors to put you out of business."
Follow this four-step process to use this principle on your Web site.
1. Know their problems
The first step is to understand your target market, and understand their most pressing problems (or biggest aspirations). What's keeping them up at night (problems) or keeping them motivated during the day (goals)?
This is an important first step, because if you don't correctly identify these issues, you won't be able to address them in the following steps.
2. Find the environmental pressure points
Look at each of the issues you identified in the previous step, and consider what's changed in the environment that makes these issues even more challenging.
For example, if you're a recruitment consultant targeting employers who are hiring new graduates, you might note that Generation Y employees want different things from a job than older generations did. This could be an important issue for employers who are struggling to recruit – and keep – this sort of employee.
Do the same for your target market. Here are some common environmental changes to consider:
- The global financial crisis
- Terrorism and security concerns
- Climate change
- A change of government
- New legislation in an industry
- Changing attitudes of consumers towards money, work, health, etc.
- New technology
- Major life changes – marriage, children, divorce, death, etc.
- Internet technology, such as Google, Facebook and mobile devices
3. Explain why it's important
You have identified the pressure point yourself, but your customer might not realize it. Even when they do realize it, they might not understand how much it's costing them. So help them by listing the costs and consequences of the problem – and the benefits of solving it.
For example, the recruitment consultant should be able to quantify the cost of hiring a new staff member – including the up-front costs, the training costs, and the productivity costs.
4. Offer your solution
Finally, you can present your product or service that solves the problem. This is the standard marketing material that you would use to promote the product or service.