The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace, is a new book from C. Richard Weylman. There’s a lot in this book, and I’ll be reviewing it at Amazon if you want to learn about all of it. However, there are two aspects of the book that I want to share with you here.
First, there is a section about online marketing in particular. There’s nothing new here. Weylman points out the value of a good, usable website, social media, and compelling emails. You’re not going to find anything startling there if you read what we write here or talk with us. However, Weylman integrates your web presence into his broader discussion of marketing. It’s readable, completely nontechnical, and inspiring.
Who else is telling you to “Go forth as a digital optimist and be there so that buyers can find your promise and your business every day”?
If you sometimes have trouble seeing how online marketing fits into your overall marketing strategy or feel alienated by the idea that you have no choice but to embrace the web, you might find that this section speaks to you more than most of the books I review here. This section is in Chapter 7, under “Little Things That Make a Big Difference.” Yes, your online marketing is included as a “little thing.”
I’ll give you a minute to get over that idea.
The thing that really struck me, though, is Weylman’s big idea. We’ve seen quite a few examples lately of web marketing that is all about the company. Each time, we search for a way to say, “Hey, your customers really aren’t that into you” in a more diplomatic way. When your customer wants to buy a cage for his pet, he honestly doesn’t care whether you’re the top pet cage maker, whether you’ve won awards, or whether you are passionate about pet cages. He cares whether his pet will be happy in your cage, whether the cage will keep his pet safe, how easy it will be for him to clean the cage, whether he can trust you to send him the cage in the way that he wants — it’s all about him. Not about you.
“Most websites,” says Weylman, “have…lots of text about who they are and how well they do things.”
When people are shopping, though, or researching products and services online, they aren’t thinking about you. They don’t even know you. Later, they might come to love you or at least to be big fans of your company. Right now — as web visitors — they want to know what they’re going to get out of the deal, and that’s completely appropriate.
The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace is about taking a customer-centric approach. Your website, as well as all the rest of your marketing and delivery, should be based on the answer to the question, “Why should your customers do business with you?” Not, “What makes you so great that people should do business with you?” or “What are the benefits of doing business with you?” but why the customer will be better off with you than with your competition. Why will they be better off if they buy your pet cage (or whatever it might be)?
The book goes into detail on how to formulate this question and related questions, how to find the answer, and how to apply your results. It discusses how to get your team on board with the idea, how to incorporate it into your sales, delivery, and service processes, and an intriguing set of case studies. It’s an enjoyable read and has thought-provoking questions following each chapter that might make this a great summer study group book.
Even if you don’t read this book, though, I hope you’ll think about the Power of Why and how you might apply it to your website and social media.
I received an advance copy of this book for review. I was not paid for this review, and I always tell you the truth.