The Mindfulness of
Marketing: How to Focus on the Customer
By Bob Martel, of JMB Marketing
If marketing is, indeed, a mind game – and it is –
then doesn’t it make sense to study the mind and be
ever aware of what is going on inside your
customer’s head? After all, your company is only a
collection of thoughts in the gray matter of
everyone you serve, agree? How can you maximize your
overt and covert marketing efforts to ensure
compliance to your purchase suggestions without
first knowing what really makes your customer tick?
In other words, how can you consistently persuade
and influence the buying behavior of your customer
if you are not truly focused on their wants and
desires? As that cognitive IBM commercial reveals,
your company must collectively “ideate” on the needs
and wants of the customer.
Be honest. As a marketer, have you ever really
stopped to think about what is going on in the minds
of your best customers, those who have left you, or
those who are simply waiting for you to educate them
about all that you can do for them? Chances are you
have not really paused long enough to realize that
your customers are people, too, with the same hopes,
dreams, aspirations, and desires that you hold dear.
Chances are you haven’t really paused to reflect on
the lives of your employees either, right? Your
customers, your employees, your vendors each depend
on your smart, ethical marketing because it enriches
their lives. Think about that one!
Imagine how powerfully effective your marketing can
become when the wholeness of your message resonates
with your customers. Imagine further how your
company will run like a well-oiled machine with
every employee fully embracing the present needs of
your customers as they serve them on a daily basis.
The key to fully leveraging the potential lifetime
value of a customer lies in managing and building
upon the perceived value in the minds of your
customers each and every time you serve them, and in
influencing human behavior (future purchases,
referrals) by connecting with that human being you
call “your customer.” Make sense?
The mindfulness of marketing is a process, an
endless journey and a conscious determination to
truly connect with the subconscious mind of your
customer and prospect. Unlike the mind control
methods pioneered by Ed Bernays, the mindfulness of
marketing will enable you to more easily achieve
your influence goals through the conscious effort
not to influence but, rather, to understand, to
relate, and to serve. Influence and persuasion
skills are critically important in marketing – as
you seek to cause compliance – yet the mindfulness
of marketing will help your company to positively
impact the lives of your customers, not simply
manipulate someone to make a purchase decision.
To grasp the very notion of the mindfulness of
marketing means to first understand and embrace the
concept of mindfulness itself. Mindfulness, or the
act of being mindful, is defined as being aware of –
and living in your present moment. Understanding the
basic tenets of mindful living is both intellectual
exercise and a lifelong journey. Becoming mindful,
or practicing mindfulness on a daily basis is
another thing altogether. You’ll understand this as
you begin to explore and study mindfulness. This may
be new territory for you, so here are seven steps to
quick start yourself and your organization on
becoming more mindful of your customer:
• Get real clear on the
true benefits of your products and services and
how these benefits positively impact the lives
of your customer.
• Understand what “owning these benefits” enable
for your customers. How does having these
benefits help the customer to get what they want
out of life? Hint: Google ‘16 Core Desires.’
• While you are studying ‘mindfulness’ and
learning to practice it yourself, get your
organization to start “ideating” – as the IBM
commercial illustrates. Hint: Get mindful about
your marketing ROI, your marketing strategy,
your unique selling proposition, and the
marketing metrics you know you should monitor
• This one may be a stretch. Meditate. Clear
your mind. Take time to reflect on your
customers and the quality of their experience in
doing business with your company. Is it
consistent? Is it pleasant and valuable and
hassle-free? Where can you make improvements?
• Educate your customer. Help them know your
company better and the range of products and
services you offer. Overcome the “I didn’t know
you do that” syndrome. Help them make smart
• Buddhists speak of obstacles to overcome for
mediation to be successful. One is ‘mental
scattering’ or distraction. What is distracting
you or your employees from delivering an
exceptional experience for your customers?
• Understand how to apply the psychology of
marketing to your business. Get Robert
Cialdini’s book on the subject, for starters.
The (mind) game of marketing
requires smart decisions. Your marketing strategy
and the underlying programs that you launch should
recognize the fact that you seek to influence human
behavior and cause compliance. You are, in essence,
covertly and ethically hypnotizing your customers
through the wholeness of their experience in doing
business with you. Remember, the best marketer wins
– and the ethical marketer sleeps well each night.
---Source: Bob Matel is the principal
consultant at JMB Marketing Group. View his Web site
www.jmbmarketing.com. Email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments
about this article.
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