April contacted me because her family business was floundering, and they wanted to launch an ebook to help spur sales and drive interest in the business. She wanted the ebook to earn back the trust that they once had with their customers, and also for it to go viral and open her business up to a whole new set of customers.
As she told me all this over the phone, I waited for her to breathe. When she paused, I asked her:
“Why do you do what you do?”
She asked me what I meant, so I asked her again, “Why do you do what you do?”
She paused and then said she didn’t know how to answer.
“Before we begin I like to know what my client’s core values are, then we talk about how to leverage them within their superskills, and then we create a marketing plan.”
“Oh.” she said.
“Once I understand why you do what you do, then the marketing comes easy.”
So for the next two hours we chatted about her core values and why they mattered to her and her customers.
It’s always one of my favorite parts of working with a client. It’s usually very enlightening for them and always a learning experience for me.
A Company’s Core Beliefs
By digging into the core of why a company does what it does, that’s where you get your best marketing ideas from.
When a company believes in doing business a certain way, it guides their choices. They pick ideas and concepts that are in alignment with those beliefs, not ones that feel awkward or forced.
I wrote my company’s core values and posted them for everyone to read. We believe and live by each value. If someone is making a choice that doesn’t align with these values, my hope is that I or someone else will see this and point it out so that we can then fix the issue or perhaps realize we are no longer in agreement and decide to go our separate ways.
Do you have your company’s core values in writing?
If not, please read this post on creating your own company core values before proceeding. In it, I take you step-by-step through the process.
Go ahead, and I’ll wait until you get back. 😉
You’re back? Great!
Once you have your core values, you can use them to create a deeper connection with your customers.
Now look at your marketing efforts, and ask if there are any that don’t align with your core values. If there are, cut them.
For example, one of our core values is Create Positive Relationships. To support this core value, I make sure that everyone that helps me connect with my audience is doing so from a positive place. And I’ve stopped writing negative posts, messages or ads in Twitter and Facebook so that I connect with people in only a positive way.
How to Use Your Core Values in Your Marketing
The next step is to rethink how you connect with your customers, and how you can do this from your core values.
Look at what you value and how you can find ways to market through that value. If you believe in helping others, can you find charities to sponsor to get the word out about your business?
When I throw a Twitter party for a client, I like to attach a charity to the event. It brings more meaning to each tweet. It also makes the client feel more engaged.
They want the party to go well for their business, but also so they can brag about how their event raised money for their favorite charity at the same time.
Mastering the Art of Core Values Marketing
One of the best companies to work for understands the value of marketing from their core values.
They use their core values to help guide their company in everything that they do, not just marketing. Last year I took a Zappos tour. They started the tour by talking about their core values, and as we walked through their offices, their core values were posted everywhere.
Why did Zappos create their core values? They said:
“We created these ten core values to more clearly define what exactly the Zappos Family culture is. They are reflected in everything we do and every interaction we have. Our core values are always the framework from which we make all of our decisions.”
Their first core value is:
1. Deliver Wow through Service
Try calling Zappos to find out more about a product and most likely you’ll find a passionate and happy person to talk with. Great service begets great marketing.
Your Core Values
By marketing from your core values, you’ll find the connections you create will last longer because they aren’t based on just money, they are also based on shared values. It’s this extra layer of connection that will help people remember to buy from you instead of someone else.
When people hear about your core values, they will know you stand for something, and they will want to support positive values. They will want to tell their friends about these values that you actually live and work by.
This is where you will see your word-of-mouth marketing grow. Your employees will also understand their role in the company and how to relate and treat customers, and managers will be able to focus on training employees around your core values. This is an added perk that comes with using your core values in your marketing.
Helping employees connect to a larger vision also helps them sell customers on what you deliver as a team. It’s a lot easier to work for a company that shares what they believe and backs it up 100%.
That’s the beauty of Core Value Marketing. It becomes a marketing domino effect for your whole business. It’s really a beautiful effect to watch.
I’ve seen companies create core values that they think their customers want them to have. This is a mistake.
The only way you’ll attract people who are a good fit for your business is if you stay true to what your company is.
There is nothing wrong with a lot of revenue. Money is not a core value, but why you are driven to earn this money is. The value that you could highlight could be as simple as constant improvement. You and your employees like the challenge of solving problems. It’s just fun.
This is a great value. Who wouldn’t want to hire a company that believes in constant improvement?
Core Value Benefits
I’ve talked with countless clients about the importance of showing benefits instead of telling about features. By focusing on benefits instead of features, you are painting a picture in their head. My friend Daniel over at Daily Blog Tips wrote a great post that explains the difference between features vs benefits.
When you show people that you work from your core values, they see the benefits of working with you. You make that picture in their head just a little more beautiful. It’s this positive emotional hook that reminds them to choose you next time they need help in your area of expertise.
Your core values are the foundation of your success. The more you can use them in your marketing, the easier it will be for potential and current customers to connect and engage with your company.
Do you have your company’s core values written down? How could your company use them to improve your marketing?
* Do you need help outlining your core values to leverage them in your marketing? I would like to help you create a plan that will work for you. Just fill out my contact form and I’ll get in touch with you within 24 hours.