I was on the phone with one of my MSP marketing clients the other day and at a certain point, the topic of conversation turned away from business and towards a topic of interest to both of us: TED Talks.
I’ve always found TED Talks fascinating, and I think there’s at least one positive action that you can take away from each one. Whether you apply it to your personal life or your professional life doesn’t matter — I find them inspiring, empowering, and helpful.
When we eventually hit on that famous Simon Sinek TED Talk about “Starting With Your ‘Why'” I realized that we’d never actually stopped talking about business at all.
For those unfamiliar, Sinek argues that if you really want to connect with your audience in a meaningful way, you need to have a “why” — some element at the heart of that relationship that gives them insight into why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why that’s so important to both parties.
To connect with your audience, you need to have a “why” — some insight into the relationship that shows why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why that’s so important to both parties.
I realized that this just might be the new approach to this client’s MSP marketing that we were looking for. Enthusiastically, I said to him “Let’s do it, let’s give this a try. What are your core values?” The pause that followed was not something I expected to hear.
This client obviously has core values, but he hadn’t thought about them enough to actually put them in words. If he couldn’t do that, he certainly couldn’t communicate them to his prospects. This was a problem that I decided we needed to fix immediately.
Let core values build the foundation of your business
Simply put, the values that act as the foundation of your company tell your customers more than just what you believe in. They also tell them what they should expect from you, which is what often matters most when it comes to getting someone to make that ever-important purchase.
When your core values align with those of your customers, you have a better shot at establishing a genuine, emotional connection with these people — regardless of the type of business you’re running or even the industry you’re operating in. One study revealed that customers who have a strong emotional connection with a brand tend to have a 306 percent higher lifetime value than those who do not. Likewise, they usually stay with a brand for an average of about 5.1 years, versus 3.4 years in other situations.
Customers who have a strong emotional connection with a brand tend to have a 306 percent higher lifetime value than those who do not #MSPmarketing @SmarterMSP
If customers connect with your core values, they’re also far more likely to recommend your business to other people, too. Those who are emotionally tied to a brand tend to recommend that brand to friends, family members, peers, and colleagues at a rate of about 71 percent, versus about 45 percent in any other circumstance.
At the same time, it’s also important to acknowledge that this isn’t something any one group cares about. By and large, ALL people pay a great deal of attention to the “why” behind your business, and act accordingly.
For example, 57 percent of millennial women say that their first purchase decision is almost always driven by a brand’s core values and the company’s point of view on issues that are important to them. Another study revealed that 52 percent of millennials, 48 percent of those in Generation X, and even 35 percent of Baby Boomers say it’s important for their values to closely align with the brands that they do business with. But how are they supposed to align with your values if they don’t know what your values actually are?
At the end of the day, this is why it’s so important to make sure that your core values come through loud and clear in your MSP marketing messaging. Don’t worry about offending people who may not fit into that box, because the chances are high that they’re not going to be your ideal customer in the first place.
If you make your core values known and let your actions speak louder than words, you’re going to attract the right type of people to your business. Those people will spend more money with you, will maintain a relationship with you for longer, and will undoubtedly be more loyal to you than they otherwise would have. Ultimately, that’s more than worth it.
The ripple effect
For the record, it’s also important to note that doubling down on these core values can have an internal effect on your organization, too. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between your values, your company culture, and the engagement of your employees — one that brings a pretty sizable dollar amount with it, too.
Employees who work for companies with strong core values tend to be more engaged as a result. Those companies tend to outperform their direct competitors by about 20 percent, usually come in at about 2.1 percent above industry benchmarks, and earn roughly 1.2 to 1.7 percent more than their peer companies.
So even if there WEREN’T so many reasons to reinforce your core values from an outward, customer-facing perspective, there are a laundry list of reasons why it’s a good idea in the context of your own workforce that you literally can’t afford to ignore.
Your core values are the heart of your business
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that your core values are “all you have.” Your business is obviously a great deal more than that. In many ways, core values ARE the “beating heart” upon which everything else is built. You need to be proactive about making sure that that heart is as strong as it can be and if you do, it’ll have an appreciable, immediate impact on the rest of the “body” before you know it.
Is the “heart” of your business as healthy as it could be? If you’re still struggling with identifying your core values, or if you’re not sure how to use them to better connect your MSP brand with your audience, I might be able to help. Contact either myself or a colleague at Tech Pro Marketing to set up your one-on-one strategy call so we can to get to know a little about you, and help you find that “beating heart” together.
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