When I say “Whiff” what do you think of? Are you imagining a baseball, moving at 100 mph, dropping out of the strike zone as the batter takes a swing at strike three? Or are you thinking of waking up, and catching the smell of BACON wafting throughout your living space?
Have you heard the term “WIIFM”? I have said that people tune into two different radio stations… “WIIAM” and “WIIFM”. WIIAM stand for “What is interesting ABOUT ME”, and WIIFM stands for “What's In It FOR ME”.
Many marketers use WIIAM or FOMO (fear of missing out) as a motivator to get people to pay attention to their posts and emails. You see it all the time.
They start out trying to give you praise (you are smart, good, or important), but then it immediately devolves to the pitch of why they have the missing link to your REAL success. You have certainly gotten those emails or seen those social posts. They are designed to get you to pay attention, but if you don't need or want what they are selling, it's just a “Swing and a Miss” You can easily strike out with just 1 pitch.
In order to get people to do something, (like get out of bed and go downstairs to get some BACON), you don't need to wave it in their faces. You just have to give them a “WHIFF” of what is in it for them. Tasty, crispy, glorious meat candy!
People call me the BACON Guy thanks to my books, posts, and branding. I am often asked, “What's with the BACON?” I explain that BACON is an acronym:
It's not about creating FOMO or WIIAM, it's all about the person on the other end of the relationship, being willing to invest some time in the “WIIFM”.
Business-to-business marketing is about understanding that people have a problem, and are searching for a solution. They don't want you to solve it for them. If you solve it then why are they needed? They want to be a leader and partner in the solution. It's their life and career on the line, and they want the glory. It's the “What's In It For Me”!
So the BACON is the smell of business victory. You need to give them a “WHIFF” but it's going to take more to get them to take action. Our marketing goal is to attract them so that they stop, take notice, and act to learn more. No one in a larger business is going to take action based on an email, video, or social post. It takes discovery, discussion, and time, but more importantly, a relationship built around TRUST. Trust that they can work with you to solve their problem!
Notice the word attraction ends in “ACTION”. But, it is not a one-step process.
Do you remember what you are supposed to do if your clothes catch fire? Stop, Drop, and Roll is the method to snuff out flames. It works by limiting oxygen to feed the fire.
In marketing, the goal is to add more oxygen (fuel), but the metaphor still works. The Oxygen is in the form of feeding the breaths of conversations between you and the person with the problem to be solved. So I suggest you look at your marketing through the lens of Stop, Drop, and Role:
Emails, social media posts, and videos will get attention but is it enough attention to get people to do something? That something is getting them to pay enough attention to want more. Most posts or emails simply get scrolled by. The challenge is getting people to stop and take longer than eight seconds to consume what you are putting down. That takes eye-catching graphics and a headline or opening sentence that emotionally connects with their problem and the WIIFM.
This is where the second part is the most important. Marketing is often thought of as getting the viewer or consumer to say “YES”. In B2b marketing, you want to challenge viewers or consumers to say, “I can relate”. If they feel a connection to the message, they act. If they smell a pitch coming, they will just move on.
Here is a Connection Request on LinkedIn that says, “Hey Brian (The Bacon Guy), I came across this LinkedIn automation tool called LinkedLite and thought it might be something you'd be interested in. Let's connect if you'd like to learn more.” What would you do with this? EXACTLY!
Here is the hard part. What's next? How can you define roles as the hero and the sidekick?
Can you get them to imagine a solution where they save the day, and you help them do it? It's all about that. If you are going to build trust you have to make them feel that you have their best interest in mind. They are not just a goal or a quota. They are human and have a problem, and you are willing to discuss it with them, whether or not you are in a position to help.
The attraction action you want them to take is to reach out, on their terms, when they are ready. That means it could take multiple interactions with your content. It can take days, weeks, months, or years. You can never predict if and when that day will come.
But if you expect them to take action you have to tell them what to do. “Click Here”, “Read More”, and “Let's Chat” are all calls to action. You need to be consistent but not pushy. That means that you can and should post content more than once. It also means that the same content should be shared over multiple platforms. You never know if it's an email, a video, or a social post that will trigger action, but you can be assured that familiarity builds comfort and that you are in it for the long haul.
After they catch a whiff of your BACON, it's okay if they stay in bed, then take a shower, and don't immediately run downstairs to eat your BACON. It's their choice to take action. If all you do is throw pitches at them, you can be assured that you will get them to whiff at your offer. Just remember that relationships are the currency of business, especially in the B2b space. And, relationships take effort, time, and commitment to become successful.
“It is not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.”
— Patricia Fripp
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about whiffs and WIIFM. Are you consistent in posting? Is patience part of your strategy? What is your BACON (what attracts people to take action when they are ready)?
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast