Peter at FoDT16

An engaging model for marketing

The better you understand your customer and closer you are to them, the better the service you can offer. Engaging with clients using our SEE, HEAR and FEEL approach, gives you a level of engagement in an age of short attention spans. Combine this with an effective Marketing Brief  tool and the BOSCAM Project process, we’ll explain, and you have a practical, 360 degree way starting customer projects properly. This is your route to an engaging model for marketing.

Connect with People before Rushing into Work

What is the best way to win people over? Connect with a model for marketing recognising the importance of the fundementals of how we communicate: see, hear, feel to engage. But why is it so challenging for most people and companies to succeed with new ideas, campaigns, projects, products, services or even the whole company? I think marketing has a lot to answer for this. But there is a specific reason. There are other reasons, but in marketing we can help you here. So it’s a problem caused by communication breakdown, solved with a model for marketing. Here are ideas on how to solve it. Developed in conjunction with our industry leading leadership partners Steve Barker 

The Problem

Your idea is great. So you find someone who needs it, tell them about it and then they should want it, right? But it doesn’t work like that. Why? First you probably don’t get in front of who you want to speak to. This is known as the persona, more on that here. Then it gets lost in translation. At Dorset Business Angels, we often find the pitches we expect to be the best, are not and vice versa. With new products, and marketing campaigns the ideas don’t capture the imagination as expected. But equally I know salesmen who time and again close sales, however pitiful the product they have. How do they do it? They See, they Hear, they Engage, they Feel in other words, they are alert to the other person. This can be taught, and it can be modelled for marketing.

A Model for Marketing

There is a model for marketing here. And indeed, this is how we do our marketing, engaging with the challenge. You can too. Our vision is to realise client passions. To do that we need to be sensitive to people. Some people express themselves through how they see things. Other people are verbal, or more emotional. These means both parties are challenged in communicating. So, there is a constant need to ask questions, check the brief, and move in a staged, step by step way. One needs to never assume the customer or client means what you guess they are expressing.

See Hear Engage Feel

Seeing, Hearing and Feeling engenders Empathy.

What seems obvious to me or you is not necessarily to another person. We all experience the world differently and with varying degrees of awareness. Not everyone is a Sherlock Holmes of Columbo. But what if you could learn some of these skills? Why should you want to? Actually, we spotted an escaped, wanted person the police were after on the beach recently…and were able to give a very accurate description. A story for another day! Reasons it is helpful, I suggest are:

  1. People notice that you care.
  2. You stay focused in the present or “the now”, not letting your mind wander off.
  3. Using your eyes, you pick up every possible body language signal.
  4. By listening to words, meanings, intonation it helps you to better recall it.
  5. You pick up feelings, yours and the other person’s to help you engage.

See, Hear, Feel and Engage is a great reminder and I actually also use it for my tennis to stay in “the now”, as well as reminding myself before meetings to not let my mind wander. As a passionate, enthusiastic and creative person, I used to hear another person’s idea and fire off a complementary one. Sometimes they would love it, but equally I realise this can be very annoying as, it becomes about “me” and how do I know I have understood their point, unless I check with them further and engage?

Fierce Conversations and Solving Tough Problems

Steve Barker, expert in leadership development, our partners, alerted me to the value of See, Hear and Feel and another great tool: Fierce Conversations a term Susan Scott coined. This means one conversation at a time family or business. And the conversation IS the relationship. “Our most valuable currency is relationships” says Susan Scott. Similarly Adam Kahane the best-selling author of Solving Tough Problems cites various helpful questions, I shall allude more in another article. One of them is “Stop talking. Camp out beside the questions and let the answers come to you.”

Marketing in Practice – how to apply this

Some questions for you here, which you can adapt. What on earth is your… marketing? What can you SEE. Ask to look at what your customer or colleague means by “marketing”. If it is “sales” ask to look at this too. For example in marketing, the products or services themselves, competitor equivalents, pricing list, ask about who sells the product? Do they feature as distributors online? And customers, are there case studies visible to be seen.  Yes, it is important, what you see and don’t see. Here’s a mind-map Marketing Plan/Strategy checklist for you. We use these very effectively at Hixsons Business Advisors Bournemouth.

However, what you HEAR from the customer on what this marketing is, why they are doing it, results, aims and ambitions: these are critical. And never assume anything. For example, hardly anyone agrees on what “marketing” is, or what a customer or non-customer is: terminology varies by business a lot. How do people FEEL? By people we mean customers, employees, suppliers and partners. The reaction to the question will tell you a lot. It could range from a clear view where culture if valued, to confusion when emotions are not really on the radar! Here is an empathy mapping tool to measure “HAPPY MOMENTS” in the Customer Journey.


See, Hear and Feel is a great three-word reminder which will drive engagement for you. A key tool marketers use is a good Marketing Brief. Any decent project manager, or indeed lawyer uses a similar approach to get “briefed”, but it is the questions and more importantly what comes back to you via visual signals, what is said and how the customer feels that really determines if you can make your project work.

Thanks to Steve Barker

Peter – with inspiration and help from partners Steve Barker see Steve Barker

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