Securing investments from ‘the crowd’ and converting them into diehard supporters can be accomplished by demonstrating that you recognize their motivation and needs — what excites or annoys them to tears. Show, don’t tell. Consumer behavior is the key to unlocking powerful marketing insight, and when coupled with tangible access to money through equity crowdfunding, the startup ecosystem is empowered to flourish.
Understanding your core customers is a strong competitive advantage for any business, but in equity crowdfunding, it matters just a liiiiittle bit more. Social proof matters in the crowdfunding ecosystem, because instead of trying to impress a small handful of venture capitalists, your traction is dependent upon convincing a large group of peers to invest in your startup. And this requires a deep familiarity with your target market, as well as the problems that you’re trying to solve for them.
Unsure where to begin? Start by considering these questions:
Who is this for?
To convey a message well, you’ve got to know exactly who you’re talking to. This is a jumping off point to examine the depths of your consumer’s world, and mustering the self awareness to be honest about that experience is paramount. Steve Jobs is an excellent example of someone who understood the motivations of the consumers he was marketing to, and built products suited to their true needs and desires.
What change am I trying to make?
Carefully consider what you’re trying to accomplish, as that’s the true starting point to reverse engineer your marketing messaging. Am I trying to inspire people to take action? Buy something? Change a long held belief? Share news? These actions each demand different marketing messaging and tweaks to elicit the exact response you’re striving for. Getting curious and being honest about how your consumers behave typically inspires a better product/service offering.
What stories do the consumers I’m trying to change tell themselves?
Consumers tell themselves stories all of the time. But effective marketing can identify, address and dispel these tales. Say for example, that you’re launching a financial literacy app that you’re hoping to fund via equity crowdfunding. Feelings like shame, guilt and anger, which are commonly associated with money decisions, need to be considered. Acknowledging and addressing stories like “I’m just bad with money” or “Money is scary”, demonstrate that you get it and consumers will be more likely to trust and invest in your product, ergo campaign.
Understanding your consumer requires humility, objectivity and self awareness, but it’s worth it. Consumers are emotional decision makers and rarely just buy a product or service because it’s truly that good. No, they generally buy emotions, stories and the magic that allows them to believe your product or service is really that good—even, if it’s not. It’s much easier to kick ass at marketing your equity crowdfunding campaign if you pay attention to consumer behavior and the powerful competitive advantages it unlocks. Consumers yearn to be seen.