🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences
- Now more than ever it is important to get to know your potential customer base if you are trying to sell anything – there’s no denying that having and accumulating relevant data is more important than ever.
- The marketing tool of using an online Scorecard, which is a short topical quiz where people answer a few question in order to get assessed and then presented with a result and relevant follow-up actions is a solution to this problem in a non-invasive and playfully friendly way.
- No matter which business you’re in, you’re also in the marketing business, and if you do marketing to just anyone instead of interested customers with dormant desires, you’re not as cost-effective as the other businesses who do.
The book was recommended by productivity YouTuber and successful entrepreneur Ali Abdaal, whose recommendations I often follow because they rarely disappoint. He dropped the name of this book quite casually in the context of himself trying to learn some more about the field of marketing – which is also my own target at the moment. So I picked it up. It’s nice and short, but I was expecting more of a general overview on how marketing currently works. The author Daniel Priestley has also written a few other, more general books, like for example “Oversubscribed”, which deals with marketing as well and has been recommended to me a few times before.
This book, though, is centered around one particular idea which has unsurprisingly been named “Scorecard Marketing” by the author. It’s about this one marketing measure you can utilize in order to gather more new customers, or “leads” as they are called, find out quite a bit of information on them and provide them with the fun exercise of going through a sort of quiz at the same time. The idea of the quiz being to create a personal Scorecard in the end on which the potential customer’s standing is revealed and presented as a score, in order for them to 1) get an idea of where they are in the field of other humans – something we’re all craving to know, and 2) realize there’s room to improve and get help from the knowing creator of the Scorecard.
It’s presented as a win-win solution which is highly cost-effective in comparison to more traditional ways of customer acquisition. And for me, someone who knows very little about effective marketing yet, it seems to make good sense and convinced me to try this myself.
Now here’s the kicker. Not very far into the book, the author reveals there’s the perfect web tool for us to setup such a Scorecard for our potential customers. You can guess who built it with his team. Daniel Priestley. How convenient! The rest of the book is more like a guide on how to use the software, but here and there Daniel has sprinkled some general information about the psychology of the consumer, situation of the market, and more meta level stuff, as well. Those are the worthwhile bits.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed at first when I found out the whole book itself is just a marketing tool for his own company, but in the end I learned quite a bit still. And as I am able to write the code for such a Scorecard myself, I think I might even try that soon. It sounds like a fun task in itself to build such a quiz. Something like “Are you ready to start training for your first marathon race?” could be a fun addition to my website, with the difference that I’m not looking for new “customers” here. It would just be a playful activity to do.
With that all being said, I think the book does make a bunch of good points, and certainly presents a clever solution to the modern problem of finding customers. If you’re in the business of selling anything online, it could be worth thinking about a marketing measure such as this is one.
🍀 How the Book Changed Me
- Marketing has been a weakness of my business and myself for much too long. Too many opportunities have been left on the table that way. Since partnering up with two seasoned marketing professionals recently, my interest in the field has grown and one of the main learnings as of yet has been that marketing is largely a trial and error affair. Making educated guesses about the potential customer demographic and how to best reach them can only be loosely predicted – results often differ harshly from expectations. Any new idea which can improve this is welcome because it makes the whole process more cost-effective and leads to more sales, which leads to happier people and better products. I think this could be a working idea and I’m willing to find out if that’s true.
- In my country, there’s a huge movement in favor of privacy and keeping personal data anonymous and away from possibly evil corporations with unclear incentives. When you’re not in marketing, this argument can feel one-sided because the morality of collecting personal data is quite clearly questionable at first. This book opened me up to the possibility that this isn’t a black and white issue. Finding a different way of doing targeted marketing which isn’t intrusive and where the data isn’t used for mysterious purposes can indeed improve our quality of life. As an example, I would prefer if the people working at my favorite restaurants would have data about my preferences and could recommend new dishes to me I’d enjoy. If that restaurant would be part of a multinational conglomerate which is also in the business of building military intelligence software, things would look different, of course, but on the individual and local level, it would be an improvement in my opinion.
📔 Highlights & Notes
In the industrial age, if you could manufacture scissors you would have a huge demand for them. Today, consumers are spoilt for choice and the difficult part is getting them to choose your product over hundreds of alternatives. An entrepreneur’s job today is not about the means of production, it’s about the means of distribution.
You are still in a manufacturing business but now you must manufacture the demand.
Part One: The Philosophy of Generating Warm Leads
When exploring a dormant desire, people tend to buy from the business that helped them uncover it. Someone who wasn’t looking for a life coach will buy from the life coach who helped them to highlight an area of their life they could improve.
Performance marketing is a type of marketing designed around these stages of emotion, logic and urgency that creates the right conditions for people to feel inspired to buy.
You can kill someone’s motivation for work or achievement if you refuse to give them any form of feedback on how they are progressing. Taking away the scoreboard from a sport would cause a loss of interest in playing or watching the game. A scoreboard is the culmination of logic, emotion and urgency captured and displayed as a set of numbers.
Part Two: Setting Up a Scorecard
To make an effective digital scorecard, you’ll need to get just four things right, and ScoreApp seamlessly creates these for you:
- A beautiful landing page
- A questionnaire with a point-scoring system
- A results page
- A sales and marketing approach to follow up the warm leads
The landing page also creates a feeling of connection with your perfect customer. Clarity, credibility and connection are key, followed by the call to action (CTA).
Don’t assume that people automatically know what you know; instead, list all of the things that they stand to gain if they start this journey.
To drive home the value, you could offer additional bonuses for completing the scorecard. Perhaps give them a free copy of a book, a ticket to an event, or a consultation.
Let them know on the landing page what to expect; for example, ‘It typically takes less than three minutes to answer all twenty simple questions.’
Tell people about your experience, your research and your awards. You could say, ‘This scorecard is based on fifteen years of experience working with over 1,000 businesses.
[Putting a photo of you or your team on the page] immediately reassures someone that real people are behind this business. You can boost the effectiveness of most landing pages with a quality, smiling profile photo.
When choosing images, pick the ones that represent the result people want, not the process of getting there.
The questionnaire should be fast, fun and give you the facts you need. Your scorecard should take no more than a few minutes to complete, with questions that are thoughtful and easy to answer.
The best types of questions are usually simple yes or no questions, such as: ‘Have you…?’, ‘Do you…?’, ‘Did you…?’, ‘Are there…?’, ‘Does it…?’, ‘Will you…?’ You want to ask people questions they can answer without having to go away and check.
A fun way to make your questions more engaging is to change the label on each answer. Rather than ‘Yes’ you could put ‘That’s me’ or ‘Totally!’ Instead of ‘No’ you could put ‘No – but I want to try it’. I like to add an option to answer with something like ‘I want to get help with this’ or ‘I need to discuss this’. If people click that button, it’s easy to give them a call and discuss it; after all, they said they want to.
If you are using your scorecard as a first interaction, it’s best to keep it punchy.
Carolin creates lots of highly valuable content on YouTube and opts for a clear CTA of ‘Take the Scorecard’.
After some testing, Carolin learned that using the same picture on both her ad and her scorecard landing page actually generated a higher conversion rate.
It is a good idea to tweak and adjust your questionnaire so that your ideal client can see they have room to improve.
If people score too low, they might feel that they aren’t ready to work with you yet.
Perfect next steps to recommend after someone takes your scorecard are:
- Suggest a sales meeting or discovery session to discuss the scorecard results and show what they can do to improve.
- Introduction/strategy workshop: you can host a regular workshop and invite people who took the scorecard to it.
- Relevant content: you can recommend the right content to the people depending on their results.
- Product recommendation – Some people who have taken a scorecard are ready to buy the solution then and there.
[On the results page of the scorecard where you present one of a few possible outcomes for the takers of the scorecard, you can show a video of yourself explaining the result.] Record a few variations of a video that is focused on each of the tiers.
Think about your best example of a perfect client. Make a list of two to four questions you could ask to identify whether they fit the description you have in mind, then consider what you would say to them or offer them once you knew they were a perfect client. Make that a special offer on the results page of your scorecard for audiences who answer qualifying questions.
The truth is your customers don’t remember what you did last month. People need to see things multiple times before they see it the first time.
Whatever business you think you are in, you are also a data analytics business. The world is becoming too noisy for generic media content to make an impact – too many people are pumping out too much content.
Before this era of data-driven marketing, advertising and campaigning were conducted out in the open for everyone to see and evaluate the same information. Going forward, every person is living within their own news and information bubble that is being constructed just for them.
The more data you collect, the less you need to spend on sales and marketing. The more data you make, the easier it is to make sales and to charge what you’re worth.
When you think about data, think about connection, understanding, empathy and passion. Let data be a tool for tuning into people and getting a view of their reality.
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