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Defining What Your Customer Wants to Create Marketing That Leads To Sales

Most companies are great at creating products or services. Where they struggle is in capturing their audience's attention. They fail to talk about their products or services in a way that moves people to buy from them. 

Every year, the challenge of connecting with your customers in a way that’s not sales-y or tone-deaf becomes tougher.  

Is your company one of the businesses expected to increase their marketing budget by 14% in 2021

If so, how can you ensure this increased budget won't lead to more wasted time and money? How can you cut through all the noise online to reach your target audience? How can you build trust in your brand or company?

By defining what your customer really wants and creating clear, compelling marketing that connects with your audience.  

Defining What Your Customer Really Wants

Let’s take a step back for a moment: your customer doesn't actually want your product or service. 

For instance, nobody actually wants to buy insurance. No one wakes up in the morning and says, "Gee, I'd really like to research and buy insurance today." But customers will buy those products or services because they have a need.

Whether they buy from you or your competitor is a matter of how well your sales and marketing speaks to their want.

To accurately define their want, you should ask these 3 questions:

  • who do they get to be after using your product or service?
  • what's the obstacle that's currently in their way?
  • how does that obstacle make them feel?

Who Do They Get to Be After Using Your Product or Service?

Take a moment to watch this commercial from Gerber Knives. It's a great example of what's known as 'Character Transformation' within  StoryBrand.


The customer doesn't just want a knife so much as they want to feel prepared for anything that comes their way. The Gerber knife is what allows them to feel that way.

To use insurance as an example again, nobody wants to buy life or homeowners insurance. What they want is the peace-of-mind or confidence that comes with knowing they're prepared in the event of a flood or fire; or that their family is protected should something terrible happen.

So speak to that want with your headlines and titles. Confidence and security is what’s being sold. The insurance policy is the access to get there. 

What's the obstacle that's currently in their way?

What I mean by obstacle here is the external circumstance(s) that’s a literal barrier for your customer. It typically falls in a bucket of time (lack of), resources (money or tools), and knowledge (experience or expertise). 

Your marketing should seek to address these obstacles early and often. Where most companies fail is they talk too much or too soon about how great their products or services are. 

In fact, it’s not uncommon for most business websites to start talking about the obstacles or challenges customers are facing until more than halfway down the homepage. 

Start talking about the problem and obstacle you solve for your customer sooner. 

How does this obstacle make them feel?

Here’s a great copywriting tip that I learned a while back: mirror the customer’s language in your messaging to create a deeper connection with your marketing and branding. 

If you have a customer that says they wish they had more hours in the day, say “we help you add more hours to your day.” Not only are you using your customer’s language, you’re standing out from every other company that simply says “we save you time”.

If you want your marketing to connect then you don’t want to shy away from highlighting the underlying emotions that these problems drive up for your customers. 

Being clear about what your customer wants, the obstacles they’re encountering, and how these obstacles make them feel, you’re communicating to your customer that you completely understand them.

This is where the money resides. Not only is your marketing resonating with your ideal audience on a different level, you’re weeding out the people who aren't a good fit for product or service more effectively.

Wrapping Up

This is just one of the first steps in creating the kind of marketing that leads to sales. 

Next we’ll discuss how to talk about your company in a way that builds trust and authority

If you decide that you don’t want to wait until the next article is published, you can request time to talk about your next project here.

Ali J. Taylor

Ali J. Taylor / About Author

Ali J. Taylor is the CEO & Creative Director of BelMarketing Design Studio, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, HubSpot Consultant, and founder of the Captivation Key™ Program. The Captivation Key™ Brand Transformation Program helps brands go from confusing to captivating by bringing clarity and alignment to their branding, messaging, and marketing so they attract, nurture, and close more ideal-fit clients and grow their business. .