The secret to effortless marketing – get people to crave you


If you’re a small business owner you probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to sell yourself and how to get customers/clients to understand your value. And this gets exhausting doesn’t it? Having to constantly communicate what you bring to the table with regard to the services you provide?

What if there was another way?

I’ve just finished reading The Power of Habit. In it, author Charles Duhigg explains the simple feedback loop that drives habits.

  • First there is the cue – something that triggers a behaviour
  • Second comes routine – the actual behaviour triggered by the cue
  • Third comes the reward – the payoff

So, for instance, if you wanted to start a running habit, a cue could be ‘lacing up your shoes’. This should trigger the routine (behaviour) of going for a run at the end of which you will be rewarded with a hit of endorphins or sense of accomplishment. Here’s the thing though:

… countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward – craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment – will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning. The cue, in addition to triggering a routine, must also trigger a craving for the reward to come.

Fascinating right?

So how do your make your marketing effortless? By creating a situation where, upon a certain cue presenting itself, your clients crave YOU.

Some examples:

  • If I tweak my hammy during a run, I crave the relief applying this to the injured muscle provides.
  • If I’m fretting about my finances, I crave the peace of mind our finance guys provide once they’ve given our numbers the once-over.

These people don’t need to market themselves to me all the time. Their service and the efficacy of their product means I think of them the second I find myself hankering for what they can provide. Calling on them in the times of need mentioned above has become a lasting habit for me.

So what does this mean for you?

Well first you have to decide what craving you can satisfy. Then you have to demonstrate (through amazing service) that you’re the fastest path to satisfying that craving.

For example – the craving Swish Design wants to satisfy is that feeling of “I just don’t know where to start with this (website/design related) thing. Really I just want someone to take it off my hands entirely.” And the only way we can do that is by showing up every day and doing what we’re good at: solving these kinds of problems for our clients so they’re free to focus on what they’re good at.

It’s the same way my local laundromat satisfies my craving for fewer chores on the weekend (they will wash, dry and fold a giant basket of clothes for me for $25!)

And the same way the deli down the road satisfies my craving for something that is both healthy AND will fill my belly in the minimum amount of time.

So now it’s over to you.

What craving can you satisfy for people? And how will you go about doing so?


2 thoughts on “The secret to effortless marketing – get people to crave you”

  1. Love The Power of Habit. I know that is exactly why I have no trouble exercising early in the morning, I do however need to work on creating better habits at the other end of my day

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