Learn how your customers process new information. Then you’ll understand how to market to them.

By Jeanine Blackwell (Founder, Create 6 Figure Courses)

Think back to your favorite class in college.

Was it organized around real-world projects, where you learned new code and had to apply it on the fly? If so, your marketing likely communicates real-world knowledge. You’re probably a big fan of how-tos and product demos.

If you loved digging into dense reference material and researching expert opinions, you most likely share data and trusted testimonials to back up your marketing claims.

In other words, there’s a direct link between the way you prefer to learn and how you help your customers learn about your products.

While these preferences point to your strengths, they can also work against you.

The Science

Current brain research by Dr. Bernice McCarthy, creator of the widely adopted 4MAT training model, points to four distinct learning styles. If you don’t consciously correct for the approach you enjoy the least, you could be failing to connect with a big part of your market.

By crafting marketing that appeals to each type of learner, your messaging will reach customers you might be missing, opening up a world of opportunity for your startup.

There’s a driving question each style focuses on when making sense of new information. Answer the four questions that correspond with the four learning styles, and you can easily ensure there are no blind spots in your marketing.

1. The “Why” Customer

On the continuum of questions customers ask when evaluating an offer, the first is often, “Why do I need to pay attention to this?”

The “Why” customer’s purchasing decision is influenced by their relationship with the brand and personal meaning.

Does your marketing speak to the struggles, frustrations, hopes and dreams of your ideal customers? Do you connect the value of your product with the personal values of your customer?

2. The “What” Customer

Once you grab your customer’s attention with a powerful “why,” the next step is to help them understand what your product offers.

The most powerful marketing shares hard data in a way that your audience can grasp quickly. Take a look at how brands share data in visual channels like Pinterest. The viral sharing of content like infographics speaks to the attraction of complex information presented simply and visually.

When making purchasing decisions, the “What” customer researches and compares. Are you making that process easy?

3. The “How” Customer

A big part of your audience focuses on how they will use your product and the results they will get.  Once you’ve grabbed their attention and backed it up with data and insight, it’s time for the how-to’s.

Great startups think past the sale and focus on how their customers will use their products to create the results they want. Online video tutorials, discussion forums, apps and tech guides are some of the most powerful tools for making the sale.

When making purchasing decisions, the “How” customers want a test drive and look for performance results. Are you making it easy for them to experience your product?

4. The “If” Customer

The last group of customers are innovative thinkers, and they want to know what your product or service will make possible.

Giving these customers options to make your company’s products their own deepens the attraction to your brand. When making purchasing decisions, this group is thinking about how they can customize the solution and integrate it effectively with their existing products.

Are you helping your “If” customers see how they can customize your products to suit their need or their lifestyle?

Make an honest assessment of your marketing – we’re all operating at our highest potential in one or two areas and have opportunity to grow in others. Small tweaks to your communications can translate into big results in your bottom line.

Boring professors aside, your least favorite class could hold the key to exponential growth for your startup.

Do your personal preferences influence your professional strategies?

Photo credit: sheff via Shutterstock.