What makes you special? What makes your brand special? Why should I buy from you, interact with you, or even listen to you? These are the questions you should all ask yourselves when considering whether your Core Marketing Message needs a makeover. It’s makeover month, so what better time to challenge you business and brand on this critical component, one that can make the difference between success and mediocrity.
Three Steps To Creating A Powerful Marketing Message
A lot of small businesses are confused about their marketing message. Some think that a slogan will suffice, some think that an ad about how great their company is will do, or that saying how long they have been in business will work. Some companies even allow their mission or vision statement to become their marketing message. It’s none of those. Where to Start the Makeover?
- Any authentic message must be simple: Put yourself in the shoes of potential customers and ask “Is my message easy to understand? Does it motivate customers to purchase?” When constructing your authentic message, you need to first understand your ideal customers, and then visualise who they are and write directly to them in a tone and language that resonates with them.
- Benefits – not features, will grab your targeted audience’s attention: The secret to putting together a message that will make consumers of your market sit up and listen is to identify any issue they might have. What problem can you solve for them? They need to know that you understand, from their point of view.Your customers want to hear a clear, simple message that demonstrates that you understand their situation and that you recognise the outcome they wish to achieve. Identify how those benefits will improve their lives and how great they will feel when they engage with your business or brand. This way you can stretch them from functional benefits into an emotional interaction with your brand. A simple authentic message like this will be the single deciding factor for customers choosing you over someone else.
- Explain what makes you different from your competitors. Differentiation is the hardest test of all for most business owners. Separate yourself from what you believe you deliver. Try seeing it through your customer’s eyes, with an imperative to provide a point of difference to the rest of your market.
Once you know how you solve a consumer problem, and how you are different from your competitors, you need to communicate your differences. Those differences need to have a perceived value in the mind of your consumer to help them along in your message. It needs to be something they care about. This forms the core message that now needs to stream thorough every communication channel that you choose.
Remember that old adage: What’s in it for me?
The “So What” Test In the end, the consumer will be your judge. While it is important that you acknowledge your functional benefits, don’t assume listing them is compelling for your consumer. Run each benefit and assumed differentiator through a “so what” filter, until you get to an end benefit that is motivating to your customer. The Message Makeover Tell an authentic story and you will ignite potential customers who buy from people they know, like, and trust. Building trust begins with sharing the story of your business and, often, the people behind it. Telling your authentic story helps both you and your prospective customers by:
- Demonstrating your values, so you naturally attract customers who relate to you.
- Explaining why you do what you do, which helps prospective customers understand you and trust you.
- Sharing your unique persona, enabling customers to understand what you (the brand) will be like to work with.
The changing face of media, and of course the growth of social media means that businesses must understand and optimise every interaction, both off and online.
This requires interaction with customers in a way that establishes positive, emotional responses to form meaningful relationships with your brand and message. Over time, these customers will become your best marketing advocates and promoters. This level of personalisation means that making over your message is crucial to competing effectively in today’s transparent world. What Remains Certain… A strong brand message coupled with a solid customer relationship will create business value. In the end, these relationships are founded on consistent delivery of a relevant brand offer (marketing message), as well as meeting, and often beating, customer expectations.