Great businesses win when they develop fabulous marketing messaging. By messaging, I’m talking about the” what” you’re saying about your business or yourself; not the “how” you are saying it (i.e. signs, brochures, website, etc.)
I’ll illustrate the power of a great message with a fictitious example. Jim is a local artist and store owner and sells a variety of wooden sculptures. Perhaps he could say something like, “largest inventory in the tri-state area.” But, what may be more compelling to buyers is a more personal, more interesting story. In this case his marketing message could be about how he personally collects wood from the forest floor. As he holds each piece he gets a feeling for the figure hiding inside… Ahh! Now I’m interested!
Now how do you go about crafting a FABLULOUS marketing message? Here are some things to try to help you generate ideas on the various directions your message could take. Answer the questions. Make lists. You can go back and select the best later.
1) Why did you start this business? Think about the problem you are solving or the expertise you offer or the need you see in the market place.
2)What do you believe? Do you have a cause? It can be big or small.
3) Ask a customer – Ask your customers what are the best things about doing business with you? What made them decide to make this purchase?
4) Get emotional – is there something you can say that will get people to pause? What may resonate with them? Or meet a deep need? Consider Jessica Jackley’s 19 minute Ted talk on why she started Kiva.com
5) Sort through your list of ideas and decide what message really makes the most impact.
6) Write it large and small – It may help to start large. Can you explain your story in a few paragraphs? Now try a few sentences. Now how about one short sentence or a phrase. You’ll use all these versions depending on the need.
7) Revisit often – As time passes you may get a new insight or you may get some customer feedback that is particularly useful in helping your recraft your messaging to make it even better.
Don’t always take cues from others – Some organizations are wonderful story tellers, Susan B. Komen and Apple for example. But many companies, even big companies, are not good at this. I bought a new Subaru last year. I’ve brought it in to be serviced twice and have been so thrilled with my experience. Their service department is truly unique and I’d recommend the dealership and a Subaru, for the service department alone. In all their marketing materials and selling story there’s really not one mention of the great job they do in service – a huge disconnect.
If creating a truly compelling marketing message seems hard, don’t worry, it something that generally takes lots of practice. It may take some time and a few versions before you come up with messaging that is comfortable to you and speaks to your customer. And I will keep posting tips on how to develop your message because it’s so important!