* This is the second article in a 5-part series. Click this link to read the first article.
A marketing message is simply a statement or phrase that you use to communicate information about your business to others. A strong marketing message will do four things:
The key here is to motivate your target audience to do something after they read or hear the message. It needs to be strong enough to entice the audience to ask for more information, visit the website, pick up the phone or walk in the store.
You will put your marketing message on every piece of marketing material your business uses for lead generation, so it has to be powerful and consistent and speak to the group of people that you have identified as your ideal customers. Strengthening your marketing message has the potential to dramatically increase your lead generation before you even change your existing strategies.
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Work through the following questions to brainstorm and record the aspects of your business that you will communicate in your marketing message. Take your time, and be as detailed as possible.
Write down who your customers are, and what their problems, desires and needs are.
Take some time to revisit the behavioral and psychographic information you gathered when researching your target market (click here to review that information). This will give you an idea of what kind of emotional hot buttons you should focus on when creating your marketing message.
Hot buttons are emotional triggers that motivate your potential customers to take action. Some common hot buttons are: price, location, exclusivity, results, safety, timeliness, convenience and atmosphere.
This is what your customers get when they spend money at your business - the answer to "what's in it for me?" How do you solve their problems? How do you meet their needs, or fulfill their desires?
For example, maybe you're a grocery store in the neighbourhood, and you offer the convenience of being just a short stroll away instead of a car ride.
When you're thinking about this question, think about your product or service in the context of the benefits, results, or advantages customers receive, instead of the features you offer.
Brainstorm what happens when your customers receive the value or benefit from your product or service, what happens? Are they thrilled? Relieved of worry? Do they have more time to spend with their families, or do they put dinner on the table faster?
This is kind of like the storytelling aspect of creating your marketing message. Paint a picture of how you will improve the lives of your customers, in one way or another.
Your point of difference - or uniqueness - is something you will want to strongly feature in your marketing message. It is the reason that the reader should choose your business instead of your competition.
For this step, do some research on your competition and see what kinds of marketing messages they are using. How strong are those messages? What benefits and results do they promise?
If you are having trouble figuring out what sets you apart from your competition, think about including an irresistible offer, or a strong guarantee to give yourself an edge. (We'll spend some time on powerful offers and risk reversal strategies like guarantees later on in the program.)
How you wish your customers to perceive you will impact how you describe your offering in your marketing message, and the kind of language you will use. Revisit the vision you created, and write down some ideas about the image you want your business to project to the outside world.
For example, if your business is completely transforming its operations to become more environmentally sustainable, you will need to use different language and emphasize different features and benefits than you did before.
If you've got pages of notes, this may be a challenging part of the process, but that's okay because it means you have a lot to work with. Take your time, and wade through your notes bit by bit.
You may want to start by writing 10 to 15 sentences, and then narrow those down to 4 to 5 sentences when you have a better idea of what specifically you want to focus on. Or, you could try writing three sentences for each question, and then working to synthesize from that point.
Keep in mind that the most effective marketing messages use strong, descriptive language that triggers emotional responses. Think about how you would describe your point of difference, or value-added service to a close friend, and write with that in mind.
This sentence will become your unique marketing message!
I know how challenging this part of the process can be, so to make it easier, I usually write a few different sentences that emphasize different things to give myself choices. For example, if you don't know whether to feature your company's commitment to unbelievable prices, or its guarantee of customer satisfaction, write one sentence each and compare which is stronger.
Aim to have two or three sentences that you're happy with, and then test them out to see which is the most effective.
Consistency and repetition are powerful persuasive tools to use to reinforce your message over time. Ensuring your marketing message appears on all documents related to your business will build your brand image and your company's reputation.
Make a list of all marketing materials, stationery, signage and internal and external documentation that your customers and clients come in contact with. Then, incorporate your marketing message onto each of them.
Here's a suggested list of materials to include:
The next article in this series will focus on advanced strategies for lead generation that you can start implementing into your business right away. Our focus is to set up lead generation strategies that either immediately, or over time, will run themselves, so you can generate more leads with less time investment.