Proper marketing messages are the foundations of your brand’s success. Whether you are selling a product, a service, or yourself, you must communicate the value of your brand precisely and to the point.
Here are 5 steps to start building your marketing messages:
1. Define Your Target Audiences And What You Offer Them
What exactly do you do? What is being offered? Who is the customer? What problem are you solving? Why should they care? This should tie to your mission statement, which should be tailored to your audience. Your offer is positioned based on the target audience you are pursuing.
One way to start is to narrow down the demographics and prioritize your targets into different buckets. For example: if you sell cookware you can identify the primary targets as at-home mothers, restaurant chiefs, or people that just like to cook. However, you need to be able to describe them with details like: “stay at home mothers age 25-45 that cooks 4 days or more a week for at least 3 people with household income of $100K that lives in major metropolitan cities.”
Then you identify second and third groups because each targeted group will require a different marketing message. Remember, you must sell them on what’s in it for them while realizing that what is important to one group may not be relevant to the other.
2. Map Out The Feature Sets
Create a list of features. For every feature there should be at least one major benefit to your customer. For example: “GPS navigation features – turn-by-turn voice navigation with live traffic update benefits – driver does not have to take eyes off the road to view the screen, and up to the date traffic to steer you to your destination in the shortest time.”
A feature is not something technical (although it is that way for most products and services), but that’s because they are selling points that will result in benefits. Without benefits they’re useless features that nobody cares ABOUT. It should be black and white and easy to identify for your target audiences. Say, as “automatic windows” for cars, “centralized AC unit” for houses, or “track your package online” for shipping services. They are all features that will bring meaning to benefits.
For someone selling themselves with “personal branding,” it should be about the elements that delivers the outcome. Example: “Read my books or subscribe to my blog features – weekly newsletter, discount on future books, or access to free videos, benefits – newsletter summaries certain benefits for the readers, or the video makes it easier to learn whatever the person is providing.”
3.Create your brand nomenclature
Once you have the description of your company, products, features and benefits, you should brand them with unique and yet easy to remember names. This is part of creating the personality for your brand to enhance your differentiation. The idea is to get your sales people and your customer all speaking the same language – your brand’s language. It’s part of creating a cult, a reference to your marketing messages. Example of company names that integrated into our everyday vocabulary: “Just Google it to find out,” or “I am going to eBay all my old stuff.”
4.Develop an elevator pitch
Try to come up with a short elevator pitch without using any big words like “innovation” or “quality.” It should be simple, short, and to the point. If it’s a complicated product, use metaphor or competitor examples like “Netflix is like Blockbuster except you order online and we mail you the DVD.” Or better yet (my favorite) “Google would provide access to the world’s information in one click.” That’s Google’s actual elevator pitch when the founders first started to approach investors.
2 min video clip of putting together an elevator speech – watch here.
5. Review, refine, rethink, refresh
At this point you should have all the building blocks completed to start wordsmithing your messages. Review your messages with other team members and obtain feedback from a wide range of demographics first to see if it’s easy to understand. Then test it on people in your field or industry.
There is no perfect message for everyone – just the right message for the right people, so it’s important to have multiple targeted messages even though you may have the same product or offering. It needs to be aligned and presented in a way that reflects who you write to and why it’s beneficial to your readers. For example, if your customers are technical people you should focus on selling key features. For business owners, sell the desired outcome, not the features.
You also need to refresh your message periodically to take advantage of ongoing market psychology. When the economy is bad (which it is now), focus your messages with words like bailout, stimulus, and recession. This will work to your advantage since those are relevant attention grabbers.
Essentially you are selling an idea. The goal is to maximize every opportunity you get to expose your brand’s marketing messages. There is no better time than now to start or renew your marketing messages because more people are leveraging internet and social media tools as resources during this recession.
The great advantage about social media is that your message will get passed around over and over again, so crafting the right message will literally take you a long way. And as you progress through those channels, continue to revamp and refine your message.
I will discuss about “field messages” next.