Your marketing message – how you talk about your business, product or service is what’s going to get feet through the door and sales on the ledger. It’s an essential part of your marketing process, as it’s likely to be the first thing a potential customer will see.
A marketing message can be defined as: the words (or communication) used to motivate people to take the action you want.
Your marketing communications need to be straightforward and easy for people to understand. If you’ve put in all the foundation work;
- you understand your customer;
- you’ve segmented and organised your audience;
- you know what your USPs are;
then creating a clear, strong marketing message should be relatively straightforward.
However, please don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s a few hours of work to create an advert, leaflet or website that’ll generate hundreds of leads. There are many things to consider when developing a strong marketing message.
Here are our top three considerations for writing a clear, strong marketing message.
Focus on outcomes?
When writing a marketing message, remember to keep the customer at the forefront. It’s not about how great you are or what you do, but about the most desirable outcome for the customer.
For example, a florist shouldn’t focus on how unique or difficult a bouquet is to arrange, but how fragrant the flowers are and how pleased the person receiving them will be.
Not: “We spent hours making this; it’s a unique, complicated bouquet, so enjoy it.”
More: “Imagine the look on their face when you hand them these.”
As another example, a heating engineer shouldn’t focus on how the pipes from the boiler are laid to ensure they run efficiently and are hidden from sight – these things are expected (and can be covered in supporting material). Instead, the leading marketing message should be about reliable heating that’ll give you a cosy warm house with hot water when you need it.
Remember, it’s about addressing your customers problems. Make sure your message shows that you know the problem and how your solution can help. It may be that different messages are needed for different segments of your customer base. To learn more about customer segments, please read the second in our How to market your small business series: Organising your customers to grow your business.
Make your USP clear
In most industries, customers have a wide variety of choices. At the research stage, potential customers can be overwhelmed by various companies outlining how their solution meets their needs. So, how do they decide which brand to use? The answer is your USP.
Your marketing message needs to communicate why your solution is different. Your USPs should be woven throughout your messages and supporting materials. You’ll need to convince potential customers you are the better solution continually.
Top tip: Remember, your USP might not be directly related to the product or service itself. Your USP might be your experience, exceptional customer service, market trust, or your businesses’ core values (your sustainable, philanthropic or welfare approach).
Now more than ever, it is essential to create messages that align with the natural way consumers talk. Whenever possible, avoid business or technical jargon. Keep it simple.
Creating a great marketing message isn’t about sounding intelligent but how intelligently you convey your brand’s abilities to make customers take action.
You can still use technical terms in your message if it’s necessary, but try and keep your initial communications simple, clear and concise. For example, can you explain your brand, product and service to a stranger in a 30-second lift journey? (the elevator pitch).
Top tip: When writing your marketing message, ask yourself, can the average 14-year-old understand the words I’m using?
Other marketing message considerations
- Break down your message – You don’t need to include everything in one starting sentence; you can take users on a journey by prioritising your message and breaking it down into easy to digest segments. Start with your strongest point.
- Research your competitors – learn from their successes and their mistakes.
- Create an emotional connection – create an emotional bond that stays with customers. This has been proven to be a powerful driving force in making purchasing decisions.
- Experiment with different approaches – do you have to be professional all the time, or will a more casual, humorous message work?
- Create a network of supporting materials – include links to customer stories, testimonials, online articles that support your message (guide those users who need to research on a journey).
- Apply the “So what?” test – after you write something, read it back and if you think the audience will respond with “so what?”, re-write it until they say, “that’s exactly what I’m looking for”.
- Hear your message through others – once you’ve finished your message, ask others to read it and then recall their understanding of your message without your words in front of them. They may not have remembered everything, but they should be able to recall the key points. You never know, they may present your message back to you in a way you hadn’t considered.
How ETC can help
If you need further help creating a clear, strong marketing message to attract new clients, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.