It can be incredibly frustrating and demoralizing when your marketing campaigns do not produce the desired results. But do not despair, as this puts it into perspective:
‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’ This famous quote from successful US merchant and forefather of marketing, John Wanamaker, was uttered over 100 years ago. Sadly for many companies, this is still the case. And competition has only increased. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/50-my-marketing-money-wasted-which-half-richard-oppy/
And Forbes ran an article with the headline: “Wanamaker Was Wrong — The Vast Majority Of Advertising Is Wasted“
You are not alone. Countless entrepreneurs and business owners have faced obstacles in developing a marketing strategy that works. They know they have a great product and that marketing is essential, but have difficulty articulating the right message to future buyers.
They might not have a clear-cut notion of their target audience either, leading to difficulties finding the right approach to get through to the individuals most likely interested in their product or service.
You may have put a lot of effort into developing your marketing systems and invested time in training and reading business content. You may have had some wins along the way, but you need to achieve consistent sales, or changes are required.
When your marketing is not getting you the results you need, it is essential to step back, analyze the issue, and plan a course of action to help you stand out from the crowd and get the results you need.
Marketing is all about getting the right message to your target market using media that will get their attention.
In this series of articles, you will learn how to create compelling marketing messages using a step-by-step process that you can apply in any business. In addition, we will cover how to make your message unique to differentiate you from your competitors and adjust your marketing methods to reach your target audience.
You can have the best product or service in the world, but if the people who need it do not know or find out about it, you will never make sales.
In the early days of our business, we had a huge half-page editorial in a national newspaper that described our product as “one of Australia’s best-kept secrets”. The reporter said he did not mean it as a compliment as we had a product that most small businesses needed, but not enough people knew about it.
That’s why you need a compelling marketing message. If you have a great product or service, you are doing your potential customers a disservice by not allowing them to take advantage of it.
As a business, your main objective is to generate a profit which requires marketing. However, even if you are a non-profit or charitable organization that does not prioritize profit, promoting your message to attract new supporters, volunteers, and donors is still necessary.
Here are some reasons why you may be marketing.
“A marketing message is the words you use to communicate with your audience to convince them to do business with you. Your message is extremely influential in helping you meet your business goals, as it can be the difference between a new acquisition or sending a customer on to your competitor.” https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-message
Your messages must first attract the attention of both existing and future customers, then educate them on why they should choose your product or service over a competitor’s alternative.
Your marketing message is at the core of your marketing plan, and everything you do needs to fit around it.
Some business owners dismiss the significance of nailing their marketing message, viewing it as another obscure term such as “brand equity” or “mission statement.”
Don’t be fooled. Your marketing message is not a mere buzzword but a practical tool that informs potential customers about the specific advantages of your product or service and the value they can anticipate.
Here is an important fact:
Consumers do not care about you! They care about what you can do for them. Consumers want to know what’s in it for them. Therefore, when crafting your message, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and prioritize their needs. The ideal marketing message should:
Please permit me to reminisce for a moment. Back in the day, when I started my accounting practice, the primary advertising media was a printed telephone book called the ‘Yellow Pages‘. Instead of Google, most people would go to the Yellow Pages to look for a vendor for their needs.
Businesses who invested in a Yellow Pages display ad (which was not cheap by the way) typically used their business card as the basis for their advertisement. First, their business name was the headline. Then they had a few dot points about their products or services, followed by their address and telephone number.
This type of advertisement might work for a well-known brand with lots of money to throw around but not for small businesses with finite resources that need to get immediate results.
Because most businesses followed this formula, it was pretty easy to stand out by putting yourself into the shoes of potential customers or clients and addressing the question in their minds: “What’s in it for me?”
So I used a headline focused on my ideal customer and promoted benefits in the copy. My practice name and contact details were included, but were not the ad’s focus. This ad was very successful, and I ran it for several years.
These days the media has changed, but you still need a marketing message that focuses on the ‘What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?’ question in your potential customers’ minds.
Let’s look at some examples:
As a coach, accountant or lawyer, you may think using the homepage of your website to showcase your qualifications and experience is a good idea. However, is that what your potential clients want to know? A customer-focused approach would emphasize the benefits clients can achieve through working with you. Certificates and qualifications are often a ‘given’ for clients, who are more likely to be swayed by testimonials and examples of how you’ve helped others solve their problems.
If you operate a physical store, it is unlikely that your main message to customers would be about the expertise of your sales staff. Instead, it would typically showcase new products or offer great deals.
Conversely, I have been having ‘dry needling’ treatment for some body ailments resulting from some old football injuries. So it was comforting to see a display of certificates testifying to the practitioners training in this technique.
Pinpointing the right marketing message for your business is centered around knowing what is important to your target market. Your marketing messages are unlikely to be effective if they don’t align with your potential customer’s needs.
Building a real connection with your potential customers based on trust and a genuine desire to help will come through in your messaging and increase the likelihood of success.
Here are links to other articles in this series on creating a marketing message that works.
Match Your Marketing Message to Your Target Market
How to Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace
Crafting an Effective Marketing Message for Your Small Business
10 Reasons Your Marketing Message Is Not Working and How to Fix It
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