Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why and How to Write a Marketing Message

So often when devising a marketing plan and / or strategy, small business owners tend to first focus on their marketing methods, trying to decide if and how they should market / advertise. They bounce between traditional marketing and broadcast advertising, direct marketing, internet marketing, network marketing, and to the new kid on the block, social media marketing. What they fail to realize is that the marketing methods are the least of their worries.

Instead of focusing on HOW to get the word, they should be looking at WHAT their message is and WHO they want to receive it - their target audience.

The first question that you need to understand when pursuing your marketing objectives is WHO you want to market to. But honestly, that is a topic for another article. Today, I want to talk about WHAT target audience needs / wants and WHAT your message should be so they see you as the solution to their needs / wants.

Those solutions revolve around the answer to a single question:

Why should your perspective customer choose you and your company
over every other option they have available to them to solve their
current problem (that they may or may not even know they have)?

The answer to this question is your marketing message. And it should be:

Be clear and concise – Too often, people make their message so complicated and confusing that the customers don't even understand it. Don't make this mistake – use the KISS theory, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Be easy to promote, understand, and remember - Don't make your marketing message so overwhelming or complicated that it can't be readily communicated – by you, your staff, and your customers.

Be based on the needs of your customers – You can have the greatest product in your market, one that should be the most desirable product ever invented, but if your customers don't want or need it, or have a perceived need for it, they won't buy it. So it is important to know your client and know what needs are not being satisfied – or the ones they don't think are being satisfied.

Demonstrate clear understanding need of the client – not just superficially, but a deep understanding of the feelings associated with the needs.

Honestly represent your product - The more accurate and honest you are in your marketing, the more you will satisfy your customer's expectations. And the more your customer's expectations are met, the more likely they are to rave about your product – acting as cheerleaders for you and your company.

• Be focused to your target audience and be written as such - This may sound incredibly obvious, but speak in the language your customer understands. Many times, business owners and their staff become so enraptured with their own product lines, “living their product and
services” that they forget “joe-average customers” don't. Speak to your customers in such a way that they feel understood and appreciated – and they will respond.

Reinforce your company's image, or a larger brand image - Imaging isn't something a small company should be focused on, necessarily. But you need to make sure that everything you are doing is aligned – conveying a consistent image and / or brand.

When you pull this off - you will have created the foundation of a marketing strategy that will launch your business to the next level. However, if you try to skip this hard part (creating you message first) and jump straight to the method (the media to get the message out), as most small business owners do, you will most likely be very disappointed and disenfranchised with the entire marketing proces.

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