I encourage you to set aside humility when developing a marketing message for your new brochure or web site or product launch. It’s a competitive market out there and your prospects have many alternatives to your brand. Why should they choose yours?
Take it from the manufacturers of consumer products. They know how to differentiate themselves in a crowded market place. Did you know there are 380 brands of shampoo!? In an environment that competitive, a brand has to do some bragging.
3 ELEMENTS OF THE BEST MARKETING MESSAGES
Crafting the best marketing message for your product or service isn’t hard work, but it does require you to take a hard look at your offering. You must address three key elements of the marketing message. Nail these and you’re on your way to delivering a top shelf offer to prospective customers and communicating the real value your brand delivers. Maybe it seems like bragging. In marketing, it makes all the difference in the world.
CLEARLY STATE THE BENEFIT – Leave the jargon out of your marketing message if possible. You’re going to lose prospects if there is too much techno-speak in your offer, pitch or value proposition. Tell the prospect how your product is going to make their life better, their job easier or their company more efficient.
Some businesses still market features, not benefits. However, benefits resonate more with customers than features. Great marketing tells the prospect what you’re going to do for them rather than make them try to figure it out. That’s what selling on features does. It leaves it up to the consumer to figure out what’s so great about your product. That’s not their job, it’s yours.
Be clear and concise. It’s on your shoulders as the marketer to present an offer that’s easy to understand. There are several strategies to deal with this challenge: test your offer with people that aren’t familiar with your product or service. Or you could apply the “What’s in it for me?” question. Pretend you’re the prospect and ask yourself that question.
A final note on benefits…a company’s history isn’t a benefit. Yes, a company’s long history is a testament to its stability and industry experience. But most customers aren’t as interested in a company’s history as they are in the benefits that are promised.
POINT OUT HOW YOU’RE DIFFERENT – Identify what is unique about your product or service. Why should I switch from my current buying patterns and sources to you? What will I get from you that I can’t get anywhere else? If you can’t answer these questions about your business, it’s time to get to work on this.
To drive at what sets your product apart from the competition, think about how you would complete this statement, “unlike other products on the market, our product will _____”.
OFFER PROOF – A prospect doesn’t know you or your company so why should they believe you can deliver on your benefit? They’re shouldering all of the risk. It’s your job to address that risk by offering a solid proof statement. Try one of several strategies for offering proof to prospects that aren’t familiar with your product – testimonials, data or research, before / after pictures and guarantees are among the most popular.
Make it easy for prospects to choose you over the competition. How? Excel at these three key elements of a marketing message. It may seem like bragging, but in reality, you’re communicating the value your product offers.
You want to tell prospects your story to motivate them. But first your story has to clearly communicate what value you bring to the relationship. Focusing on these three critical elements of your marketing message will ensure you’re communicating not only value, but credibility and uniqueness too!
WHAT IT TAKES
To make all of the above happen requires you to understand your audience. You need to have a deep understanding of the problem you solve for them. Listen closely to what customers are telling you about your product and what it does for them.
You also have to understand your company’s competitive environment. Reliable and fresh market intelligence will help keep your differentiation messaging relevant for your audience.
Keep in mind that best practices in social media participation are quite different than traditional marketing. In social media, a good number of the above suggestions can backfire. That’s because a heavy dose of self-promotion is frowned upon on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In general, follow the 80/20 rule in social media. 80% of your posts should be contributions to the community which means you’re posting the type of content or messages that truly engage your target audience in the subject matter they crave. The balance can be promotional messaging about how great your brand or company products are, special promotional offers, sponsored events, etc.
You must also remember that these rules don’t apply to public relations either. A press release that is written in overly self-promotional language will never reach your audience. Press releases help editors understand significant milestones or events pertaining to your brand and help them develop content for their publication.