- You know who your target market is, what their needs are, what their purchase behaviors are and how to reach them.
- You know how to use market research to find out more information about your market on a regular basis.
This Blog-a-Lesson is about writing targeted messages for your target market.
In a earlier post I showed you how to isolate your target market, and then how to use market research to gather information about that group of people to use in your marketing strategies.
Today we’re going to take your market research and use it to create a powerful marketing message. The strength of your marketing message lies in its ability to speak to the specific wants and desires of your target market, and tap into their emotional reactions, or hot buttons.
When you push those hot buttons, you motivate your audience to take action. The more people you can motivate to take action, the more leads you’ll have in store and on the other end of the phone line.
In this Blog-a-Lesson we will cover:
- How a strong marketing message will supercharge your lead generation
- Examples of strong marketing messages
- A step-by-step process for developing your unique marketing message
- Strategies that will strengthen your existing marketing message
- How to test and measure the strength of your message.
- How to be consistent with your strong marketing message
A strong marketing message will make a huge difference in your lead generation strategies.
A marketing message is simply a statement or phrase that you use to communicate information about your business to others. A strong marketing message will do four things:
- Speak to the reader’s needs, wants or problems (hot buttons)
- Offer a solution, advantage or benefit
- Describe a point of difference
- Motivate the reader to take action
As I said earlier, the key here is to motivate your target audience to do something after they read or hear the message. It needs to be strong enough to entice the audience to ask for more information, visit the website, pick up the phone or walk in the store.
You will put your marketing message on every piece of marketing material your business uses for lead generation, so it has to be powerful and consistent and speak to the group of people that you have identified as your ideal customers. Strengthening your marketing message has the potential to dramatically increase your lead generation before you even change your existing strategies.
Here are some examples of strong marketing messages that are used by successful businesses today.
Let’s get started with the process you can use to create a new marketing message for your business, or refine the marketing message you already have.
Work through the following questions to brainstorm and record the aspects of your business that you will communicate in your marketing message. Take your time, and be as detailed as possible.
1. Use all the information you gathered about your target market to figure out what your customer’s hot buttons are.
Write down who your customers are, and what their problems, desires and needs are.
Take some time to revisit the behavioral and psychographic information you gathered when researching your target market. This will give you an idea of what kind of emotional hot buttons you should focus on when creating your marketing message.
Hot buttons are emotional triggers that motivate your potential customers to take action. Some common hot buttons are: price, location, exclusivity, results, safety, timeliness, convenience and atmosphere.
2. Describe the value or benefit that your product or service offers your customers.
This is what your customers get when they spend money at your business – the answer to “what’s in it for me?” How do you solve their problems? How do you meet their needs, or fulfill their desires?
For example, maybe you’re a grocery store in the neighbourhood, and you offer the convenience of being just a short stroll away instead of a car ride.
When you’re thinking about this question, think about your product or service in the context of the benefits, results, or advantages customers receive, instead of the features you offer.
3. Think about the outcome of the value or solution that you provide.
Brainstorm what happens when your customers receive the value or benefit from your product or service, what happens? Are they thrilled? Relieved of worry? Do they have more time to spend with their families, or do they put dinner on the table faster?
This is kind of like the storytelling aspect of creating your marketing message. Paint a picture of how you will improve the lives of your customers, in one way or another.
4. What is your company’s point of difference? What makes you stand out from the competition?
Your point of difference – or uniqueness – is something you will want to strongly feature in your marketing message. It is the reason that the reader should choose your business instead of your competition.
For this step, do some research on your competition and see what kinds of marketing messages they are using. How strong are those messages? What benefits and results do they promise?
If you are having trouble figuring out what sets you apart from your competition, think about including an irresistible offer, or a strong guarantee to give yourself an edge. (We’ll spend some time on powerful offers and risk reversal strategies like guarantees later on in the program.)
5. What is the perception you would like others to have about your business?
How you wish your customers to perceive you will impact how you describe your offering in your marketing message, and the kind of language you will use. Revisit the vision you created, and write down some ideas about the image you want your business to project to the outside world.
For example, if your business is completely transforming its operations to become more environmentally sustainable, you will need to use different language and emphasize different features and benefits than you did before.
6. Based on the notes you wrote in response to the above questions, summarize the information into a paragraph of 4 to 5 sentences.
If you’ve got pages of notes, this may be a challenging part of the process, but that’s okay because it means you have a lot to work with. Take your time, and wade through your notes bit by bit.
You may want to start by writing 10 to 15 sentences, and then narrow those down to 4 to 5 sentences when you have a better idea of what specifically you want to focus on. Or, you could try writing three sentences for each question, and then working to synthesize from that point.
Keep in mind that the most effective marketing messages use strong, descriptive language that triggers emotional responses. Think about how you would describe your point of difference, or value-added service to a close friend, and write with that in mind.
7. Using descriptive language, synthesize your paragraph into a single sentence of 15 words or less.
This sentence will become your unique marketing message!
I know how challenging this part of the process can be, so to make it easier, I usually write a few different sentences that emphasize different things to give myself choices. For example, if you don’t know whether to feature your company’s commitment to unbelievable prices, or its guarantee of customer satisfaction, write one sentence each and compare which is stronger.
Aim to have two or three sentences that you’re happy with, and then test them out to see which is the most effective.
The only way to find out the strength of your marketing message is to test it. Don’t be afraid of making some mistakes – you need to get feedback!
Test your three draft marketing messages internally first.
Before you go out to the public with your drafts, test them on your friends, family, staff and colleagues first. Use their feedback constructively, but don’t be afraid to stand up for elements that you believe are effective or important.
Once you have gathered enough feedback, rework your draft messages and incorporate the suggestions you believe are valuable.
Incorporate feedback, and then test a few draft messages externally.
When you have refined your draft messages and incorporated staff and colleague feedback, you can start to test the messages out on your audience.
This doesn’t have to be complicated, or cost a lot of money. Simple tests using small-scale distributions will give you the information you need to choose which message is the most effective.
For example, place two or three ads in the local newspaper – one a week with a different message each time – and compare the number of leads each ad generates. Or, send out a small direct mail campaign, with the materials split into three groups – one for each message.
The message that generates the most leads is the strongest, and will be the one you choose to be your business’ unique marketing message.
Now that you’ve got a killer message, use it consistently on all of your marketing materials and in all of your campaigns.
Consistency and repetition are powerful persuasive tools to use to reinforce your message over time. Ensuring your marketing message appears on all documents related to your business will build your brand image and your company’s reputation.
Make a list of all marketing materials, stationery, signage and internal and external documentation that your customers and clients come in contact with. Then, incorporate your marketing message onto each of them.
Here’s a suggested list of materials to include:
- Direct Mail
- Phone Messages
- Email Signature
- Business Cards
Now that you know what you’re going to say, and who you’re going to say it to, let’s dive into some lead generation strategies.
The next post focuses on advanced strategies for lead generation that you can start implementing into your business right away. Our focus is to set up lead generation strategies that either immediately or over time will run themselves, so you can generate more leads with less time investment.
To Your Success,
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As John Maxwell Certified Coaches, we have the management and team coaching expertise to tackle team challenges head on. We help small businesses overcome fierce competition, modest budgets and solidifying their sales and marketing engine by improving lead generation, conversion rates, transactions, higher prices and profits generation strategies. – wEquipu Team.