Creating a Marketing Message
Having a catchy marketing message that sums up who you are and what you do can be a very strong asset for any business. Not only can it grab attention, but it helps people to remember you. But how easy is it to master such a thing? Here’s my mini guide to creating a marketing message.
I have come up with dozens of marketing messages throughout my career. None of them instantly came to me like magic. They were all created from research and development to make sure they were as good as they could be.
When you come across a company you’ve never heard before, one of the first things you might see is their slogan or key marketing message. That might lead you to believe that this is one of the first things that a marketing department might create, with everything else pinned to the back of this. Actually, it’s the other way around. So let’s go step by step through the process of getting that amazing marketing message sorted.
Never approach any sort of marketing activity without doing a bit of background research and discovery first. You need to know things like who is your audience? What are you trying to achieve? What are your competitors doing? What products/services are you selling and what is the key value they offer to customers? How do you fit into your market? And finally, what is your brand and what do you stand for? You need to know these things inside and out. This isn’t just a box ticking exercise. This is time well spent.
There are multiple reasons for doing this. Firstly, if you don’t know anything about your customers, how are you going to be able to create a message that resonates with them? If you don’t know what your competitors are up to, how will you know that your message stands out? You might end up inadvertently copying them. If you’ve never considered the true value of your products and services, then how can you properly sell them to your clients and answer the important question of why should someone use your services? And if you don’t know your own company, the tone of voice of the brand and what you stand for then how can you present yourself effectively to your audience?
Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to think strategically. You’ve got all your facts together, so now think about how to use them. Based on all you now know, what is it you want to say?
I normally recommend here that people create a brand proposition/positioning statement. Find out more about how to do this in my Brand Proposition blog. This will help you carve out the basis of a message as it makes you focus in on who you’re selling to, who you are as a business, what you do and – very importantly but so often overlooked – why. It will help you get all your ducks in a row.
Finding the Words
From this, you’ll essentially have all you need to create your marketing message, but still don’t do it yet. I still think there’s a bit of exploring to do. From here, I normally write the About page of a website or create the corporate boilerplate copy that takes the brand proposition and points it at an audience. This helps to flesh out more of the story and is also a really good use of time in itself. You’ll need this copy anyway.
Once I’ve done that, then I start to look at the important words that appear across the page and I’ll begin to make a list. If you had to sum up everything you’d just said in one word, what would it be? It’s much easier to sum up a company accurately when you’ve done the research and laid down the foundations.
It’s only after this that I’ll start to brainstorm the actual marketing message.
I’ll come up with as many ideas as I can. It’s normally ten or twenty that I end up with, covering different angles. Think about what’s at the heart of everything you’ve done up to this point and then think about how you can use it moving forward.
If it helps, let me share with you an example of what I’ve done in the past and how I’ve used this whole process.
I once worked for a company who had launched a new product, but not successfully. The product could genuinely save a person days of time, it could be easily monitored and it had a number of long term gains. But it wasn’t selling well.
The research we did showed that people were reluctant to buy it because it was complex. The product that people were currently using might have taken a lot longer to install and use, but they knew how to do it. Using the new product meant learning something new, and something more complicated. Knowing this, we forged a plan. We decided to write a simple training guide and host a roadshow of training courses, all completely free of charge. We also planned in ‘lunch and learn’ sessions at company sites. We had the plan. We knew what our audience was thinking. We knew where it sat in the market. We knew everything. Now I had to promote it all and write that all important catchy message. We ended up with “Knowledge is Power”. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but it said everything we needed it to.
We ended up with hundreds of leads, and we even won an award for the training courses. All of it was supported with a very basic and clear message that resonated with our audience.
It doesn’t have to be totally different or inventive. You need to make sure it supports what you want to achieve, speaks to your audience and can be used effectively through your marketing activity. We used the ‘knowledge’ bit to promote the guide and the courses, and the ‘power’ bit to highlight the value of the product. There was consistency throughout and it’s why it worked.
If you’d like any help with creating your marketing message, don’t hesitate to contact us at Lindsay Woodward Marketing.