As I was visiting with a friend of mine in the funeral business not long ago I asked him what his marketing message was and he replied, “We sell peace of mind.” I said, “Yes, but explain to me what your message is to your prospects. What do you say in your brochures and advertising?” He had a puzzled look on his face as if I was from another planet.
This is not uncommon. Most small businesses are confused about their marketing message. Some think it’s their slogan and others think it’s a regurgitation of all their awards and how long they’ve been in business. Still others think it’s their vision and mission statement or their company slogan. It’s none of the above.
The Key to Creating a Winning Marketing Message
Your marketing message is what grabs your prospect’s attention, tells them how you can solve their problem, why they should trust you, and why they should choose to do business with you over and above any and all other choices they might have.
Your marketing message should “speak” to your prospect. This is done by appealing to your prospect’s “hot buttons” or those sensitivities that trigger an emotional reaction. The following is a simple five-step method for creating your marketing message.
5 Steps to Creating Your Marketing Message
STEP 1 – Identify your target market.
The first step starts out by asking, “Who is my target market?” Once you have narrowed this down then it’s easier to craft a message to that market.
Every successful business has a target market whether they know it or not. Even the local dry cleaner has a target market, which is probably all the professional people living within a five mile radius of their store.
STEP 2 – Identify the problems that your target market experiences.
The second step starts by asking, “What problems do my target market have and how does it make them feel?”
Each market experiences its frustrations and pains. The secret to crafting a marketing message that will make your market sit up and listen is to identify their problem and the pain and suffering they feel as a result of that problem.
Remember the old saying that goes, “People don’t care about you, until they know you care.” Identifying your market’s pain and suffering tells them that you understand and empathize with them.
STEP 3 – Present your solution to your market’s problem.
The third step starts by asking, “What is the solution that I have to offer my prospect?
Present your solution as a simple cure for all the pain and suffering your market is feeling as a result of their problem. This step is important in that most people won’t lift a finger unless they feel an urgent excruciating pain.
Now, identify all the benefits of your solution and how those benefits will improve the life of your prospect and take away all their pain and anguish.
STEP 4 – Present the results you’ve produced for other people in the same situation.
The fourth step starts by asking, “What are the results that my solution has produced?”
It’s not enough just to tell people you have a solution; you have to prove to them that your solution works. And you can talk all day about how you solved this and that problem, but people are skeptical and don’t automatically believe you.
People will believe other people who are similar to them that have achieved positive results. In this step you’ll need to prove your results by giving testimonials from current and former customers and provide case studies of actual problems that were solved and the results that were achieved.
STEP 5 – Explain what makes you different from your competitors.
The fifth step starts by asking, “How am I different from my competitors?”
You need to communicate your differences!
Prospects are looking for you to communicate your differences. And those differences need to have perceived value to the prospect. It needs to be something they care about.
The Big Marketing Message Mistake
The biggest marketing message mistake that companies make is communicating “What-We-Do” instead of “What’s-In-It-For-Me.” If these were two radio channels (i.e. WWD vs. WIIFM), which one do you think your prospect would rather hear?
While you are transmitting on WWD, your prospect is looking for the WIIFM station. In order for your message to match your market you need to be broadcasting on WIIFM.
In this article I’ve shared with a simple formula for creating an effective marketing message. Your marketing message should be used in all your external communications. It starts with knowing the wants, fears, problems, and needs of your target market and ends by crafting a message that speaks to those problems in a compelling and believable way. The result is an irresistible message that makes your prospect want to know more.