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Customer UnderstandingMarketing Plan

Getting your marketing messages right

Marketing success is getting the right messages in front of the right people at the right time. Our recent article looked at the timing, so this one looks at another aspect – getting your messages right. There are three aspects of your marketing messaging you need to think about – and one to definitely not focus on.

  1. How you help your clients
  2. What success looks like
  3. The evidence you have to support what you’re saying

We’ll look at these in more detail in a moment, but let’s first look at why you need to do this.

Making you stand out from the competition

Unless your small business offers something rare or unique, there will be others who are competing with you. To win more business, you need to stand out from your competitors. Luckily for you, a lot of your competitors will be doing one of two things:

  1. Still talking about features of their business, or
  2. Saying the same things as everyone else.

If you’re not doing either, you will stand out and have a far better chance to engage with, and sell to, your target audiences.

How you help your clients

If your marketing messages are about how you help your clients, they show two things:

  1. That you understand your target audiences, and
  2. You have ways to help them.

We are all exposed to 100s of marketing messages every day, so we have very little time to process each message, seeing whether it sticks. If it becomes difficult to work out whether the company using that marketing message is going to be useful to you, you generally discard it. Onto the next one.

If your marketing messages make it easy for people to identify how you can help them, the message, and your brand, will stick. Of course, you need to keep getting the message to stick regularly until they need what you sell.

What success looks like

The classic line, from Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt, is that “nobody buys a quarter inch drill; they’re buying a ¼ inch hole”. The more your marketing messages talk about the end result, the more your target audience will believe that you understand their needs and issues. The more they believe, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Supporting Evidence

But all of the above has to be supported by evidence. Evidence that you can deliver what your marketing messages are promising. Let’s face it, we all shop online now. The first thing we look at when considering whether to buy a particular brand or model of the product we want is the reviews. We’re looking for evidence that others have tried and really like what we’re considering buying. It’s the same whether the product is from a huge business, or from one of the smallest.

It’s just as true for B2B as it is for B2C, except we look for slightly different evidence. Case studies, testimonials, knowledge pieces – all will be considered when deciding who to buy from.

When using evidence, particularly at the bottom end of the sales funnel, make sure that the evidence you present to potential clients is from their peers. If you are selling, for example, temporary space solutions for construction sites, you wouldn’t show a prospect case studies for 50th birthday parties or for restaurant seasonal extensions. All are valid uses of a marquee, but the construction prospect wants to see that you have worked with other construction firms – and delivered a great solution effectively.

A Set for each target audience

Something we see too much of is trying to use the same marketing messages for different target audiences. Don’t do it!

Whilst many different people may use the same product, they will have many different reasons for using it. They may even use it differently.

Final point

There is one final key point when it comes to your marketing messages – stop using big words!

Too many people think that big words make them look intelligent and that they know a topic inside out. Big words and jargon usually do the opposite, and you run a real risk of using them incorrectly. And that’s never a good thing.

If you want to discuss your marketing messages or need some help developing them, get in touch. Call us on 020 8634 5911 or you can book some time directly into Nigel’s calendar.

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