How to Create a Winning Marketing Message

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The first step to any successful marketing campaign is dialing in your message.

If you have the wrong message, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter how brilliant your placement strategy is, how impressive the graphics are or how great your landing page looks.

It’s imperative that you create a message that resonates with your target audience and motivates them to take action.

I know: This isn’t exactly rocket science. But so many business owners struggle with their messaging. There are a few reasons why this is the case.

First, we’re all “deep in the weeds” of our own businesses. We’re intimately familiar with every detail, every process, every piece of the system. That familiarity can make it very difficult to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t share your level of understanding. It’s like you have a Ph.D. in your field, and you’re trying to talk coherently to someone who has a superficial understanding. You end up overcomplicating your message, and your prospective customers become confused and overwhelmed.

Second, many entrepreneurs were taught to use an “elevator pitch” framework while communicating about themselves and their businesses. One of the many problems with using that approach to your messaging is that it assumes your target customer is trapped in an elevator with you! In today’s environment — especially digital — your prospects are anything but trapped. The next website, video, app or podcast is always one click away. You don’t have 30 seconds to stumble through your pitch; you have about five seconds to engage them and compel them to keep reading (or listening or watching) before they move on.

Third, we all naturally tend to communicate through our filters and using our values. We have our own priorities, which is fine — but the problem is, we often assume that everyone else shares our values. So we talk about our business in the context of what matters most to us, which is often not the same as what matters most to our customers and clients.

So, how do you create a winning message?

First, get out of your own head and get to know your target customers. Who are they? What problems do they have? What are the fears and anxieties that keep them awake at night? What are the hopes and dreams that get them excited?

If you’re not already familiar with their “language,” get familiar. Learn the industry jargon and buzzwords that they use. Get up to speed with the trends that shape their daily lives. Get to know your customers at a deep level, not just the superficial details.

Second, get clear about the specific problem you solve. How do you make life better for your customers and clients? Ultimately, we are all in the business of solving problems, and the more clearly you can define the problem that your products and services solve, the easier it will become to attract new customers.

Third, keep your messaging simple! I once saw a law firm advertisement that stated, “We provide the supportive assistance your situation demands.” What a ridiculous and overcomplicated way to say, “We’re here to help.”

In school, we were rewarded for using big words and stretching our vocabulary. But when you’re talking about your business in the marketplace, you need to do the opposite. Use clear, simple language that resonates with your target audience.

Fourth, focus on the outcome, not the process. Ultimately, you’re selling transformation, not a product or a service. How does your business make life better for your customers and clients?

For example, as a landscaper, you may think that you’re selling tree-trimming services or lawn care. But that’s not what it’s really about. You’re selling time — allowing your customers to spend time with their family, friends or hobbies rather than working in the yard. Or you may be selling pride — helping your customers to create a lawn that becomes the envy of the neighborhood.

What are you really selling? How does your business transform the lives of your customers and clients?

Your next marketing campaign is only as effective as your messaging. Hopefully these tips will help you dial in a winning marketing message. Happy marketing!

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Danny Decker

I work with business owners to create real, practical marketing plans – and create systems to make sure the plan actually gets executed. I’ll help you put a strategy in place to create predictably positive cash-flow, to generate new leads consistently, to create more referrals and word-of-mouth marketing, and much more.

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