What’s your message?
Marketing in today’s modern world is no easy task. Turn back the clock 15 years and you might have had to worry about brochures, leaflets, newspaper/magazine adverts and possibly some PR activity. Today, you probably still have all of these to think about, but in addition you’ll also have a website to manage, at least two social media accounts, a blog to write for, email campaigns to send…and so the list continues.
Whilst the opportunities for low cost marketing created by advancements in the digital world are great; allowing many businesses who would otherwise struggle to gain an audience and visibility; it has also created much more work to keep on top of.
The problem comes when you have different messages going out in different places. We’ve all seen businesses do it; whether omitting to update certain aspects of their marketing whilst updating others, or having a completely different tone of voice in one place compared to others; creating a confusing and unclear overall impression.
And it’s not just small companies that are guilty – sometimes the big boys are at it too – despite their big marketing teams and budgets.
Here are three top tips on developing and implementing a consistent message for your marketing.
Develop a strong proposition
The first step to having a consistent marketing message is to develop a strong proposition. It’s easy to be vague and go with the status quo for your industry but the trouble is, you then sound like all your competitors, with very little for people to associate specifically with you. If you have a particular area of specialism, consider leading with this before going on to talk about the other areas you work in.
You also need to consider who your audience is and who, therefore, you are talking to. A business that is targeting a corporate client base would have a very different message to one targeting a young consumer audience. Even if you have a broad customer base, this doesn’t mean you can’t develop a strong tone of voice and set of marketing messages that really help to convey who you are and what you can offer as a business.
You may be a whizz at promoting your business on social media, but are you neglecting your website? Or are you good at talking about your business in face to face scenarios but rubbish at expressing the same enthusiasm in writing, therefore rendering your website dull and boring to read?
If you have the resources, delegate aspects of your marketing that you aren’t so good at to someone who it. Whoever you employ to undertake marketing activity on your behalf, be it a member of staff or an external consultant/agency, just make sure they are fully briefed as to your message and can convey that message in line with any other marketing you are doing.
Having said all of this, if you are a small business, try not to have a ‘scattergun’ approach to marketing. Dipping your finger in lots of pies but not really committing to any of them rarely works as a strategy. You’re far better focusing on a small number of channels that you can manage well and with consistency. Just make sure that the channels you choose are the ones where you will generate most impact.
Don’t forget your staff…
One of the easiest things to overlook in terms of your marketing message is your staff! Yet if you are a customer facing business, your staff are your business’ mouthpiece; putting out messages to clients/customers on a daily basis.
Make sure your staff are all well versed in your proposition. You might want to hold a short training session covering the proposition you have developed and how this is best conveyed to customers. You may even go so far as having ‘set piece’ statements or ways of describing core areas of your business. It might also be worth creating a ‘crib sheet’ that describes the business, its values, its ethos and its story. This can be kept as a reference for existing staff and handed out to new ones.
Hopefully these tips have given you some food for thought. Got any thoughts/comments? We’d love to hear them below.