Last week I touched on how you need to get the word out about your business because no one really cares about your business until you give it meaning. This isn’t the 1800’s where you knew the blacksmith, tailor, farmer, etc…Today’s market landscape is soooo crowded you’re going to have to spend some money to get your message heard.
Today we’re going to talk about crafting that message.
You’ve finally come to the realization you’re going to have to market your product, service, whatever. Now, what medium to choose? Print, radio, TV, direct mail, social media and the list goes on. It can be quite tricky to figure out what to use. Some business folk will choose to sprinkle their cash in each. DON’T DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A TON OF MONEY TO SPEND. Stick to one medium and test it. Don’t spread yourself too thin using a bunch of mediums. Put all your eggs into one basket, especially when you’re starting out.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which medium you choose, as long as you choose one. Once you’ve chosen the medium, it’s time to start crafting the message.
Your message can only say ONE thing about your business. That’s it, that’s all. Find the core of your message and beat people over the head with it.
For example: Army Commanders will ask themselves, “What is the ONE thing we want to accomplish tomorrow.” This really simplifies the message that they will pass down through the ranks. The message could be, “We will destroy the bridge leading to the castle.” Think about that for second…it doesn’t say how it’s going to happen or bog down the objective in details. If all goes to hell, the men on the ground will know EXACTLY what the objective is. DESTROY THE BRIDGE!
Police will often use this tactic for undercover missions. “Infiltrate the dealers and find the supplier.” Does the Police Chief care about how it’s done…kind of, but at the end of the day all he/she cares about is finding out who the supplier is.Pretty simple marching orders for those who are going to carry out the undercover operation.
Here’s a way you can find out what your core message is.
Fill in the blanks: My (business) is the ONLY (business category) in (city / town) that (whatever it is your business does).
For example: My hot dog cart is the ONLY street vendor in Charlotte that offers ballpark Frank’s.
From there – you can relentlessly promote and market the fact you have ballpark Frank’s (or whatever you have that other’s don’t). And don’t say, “we have the lowest prices, best customer service and the most experience.” EVERYONE SAYS THAT! I’m sorry, but you will not be cheaper than the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart. If you get into a commodity battle the BIG GUYS WILL DESTROY YOU. Go for the heart and the mind will follow.
If your customer service is better…PROVE IT. If you can’t think of a story about how your customer service representatives went above and beyond with a customer than you don’t have the best customer service. Treating customers with respect and greeting them with a smile is expected. It doesn’t mean you have the best customer service. Now, if it’s raining outside and you walk every customer to their vehicle with an umbrella over their head…then we can talk. Until you can prove it, don’t mention it in your advertising.
Once you’ve picked the medium and figured out your core message, you can start working on your creative. And that’s when the fun starts…
The above isn’t an exact science. It takes time and plenty of thinking to come up with a medium and core message. It’s best to bring in an outsider who will challenge your thinking. As a business owner, you’re too ‘inside the box’ to realize what other’s think about you. If you need help finding a medium and breaking down your core message, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week we’ll discuss CREATIVE or how your message will be seen and promoted.