“We’d like some marketing collateral please. Can you help us with that?” “No problem” I said. “Who are you targeting and what do you want it to say?” “Ah”, they said. “Can you walk us through what you mean?”
It may seem a little surprising but this is pretty common. Businesses want a push on their marketing and settle on the need for some new collateral, a media campaign to raise their profile or a social media presence as the way to drive forward sales. Each of these options, or the many other promotional tactics that exist may work a treat, but only if the content is right. And that means getting the messaging spot on.
It’s not difficult, but it takes some time, requires thought and is the absolutely essential first step.
But putting the time into getting the messages right is not enough. You’ve got to make sure you stick to them. You have to stay ‘on message’. Only then will your targets really start to hear what you’re saying and you can start to build a productive relationship.
So how do you go about getting the messages right?
The process is relatively straight forward but sticking to it and making sure you’re rigorous is not.
This month I’m running messaging workshops for three different clients. While each is specific to their individual needs I’m working with a common approach, one that has three basic steps.
Step one: who’s the target audience? What’s their job title. Which sector are they in? Most people are only really interested in themselves – Me, Myself, I. With that in mind, what’s going on in their world.
Step two: What do you think you want to say? What really resonates with the people you’re trying to have a conversation with?
Step three: Why is anyone interested in hearing about this now? What makes it topical?
Once you’ve worked out the answers to the questions above you can draft your message matrix. It’s a simple tool that brings together what you’re going to say to whom and when on one page. Every time you write a piece of marketing collateral or news story refer back to the matrix. Without any hassle or effort, it will keep you ‘on message’.
Once you’ve got the matrix in place the next step is to work out where’s the best place to find your targets. Where are they going to be open to hearing what you’ve got to say.
Get in touch if you want to brush up your messages.