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Monday, May 19, 2014

Are You Sending the Right Marketing Message?

 The right marketing message can mean the difference between success and failure for your business. But how can you tell if the message you're sending is the correct one? If you're a small business or a start-up, sending the right message can be tricky.

Your marketing message needs to tell your potential customers what they want to hear — it needs to get to the heart of what they desire. Your marketing message should express your company's heart and soul while showing your customers how you can help them. It should be purposeful, and it should reach your customers no matter where they are.

Look at Your Product from the Customer's Perspective
Your customers don't want a product — they want an experience. Are you selling outdoor furniture? Your customers want to spend time outdoors with friends and family without worrying about taking care of their patio furniture. Are you selling cosmetics? Your customers want to look their best without looking overly made up. When it comes to building a marketing strategy, figuring out what your customers want is half the battle.

The right marketing message will tap into the experience your customers will have when they buy your product or service. It will be direct, simple and easy to remember. It will use outer-directed language that communicates the core benefits of your product or service without using empty or over-used terms. Use your marketing message to make a promise about what you plan to deliver to the customer. You can worry about communicating specific product features and benefits a little later down the road.

Consider Your Average Customer's Persona
Your marketing message may be great, but it won't be effective if you're targeting the wrong people. Who's most likely to benefit from your product? What age group does this person belong in? Is the person a man or a woman? Is he or she married or have children? While considering your customer's persona, fill in as many details as possible; you want to imagine your customers as people, not just buying machines.

Consider Where Your Customer Is in the Buying Process
You should tailor your marketing message to consider which stage of the buying process your customer is in. You'll use a different sort of message to make a customer aware of a need than you would to send information about how your product can meet that need. You don't want to head into the sales pitch too early. Once you've made the sale, you'll have more things to consider, like how you can convert this customer into a repeat buyer, how you can convince this customer to influence his or her friends to buy your product or service and how you can use him or her to spread the word of your company on social media of through word of mouth.

Take Advantage of Promotional Products
Promotional products allow you to expand the reach of your marketing message as far as possible. They last a lot longer than ads on the television or radio; they're not despised the way Internet ads are. They're more mobile than ads on billboards; when you print your company's name, logo, slogan and contact information on a promotional pen, for example, that's an advertisement that goes everywhere your customer does. Plus, promotional pens and other products are a great way to make your customers feel valued and give them fond memories of their experience with your company.

Swag can really help bring your marketing strategy together. It helps nurture the positive experience that turns a one-time customer into a repeat customer. Promotional pens can be a daily reinforcement of your brand for every customer who uses them. They can even help spread brand awareness when customers pass the items around.

Implement Changes Quickly
Changing your marketing tactics could do wonders for making your overall strategy more effective. But you need to implement these changes quickly —otherwise, you risk shoving them on the back burner while you continue to direct your energy into working the same old strategies. Whenever you want to implement a new strategy, create an aggressive timeline for making it happen. The sooner you get it done, the faster you can see whether it works or not.

Don't be afraid to use trial and error and ditch any strategies that aren't working out. If something's working, stick with it, but if it's not, don't waste too much time trying to force the issue. Try a little tweaking, sure, but if it doesn't work with some revisions, don't waste any more time on it.

In order to send the right marketing message, you need to consider who your customer is and what he or she wants. Once you have that figured out, you can experiment with marketing messages and avenues. Don't be afraid to nix any strategies that aren't working, and don't forget that more traditional strategies, like promotional products, still have value in today's high-tech world.

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