How to Develop a Remarkable, Masterful, Irresistible, Results-Driven Marketing Message Before Your Second Cup of Coffee (You’ll Need the First Cup)
Google “how to develop a marketing message” and you won’t find much. Next to bupkis, actually. Why? While finding the right message is arguably one the most important tasks in marketing it is also one of the most difficult. It is easy to start enthusiastically with a million ideas, but it doesn’t take long to get lost and become unable to see the forest of opportunity for the trees. And if you can’t, your potential customer can’t either.
But with the right message for your marketing campaign, life is so much easier. Your message becomes the heart of your campaign. It serves as a guideline, as a leitmotif, and all the rest of your marketing efforts become a whole lot easier.
Saying that is easy. Doing it requires that first cup of coffee, some creativity, and the ability to take a step back and look at your security business through the lens of your customer. It also requires understanding some of the basics.
Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
What is a Marketing Message
A marketing message is not necessarily ad copy. It is the underlying offering and desired outcome driving your overall copy. That should be able to be summed up in a short, irresistible marketing morsel that makes mouths drool just thinking about it. It cements a key offering, answers the “why you” question, and satisfies a need. A pretty tall order, right? It will become easier with the right tools in place.
Identify Your Audience
A good marketing message has to be clear, but no message is clear to everyone. It just isn’t possible. Don’t overreach. If your business is leaning in the residential security direction, take note of that. If your customers are primarily single unit commercial or multi-site managed services, that is your primary audience. If your goal is to reach someone other than your primary audience, that is a process which does, of course, start with your marketing message. In both cases, your aim is the “low-hanging fruit” or the most reachable from where you are right now. Reach the most reachable first, then expand the circle later. Within your circle of influence, identify to whom the message is speaking, such as to SMB owners, large businesses, or security specifiers.
Find What Matters
This is where a lot of businesses go wrong in their marketing. They start with what matters to them and not what matters to the audience. It can be easy to miss because the business owner security is security and what makes the business special is what they do differently. Here’s what that means. You can be great at customer responsiveness and that is what really sets you apart. That is good. But if your target audience is craving something else more, that’s a problem. Once you know your true audience, know their pain points and speak to them.
Finding the Right Message
I will warn you now, finding the right message is not an easy task, particularly when you are marketing your own business. In the security industry, you know a lot about your business, its value, how you are different, the technologies and how they serve the customer. You have services you want to highlight and deals you’d like to offer. All worthy ambitions. But in developing a marketing message you have to reverse engineer to find the right message.
Here’s our biggest marketing message secret: Ironically, a successful marketing message isn’t about you. It’s about them.
It’s how you serve THEM.
How your offerings meet THEIR needs.
It’s about how you will set THEM ahead of the competition and make things safer, easier, more efficient, or cost-effective.
It’s the difference between:
“We offer Cutting-Edge Technologies to Protect Your Business”
“Get the Latest Technologies to Fortify Your Business and Empower Your Success.”
Use Copy Drivers
Humans are, well, human, and are driven by the same basic emotions. These emotions are what universally drive copy. Make sure your marketing hits one of the key copy drivers as defined by direct marketing experts Bob Hacker and Axel Andersson: fear, greed, guilt, exclusivity, anger, salvation, or flattery.
Apply the “So what?” Test
Once you have an idea of where you’d like to go with your marketing message, apply the “So What?” test. Say it allowed and write it down and then ask “So what?”. You offer great technology, great. So what? Ask it over and over until you are out of answers. Those answers are the fuel you’ll pour on the fire and help your desired audience get to “THAT is exactly what I need!”
Developing a great marketing message depends, at least partially, on creative strengths. You may offer better products, a wider range of security services, an objectively lower price, and a measurably longer history than your closest competitor, but if your marketing messages are boring or stale, people aren’t going to give them a second glance. Creativity helps you stand out in a world bombarded with advertising, it helps differentiate you from your competitors, and it makes you more memorable in your customers’ minds.
That said, you don’t have to be creative to get creative. If you find yourself lacking don’t sweat it. There are tons of ways to get inspired.
Apply caricature thinking. If you are a to the point kind of person. Take that to the extreme and see if you can get your message down to just a few words. If your target audience wants a particular service, like managed services, because they like the convenience take it over the top with a “We install it and manage it. You forget it,” message.
Crowdsource. Ask for opinions.
Check out where people talk. Go to sub-Reddit and find out what people are saying about a service or technology. You are sure to find plenty of quippy, snarky, trash-taking inspiration there.
Do Recon. Look at what is in the news, what others are doing in marketing, or for interesting applications.
Developing a marketing message is less about chest-pounding than it is nail driving. The right message will land right where the customer needs it and will drive the nail hard in place. It should employ Winston Churchill’s ‘tremendous whack’ theory, which says that if you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack.” Once you develop the right marketing message, hit it hard, and it can help drive the message throughout the rest of your copy.