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What Should You Focus on in Your Marketing Message?

What’s our marketing message going to be? It’s a question faced by every marketer when they contemplate how they’ll attract custom.

The first step is to recognise the tools at your disposal:

  • your knowledge of your target audience’s hopes, dreams, desires and emotions; and
  • your knowledge of your product.

Your marketing message connects the two. Here’s a 3 step process to follow to get to your marketing message.

STEP 1:  Identify what the most powerful desire is that can be applied to your product.

Every product appeals to two or three of these ‘desire types’:

Desire type 1 example:  arthritis pains versus a hangover head-ache.

  • urgency
  • intensity
  • demand that needs satisfying

Desire type 2 example:  real discomfort from hunger versus a craving for gourmet foods.

  • staying power
  • degree of repetition
  • inability to become satiated

Desire type 3 example:  spending £50 to add a gizmo that saves petrol consumption versus spending the same amount on one that merely prevents future repair bills.

  • scope

Every product appeals to two, three or four of these desire types, but ONLY ONE can predominate. You can fit only one in your headline. Only one will generate the best results for your campaign from your marketing message when it runs.

Your choice among these desire types is the most important step you will take when crafting your marketing message.

Choose the desire that will give you the most power across the three desire types. What is your product’s single most overwhelming desire that will reach right into the hearts and minds of your target audience? After all, these people are actively seeking to satisfy this desire at this very moment and so your duty is to focus on delivering it.

STEP 2:  Acknowledge that desire, re-inforce it and (potentially) solve it in a single statement within the headline of your marketing message.

The headline is the bridge between your prospect and your product.

  • If your prospect is aware of your product AND realises it can satisfy his desire, start your headline with the product.
  • If he is not aware of your product, but only of the desire itself, start your headline with the desire.
  • or, If he isn’t aware of what he really seeks, but is concerned only with a general problem, start the headline with that problem and crystallise it into a specific need.

Your headline doesn’t actually have to mention your product, it just needs to create that connection to the desire, justifying and intensifying it.

STEP 3:  Take the series of performances built into your product and show how these product performances inevitably satisfy that desire.

Every product has a physical element and a functional element. The former is how it is made, put together, shaped. The latter is the product in action, the benefits that a customer gets from consuming your product.

The physical product does NOT sell. It has value only because it does things for people. So the important part of your product is WHAT IT DOES. Yes, the physical composition can help you justify or reinforce the primary performance that you promise your prospect:

  • by justifying price – higher quality materials, higher price.
  • documenting quality – a strong shell of a car, makes your safety claims more credible.
  • assuring performance will continue – quality LED lights will last for 10+ years without change.
  • sharpening the prospects mental picture of performance – with the new Apple X you’re getting a larger screen in a smaller package.
  • giving your product a fresh new basis of believability – like Biki, the drone that swims under water with a 4k camera!

However, it is the performance of your product and how it satisfies the desire of your target market that counts.

Study your product.

List the number of different performance it contains and group these against the desire types that they satisfy. Then feature ONE performance that will harness the greatest sales power of your product right now.

Example of a car’s performances:

  • transportation – gets him, family, luggage from a to b.
  • dependability – freedom from breakdowns, repair bills, etc
  • economy – miles per gallon, lower car tax, insurance.
  • power – getting away from the lights or the annoying dick tailgating you.
  • recognition – status of owning the first electric car in your neighbourhood.
  • value – trade in value
  • novelty – gadgets in the car, wifi, etc, etc

Remember, your marketing message can feature ONLY ONE of these performances. So pick the best. Your target is not waiting for your ad, he is pre-occupied, so what will cut through?

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The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby