I talk a lot with businesses about the importance of their brand message and its relevance to their marketing program. Your marketing message, differentiation, and what you say about your business is a key component to how well your marketing tactics perform in generating the results you expect.
As Seth Godin puts it, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories that you tell.”
What Story Are You Telling?
Let’s face it. Unless you are an exception to the rule, your customers have options to choose from. Even if your product or service is superior, your competitor probably thinks theirs is too. And really – neither opinion matters as much as what the CUSTOMER thinks.
Data tells us that buyers are educating themselves online. What are your prospects hearing about you (and your competitors) as they explore? What story are you telling to capture the attention and to win the mind share of your target audience?
Your Brand Story Feeds Your Marketing Tactics
You probably already understand the importance of marketing to attract prospects, convert them into leads and nurture leads into customers. You may be investing in marketing tactics like social media, blogs, video, email marketing and website optimization.
Have you carefully considered how your brand story feeds your marketing tactics? What you are saying through all of these marketing channels? Is it consistent, is it crisp, does it resonate with your audience and does it differentiate you?
If you’re not getting the results you’d like from your marketing, I suggest looking first at your messaging before concluding that a channel doesn’t work for your business. Your marketing tactics can’t actually work in generating leads and customers if your message isn’t well defined, crisp, consistent, differentiated and customer-centric.
I’ve seen remarkable results with companies who take the time and focused effort to clearly articulate a well defined and thought out brand message that they can then use to feed their marketing tactics like social media, email, videos, blogs, and website content.
Related Blog: Marketing Strategy Before Tactics
Assessing Your Brand Message
Think about all of the ways that your marketing programs currently reach your target audience to deliver information about your products, services and company.
- Are all of these messages consistently interesting and engaging?
- Are they differentiated from your competition?
- Do they reach people at an emotional level and tell a story worth hearing?
The most common problem I see with brand messaging is that they are frequently based on an inside-out perspective.
When you work inside a company 40+ hours a week and are surrounded by colleagues who are also immersed in the company, it becomes difficult to look at your brand message through the eyes of your customer.
For this reason, combined with the time and focus required for this task, carefully consider the benefit in hiring a third marketing such as a marketing agency to ensure your messaging avoids the risk of being created with an inside-out perspective. Marketing agencies who specialize in brand development can additionally bring value in using a tested process for leading you through this process.
Consider Your Next Step
Marketing today is more complex than ever before. The number of ways to share your story, the distribution channels available to engage with your customers and prospects, and the ability to reach people through the click of a button makes it easy to share a message but difficult to stand out.
If your marketing message lacks consistency, if the tone of voice varies across platforms or based on the person creating the content, if you haven’t carefully crafted the words you consistently use – words that convey why you’re different and how you can best meet the needs of your target audience – then you are limiting your potential and possibly confusing your prospects, giving them reason to look elsewhere for a solution that you provide.