Effective marketing starts with ‘M’ for messaging
When approaching any new marketing project there are all kinds of things you need to organize. The campaign strategy, desired goals, people involved and the tactics you intend to use to get you there all need careful forethought and planning. But quite often companies and executives overlook something that is absolutely fundamental to informing and delivering all these elements of the campaign – the messaging.
The numbers are quite startling. One report found that 70 per cent of companies do not have a formalised marketing messaging process in place in their organisations, while another revealed that 84 per cent of marketers do not have a formal content strategy or any kind of formally managed content supply chain.
Getting it right from day one
It helps to think of the messaging as a set of instructions for the campaign. Different products, services and markets all require different messages, but it is vital remain consistent along the way. Putting clear and accurate messaging in place before kicking off a marketing project helps you make sure you can reach your goal with the minimum fuss, disruption and wasted time and money and with maximum clarity and end product.
So what should you do?
Not having your messaging nailed down before starting a project often leads to confusion, heading off down cul-de-sacs of content that must be reworked and projects becoming delayed. So when formulating your messaging before starting work on the project, here’s a few things to bear in mind.
- Keep it concise. You don’t need to include everything there is to know about your entire company in your messaging at this point, just focus on the key points of your campaign like what makes your product or service different from others in the market. If you are promoting one particular technology, focus tightly on its value proposition and its benefits, don’t waste time and effort talking about things that are not relevant. This kind of concentration helps your message and marketing collaterals stand out from the crowd.
- Keep it consistent. If you try to involve too many things, too many messages, or often most significantly, too many people in the messaging process, you will run into confusion. Establish a consistent message from the start, ensure everyone involved is fully aware of it and you maximise your chances of cutting through the noise and getting your message to resonate.
- Keep your focus. Remember that most readers of your marketing content want to know what your company, product or service can do for them – not what you think of it yourself. Also remember that your customers are bombarded by marketing messages all day every day, so stay focused on communicating the benefits and not getting sidetracked by other marketing campaigns you might have going on. Keep it tight.
You might have a range of technologies under one particular business unit or umbrella within your company but that does not mean you should always attempt to squeeze too much messaging into a campaign or project – that way lies diluted messages and the wasted time. So keep things crystal clear from the start, define your messaging, stick to it, remember that readers have shorter attention spans than ever and that you need to grab them from the off. Stay on-message and make the most of your campaign, your budget and your content marketing.