How to Develop a Core Marketing Message for Any Product
When it comes to your products, a core marketing message is what’s needed to keep all levels of staff on the same page and your clients lined up around the corner to get at what you have to offer. Consistency here is key. Who is your company? What do you do? How do your clients benefit from using you over somebody else?
Your core message document or guide should act as your marketing bible. Follow the steps below and you’ll create a strong document that provides focus and direction for all your marketing and sales efforts.
Define Your Audience Demographics
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu
Understand the problems that you and your product solve first – then you can figure out who is most likely to have those problems. List all the different types of people your customers are, and you’ll be on your way to painting a vivid picture of what motivates them.
To define overall demographics, ask yourself:
- Are they married?
- Male? Female? Gender neutral?
- What do they like to do for fun?
- What is their income level?
- And so on
When you build this list, keep in mind that your audience isn’t going to be all the same. Creating a handful of example users can be a valuable tool in refining your core message. Give them names and have fun with the process.
Interviewing Your Existing Clients
Who is your best current client?
Having a decent, open relationship with them is good in general, but for the purposes of developing a core message for your product it can be invaluable. Next time you meet or are chatting on the phone, ask them some questions – nothing too deep or probing, call it small talk or just being nice and polite. It should not seem forced, though. If your relationship with this person is healthy you could maybe be a little more direct and just flat out tell them exactly why you’re asking or send them a survey.
It is also imperative that you make sure you have received permission from everyone involved before you send your first email or survey, though. Permission ensures that you will get fewer spam complaints and increased open and click rates. Nobody likes spam.
Digging Deeper With Psychographics
Psychographics can help you to better understand your audience’s motivations for obtaining your product. Simply put – what do they care about and why?
Psychographics can open up a deeper and more meaningful window into who your audience is and why they need your product – getting to that info in a non-invasive and authentic manner can be done in a number of ways, but the top two are:
- Interviewing your current clients
- Website analytics
Your Core Message and Empathy
Trial closing is not the same as asking for the sale. To develop a core message for your product try to ask how people feel about the product and how they feel about the sale. Try these on for size – they are great open-ended trial closes:
- How do you feel about what we’ve been talking about so far?
- What do you think about what we’ve come up with today?
- How does it all sound to you so far?
- Any questions you want to ask?
- What changes would you make if you could?
These open-ended questions can help get an authentic dialogue going between you and your client. When the time is right, you can ask for the sale and get it.
Walking through the features and benefits of your product or solution and then tying back to the problem of the customer can build a great link and help develop your messaging. Try to build in trial closes that are open ended to establish a pattern of agreement for the solution. Remember that trial closing questions are opinion-asking questions. They enable you to assess where your people are in the sales process and whether or not it’s time to ask for the sale.
Investigating Website Analytics
OK, so your relationship with your customers is not that tight. Now what? Mining your own web data and analyzing what has moved people to click, call, or buy in the past is called website analytics.
Knowing more about your customers’ hobbies and interests by tracking how they interact with the web can help you fine tune your messaging and laser focus your efforts into meaningful messages about your product. Website analytics can also help when you need to choose a prize for your next contest, are considering a change in graphics, colors or images for the next print ad. You’ll have your audience in mind, and the results will come fast.
Establish a Pattern to your Marketing and Sales Message
Test the Message and keep Testing the Message
You have developed your message and it is time to use them. The core message should be incorporated into all communications. The message becomes the purpose behind the brand and will permeate both internal and external perspectives. As the message starts to move around you will find that there are small elements of the message that need to be tuned.
Questions to ask to see if the message is right are:
- Is the message easy to communicate?
- Does it sound as strong verbally as it does on paper?
- What response does it illicit?
Take the time to test and try your message until it’s perfect. Roll it out across your organization and measure the response. You must have thick skin to take the feedback in a constructive manner. The ultimate goal is to have a message that delivers!
Core message development is a time consuming process that requires effort on every front. But the rewards are well worth the effort. The outcome of a marketing campaign can’t always be controlled, but core messages can.
The key to succes with any campaign is setting the right strategies and a marketing system that incorporates your messaging. By defining key marketing messages for use throughout your integrated communications plan, you have the opportunity to define your success.