Marketing’s Secret Sauce: The Message

Marketing’s Secret Sauce is the first “taste” of our new series of marketing education videos, which we’ve christened ACCELERATE: Smart Strategies That Power Business Growth. Each one will contain essential insights you need to become a more successful marketer – delivered in 10 minutes or less!

 

It seems like anything successful has a secret formula, proprietary technology or “secret sauce” behind it that makes people talk about it. Marketing is no different.

The secret sauce of successful marketing is the message. It must command the attention of its target audience, get them to think and feel something – and ultimately like, trust and do business with your firm.

Check out this new 8-minute video, to discover:

  • Why you must first focus on your brand message – not on the channels you’ll use to deliver it
  • Two key types of messages, and the critical role each one plays in your branding
  • Examples of companies that have powerfully positioned themselves in the minds of their customers using taglines and slogans
  • Three steps to develop a persuasive strategic brand message for your business

Branding, Content, and the Sales Pitch: Finding the Right Balance

 
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The temptation to hammer your audience with a peppy sales pitch when you’re trying to write content can be hard to overcome. Marketers are supposed to market, right? So why shouldn’t we be screaming Buy! Buy! Buy! like freakshow carnival barkers?

Oh, wait, that’s actually the answer. Yikes.

Aggressiveness is out. Instead of demanding action from your customers, you have to give them answers to entice your customers to come to you. What you use to attract them determines the quality and longevity of your relationship.

Why We Had to Kill Frank…

Imagine you live on a cul-de-sac in a quiet suburban neighborhood—that is, until a new neighbor moves in. You know it’s going to get ugly when a panel truck with an LED display offering a miracle health product pulls into the driveway.

But, being the good neighbor you are, you bake a nice casserole and go over to introduce yourself. Your new neighbor Frank tells you all about how you can earn money by selling his miracle product…and all about how the pyramid scheme works. You buy a jar of miraclestuff to be polite and excuse yourself.

The next morning, Frank is at your door. He hands you a single flower from his garden, invites himself to breakfast, and tells you more about the product and the pyramid. Frank doesn’t care what you want, he only cares about selling you so he can make more money.

You’re forced to choose your own adventure: You can either kill Frank or put your house on the market and move to Tucson.

Pushy, one-way relationships were common in the early days of the Web. Intrusive banner ads, aggressive popups, spammariffic emails…

The good news? Technology killed Frank. We’re all very happy about it.

Moving to Tucson

Marketers had to find something more effective than Frank InYourFace—and the growing popularity of blogging and social media provided the perfect vehicle. For the first time, business owners and marketers had a forum to talk about solutions, issues, and pain points…all things your customer is interested in. And it worked.

Don’t worry, you still get to brand your business and sell your product. It’s just a more organic process today. A good relationship involves trust and rapport. Understand your customer’s needs and provide answers. They will remember your brand. Loyalty is human nature.

Making an Impression

Consider what you want people to think of your brand. Do you want to be seen as a thought leader? A company concerned about sustainable products? The manufacturer of the best widget available on the market? The low-price leader?

If you build your content around your desired image, you reinforce your brand and company values with every piece of content—WITHOUT selling. Your website should be filled with quality information about you, your company culture, your products, and your customers. That’s your branding. Authentic reinforcement of your message.

The Selling Part

You’re going to have to cut to the chase and promote some sales copy, and you don’t have to betray the trust you’ve built to do so. Make it relevant and timely and your customers won’t want to hit you with a shovel.

3 softer-selling secrets:

  1. Get Personal. Even with all the changes in delivery, the basic principles of marketing still hold true. The amazing depth of information you can gather on customers and their behavior eliminates the guesswork. You can send an offer so personal and timely it’s hard to resist:

“Dear Elizabeth, Last year, you told us you loved the yellow duckie raincoat and matching umbrella for your 3-year-old daughter. It’s almost rainy season again, and we thought you might like our outstanding selection of Dora the Explorer raingear in just the right size. We even have a matching backpack! It’s all on sale this week. Oh, and while Dora is the best-selling choice for girls her age, we also have a big selection of alternative characters, prints and solids, all on sale right now.”

  1. Weave Your Selling Point into Valuable Advice. Basic Selling 101: Identify a pain point (like the coming rainy season in the example above) and offer a solution. Your content marketing goals aren’t just to sell an item, but to be so useful and full of great ideas that your customers will come back just for the edutainment.
  1. Ask for Opinions and Advice. Customers love to give input and to be heard, so don’t be afraid to ask—then make changes based on their answers.

Back to Frank

Imagine your new neighbor, Frank, moves in without fanfare. You take over a casserole, introduce yourself, and exchange pleasantries. He invites you over, grills steaks, and pours a few beers. You become friends.

Over the course of the friendship, Frank never asks you to become involved or tries to sell you product, but you do notice how healthy and energetic he is. You ask, and he tells you he likes to get plenty of rest and exercise, along with a healthy diet including a special supplement.

A few months later, a different friend mentions he’s looking for a side business, something he can really believe in. He mentions he’s been slowing down lately, feeling run down and tired. You find yourself telling him all about Frank. While you’re talking, you wonder if that supplement would make you feel as energetic as Frank feels. You decide to ask Frank if you can buy a bottle of his supplement.

That’s how content marketing works.

 
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Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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How Powerful Brand Storytelling Can Supplement Direct Mail

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Direct mail can be a powerful tool, but not if it’s thrown in the trash without consideration. The best way to keep your direct mail campaign out of the garbage is to earn the trust of your recipients. Powerful brand storytelling is the best way to do that. With the right story, readers will care—and they’ll be interested in your message.

Your brand story is built from the ground up. Here’s how…

Start with Brand Recognition

The first boost to your direct mail campaign comes from simple name, logo and branding recognition. Consistency is absolutely key to building brand recognition. You might send different types of mail, but your logo and branding should be visible and prominent on any mailing.

Customers who know who you are and already view your company in a positive light will be less likely to trash your mail. Perhaps they’ve already been to your website and signed up for an offer. Perhaps they’ve purchased your products or services before. Perhaps you interacted at a trade show. Brand recognition helps you tell your brand story, mainly because it’s the key to getting that direct mail piece in the door and in front of more eyes, unlike “cold call” mail.

Speak to Your Customers—and Your Customer Service

One of the most important services you can offer is fast, friendly customer service. Never underestimate the power of a helpful smiling face or an earnest friendly voice. Your customers are where your brand story starts, because so many great customer stories stem from great customer service.

Great customer stories are often the most powerful brand stories a smaller company can have—and one of the best ways to beat the competition. Build brand loyalty and make prospects and customers alike feel included in your direct mail initiative by telling stories about how you’ve helped people just like them.

Highlight Your Company—and Your Company Culture

Your brand story should be about your company as well—and your people: who you are, how you treat your employees, the history of your company, even your location. It’s the details that pull in your customers and help them get to know and trust your business. Loyal customers aren’t just a faceless mailing list, they are people who care about you, your company, your mission, and your brand.

If you know your customers, you know what’s important to them. Your story should touch on these points. Will your customers respond to green energy initiatives? Support of a political party? How about perks for your employees? Your technical innovations? Find the elements of the way you do business that will most likely appeal to your clients and make them part of your brand story. Customers want to do business with companies they feel good about.

Showcase Your Products & Services

Your customers have certain expectations, and chances are, they can buy what you’re selling somewhere else. Direct mail should showcase your products and services in the best possible light—with stunning, colorful graphics that reinforce your brand story.

No matter what you’re selling, you probably face some stiff competition. If your prices aren’t low enough to write home about, your brand story has to be impressive enough to gain a place in your customers’ hearts.

Powerful brand storytelling sets you apart, forges an emotional connection with your customers, and makes your brand uppermost in your customers’ minds when they think of your products and services or see your mailing. Tell a compelling story and you’ll reap the benefits of getting more eyes on your direct mail piece—and more leads in your sales funnel.

 

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Brand storytelling is an integral part of an effective marketing strategy. Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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