Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005
Boring is one thing you can’t afford to be when it comes to marketing your business. With more than 3000+ marketing messages pummeling consumers on a daily basis, you need to be more, and do more, if you want to be heard above the racket.
Your marketing message is how you communicate with the public; it needs to be appealing and memorable. In order to do that, consider the concept of the meme. A meme is a thought, idea or belief that replicates over time. What that means in terms of your marketing is creating a marketing message that is strong, bold, and exciting so that it stays with the customer and becomes a part of their thinking.
A good example of this is Nike’s “Just Do It”. This phrase is used in a lot of different contexts outside of talking about Nike’s products. People get what it means because it has permeated our culture. Below are some ways that you can avoid being boring by adding extra marketing appeal to your message.
1. Add visuals. There are so many ways to bring attention to your marketing message. One of the best ways is to add something visual. As a picture speaks a thousand words, so too can it communicate all sorts of things about you and your business. What types of pictures or graphics would you use to convey who you are? Adding a picture of yourself on your website or in other marketing materials will help form a stronger connection between you and potential clients.
2. The meaning of colors. Colors hold great meaning when it comes to your marketing message. Yellow elicits high levels of attention. Orange and red indicate quickness. The concepts of money, health, and nurturing are symbolized by green. Black can mean power and strength, but it can also indicate hiding or blending into the background. Purple is the color of royalty and wealth. What types of colors are you drawn to? What meaning do you want to convey to people by the colors you use on your business cards, brochures and even on your website. Too many colors are distracting and look chaotic. Certain colors on colored backgrounds can cause the same reaction. Make sure to work with a professional when selecting colors so you can communicate your business in the best light.
3. Try technology. Adding audio or video to your web site is a great way to allow someone to get to know you better. Adding real audio recordings of your classes, an interview, or even a welcome message gives someone an opportunity to hear your voice. Because technology is so low priced and easy to use nowadays, you might even consider adding a short video as well. Again, it will help to develop a rapport with your audience. One thing to keep in mind is that while technology is great and exciting and can do wonderful things for us, not everyone has the bandwidth to enjoy it fully. Over 50% of consumers are still using dial-up computer access which limits their ability to enjoy both real audio and video to its fullest.
4. Creative business cards. One great way to stand out from the crowd is to develop a creative business card. Add your picture to it or a professionally designed graphic. Use a brochure type card, which allows you 4 different surfaces to print contact information as well as information about what you do. You can include quotations, a mini-brochure about your company, or even some helpful tips or a short quiz. Think about the use of colors and type of fonts, which also can add excitement and pizzazz.
5. Action. When people see or read about action, they often feel empowered to take action themselves. Employing motion on your website is another way to add appeal to your marketing message. You can have text that changes colors on its own, or graphics that move. You might even have a marquee. One thing to keep in mind is that motion can also quickly drive people away from your site as it can be considered obnoxious and childish. Talk to a web professional before using these techniques. You can also imply action by the types of words you use in your web copy.
6. Target your audience. A quality-marketing message speaks directly to its target audience. Who is your target audience? Is it moms, singles, seniors, solo-professionals? The words you use to communicate with a mom are quite different from the words you would use to communicate to a corporate human resources manager or to a medical doctor. The words you use must fit your audience. If they don’t, you’ll have an immediate disconnect with people who read your message.
7. What’s in it for me? Fundamental to all marketing messages must be the mantra…”What’s in it for me”? The only reason anyone is even looking at your brochure, viewing your website or reading your business card is to see what they can possibly gain for themselves. People are busy and are inundated with thousands of marketing messages each day. The only ones they will pay attention to are the ones that really speak to their needs. They have problems or issues they want solved and they are looking for solutions. An appealing marketing message is one that speaks to the typical problems faced by your target audience. Communicating how you can solve those problems quickly and cost effectively is critical to attracting new clients.
8. Ask “yes” questions. If you want to capture someone’s attention, ask them questions that they can answer “yes” to. Whether you are asking questions on a website, in a brochure, or during a sales presentation, make sure they are worded in such a way that the respondent will answer “yes” consistently. The word “yes” opens people up to accept more feedback, whereas the word “no” will quickly close them down. Also, create questions that can help the reader or viewer identify with what you’re saying, giving them the sense that you truly do understand their problems or issues.
9. Features and benefits. Don’t just tell people what you do. Instead, relate the features and benefits of what they can experience as a result of doing business with you. A feature is some aspect of the product whereas a benefit is the feeling or result that someone will experience as a result of that feature. For example, a hospital unit might feature some of the latest innovations in new baby care and services. The benefit to the new mother will be the confidence, security, and peace of mind that she and her baby will be cared for in the best ways possible.
10. Be unique. Show how you, your product, or services are unique. Not only will that help people to remember you, it will make you remarkable. The sense of being remarkable is that people will comment about you to others. Word of mouth advertising is some of the best advertising because it costs you nothing and it comes with a testimonial from the person who is telling others about you. Can you relate what you do to someone in history? Or are you the first at doing something or introducing something? Do you use unique ingredients in your products or employ specialized knowledge in the work you do? This type of information will make your marketing message not only interesting and memorable, but remarkable.
© Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith
About the Author
Alicia Smith is a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping coaches to Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 90 lessons contained in her e-course, 90-Day Marketing Marathon. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit the following sites. (You also can email her at email@example.com.) (http://www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com) (http://www.discninja.com) (http://www.InternetAssessments.com)