I was listening to Marketing Smarts Podcast last night and Tamsen Webster was Kerry’s guest. She had four great questions that I think are so fundamental to great marketing comms that I wanted to share them with you.
To create a communication that works, ask yourself four framing questions:
1. Who are you talking to? (Audience)
“You cannot get to a messaging strategy before you have an audience strategy.” So many of the businesses I work with struggle with this. I know it is easy to feel you are cutting off a big part of the market by focusing on one segment but your message will mean more and will be likely to resonate if you have a focused audience rather than try and be all things to everyone.
2. What do you want them to do? (Action)
“What is it that you want them to do, specifically, as an immediate result of that communication…. The instinct we have to resist is to say ‘I want them to read this and buy,’ or ‘I want them to have this conversation and buy.’ If you slow people down and say ‘that’s not how YOU do it, is it?’ We have to be much more specific about the outcome of any communication is. Do I want someone to learn more? Do I want them to click through? Do I want them to schedule another meeting? Do I want them to change an opinion?” Having a clear CTA (call to action) is a big part of my work with small businesses. Mapping out a customer journey can help for every marketing communication. What is the next step that makes sense for your customer?
3. What do they need to believe in order to act? (Belief)
“There are some basic archetypal beliefs that are usually in play. Things like ‘the problem is more serious than I thought it was.’ ‘It’s actually possible to solve this problem that I have.’ ‘This solution that you’re asking me…to take will solve the problem.’ That’s a belief. Another belief is that this solution you’re suggesting to me is superior than other solutions. Particularly important in sales is the idea that it’s worth it for me to take this change.”
Belief is the biggest missing thing for small business. Why? Why should I trust you and what do you do differently. Sometimes this revolves around the how. How you do business and customers only know this if you show them your process.
4. What do they need to know in order to believe? (Knowledge)
“There’s this fascinating thing with how the human brain works—we have to have context in order to remember, in order to comprehend. And until that initial context is established, nothing else makes sense. So you can start a communication with saying ‘here’s who we are, and here’s where we’re located, and here’s our approach, and here’s our methodology.’
It is all about educating and being helpful on your customers’ journey.
“What’s fascinating about…these four questions is that you can use them to determine what’s the best way to structure a piece of marketing collateral through to what’s the best way to position a sales conversation, even to what’s the best way to put together a keynote or a conference breakout session? These questions are so important.
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