Tell me which of these messages appeal to you if you were the victim of an accident?
“Injured in an accident? Call us now to get the money you deserve.”
“We have 30 years’ experience and training in making compensation claims for you.”
You can tell that both messages are about the services that a compensation lawyer can provide you. Yet, chances are the first catches your eye and the second, well, it tells you what they do.
Here’s another pair talking about a restaurant:
“Eat a happy Italian meal with friends,” or
“We serve excellent Italian food.”
Again, the first makes an impact on your emotions and the second tells you what you get – but aren’t you immediately attracted to the first?
It’s a busy, noisy world out there and your marketing messages need to grab attention immediately with impact. You cannot afford to be scrolled past or strolled past.
But first, what is a marketing message?
A marketing message is any communication or text that is specially designed to influence customers. They can be designed to build brand or product awareness, generate demand, or make the sale.
Your marketing messages could be embedded in how you dress, what your office looks like, your logo design, the text in your website, the text in your ads, what your emails say, what events you go to or sponsor and what you do in them, the narrative you provide in sales meetings.
So, your marketing message has to attract, explain, and make a call to action.
The above examples were single sentences. Of course, in order to explain and then make a call to action, your marketing messages will need to provide more information – but that first line is the hook and starts the creation of an impact on the customer.
How do marketing messages create the impact that you want?
Marketing messages that create impact are emotional because we buy first with our emotions, and then with logic. Grab the heartstrings, and then back it up with facts.
So, create marketing messages that use or appeal to emotions especially if this uses your unique selling proposition (what makes you different), and that will position you differently from your competitors. All compensation lawyers have plenty of experience – but mark yourself as different when you show that you can “get them the money they deserve”.
That message gives them instant gratification – they can see it and say “that’s what I need.”
As an opening line, it also gets straight to the point.
You don’t have much time to cut through the chatter so you want to say what you want to say quickly.
High-impact marketing messages also take and understands the customer’s viewpoint.
Weak marketing messages speak to how you as the seller sees the world. You are justifiably proud of your experience in compensation claims or in your excellent Italian food. But neither is necessarily what the customer needs right now.
A high-impact marketing message understands that when a customer is injured in an accident, they are aggrieved, and they want the money that they deserve. How somebody gets it for them is irrelevant to their need at that time.
In the same way, a customer may only be marginally interested in the excellence of your food – what they need is the full package, including a good time out with friends.
High-impact marketing messages are all about what you can do for them and so must use simple, familiar language.
“Thirty years’ experience” in the Law is foreign to most people. But “call us now” and “get the money you deserve” is a simple understandable concept that appeals to anyone.
Finally, a high-impact marketing message should provide all the information they need. No further explanation should be required.
Indeed, your initial message should be backed up by instruction, facts or figures, but at the same time following the same rules of using the emotions, taking the customer’s viewpoint, and simple language. Provide just enough to suit the purpose of either influencing their awareness of you, generating their demand, or making the sale. But do provide enough so that no further explanation is necessary.
In the injury compensation message, you might follow with a few sentences about your “free initial consultation” or a brief explanation of how they get to engage you.
In the Italian restaurant example, the message is about conviviality so it may not need anything other than the addition of images of happy, happy diners!
How do you prepare your marketing message?
So, you’re not a copywriter, but you do know your product.
How do you create marketing messages that you can use in sales conversations, in marketing activities, and in any advertising?
The good news is you don’t have to be a creative copywriter at all.
The first thing is to thoroughly understand what your product means to your ideal customer.
This means that you must know what your product is, for sure, but also what it does for your customer. And, this means that you must see it from your customer’s point of view, and, you must have identified your ideal customer.
Let’s start with knowing your ideal customer or target market.
Your product may mean different things to different groups of customers. However, in order to clearly put together an appealing message, you must know who you are talking to.
For example, everyone likes to eat an Italian meal. But there may be different categories of people (their demographics). There may be a group of blue-collar workers and families who want a no-frills meal – get in, eat, get out. There may be teenagers who are looking for a cheap date. There may be a group of customers who are looking to spend a great night with friends at a restaurant that’s more than the corner trattoria!
If you know that your target market (because of your menu, your brand, or your price point) is the latter, then you know that you need to talk to them and no-one else.
What are they looking for?
Excellent Italian food, sure, but if you understood that they also want, in fact, need, a restaurant where they can have a “happy Italian meal” and all that message contains – laughter, fun, generosity, tastiness – then you don’t have to spell it out. The message contains the emotion appropriate for the target audience.
Now, what is your product, and what does it mean to your target customer?
It may be good Italian cooking, it may be pasta and seafood, it may be cooked perfectly al dente, but that is not what it means to your target customer. Again, knowing who is your target customer gives you the clues about their demographic group – slightly well-off, wanting a good time with family and friends, having a happy meal.
This means that you first need to understand what benefits your product gives your target customer, and what needs it satisfies for them.
Next, you spell it out – identify the need or problem, and resolve it for them.
“Eat a happy Italian meal with friends.
We serve generous, tasty food from Rome that encourages sharing, laughter and a good time. Take your time, enjoy the busy, friendly atmosphere in our intimate dining spaces.”
As you start to put your message together, remember that to create an impact, you need to use emotions to grab attention. So use emotional and personal words like “you”, “love”, “happy”, “instantly” and so on.
Write for busy people who scan – keep it short, but with enough impact to stop them scanning.
Once they stop, you can expand.
So here’s a little challenge for you over the next 5 days.
Take an hour a day and on Day 1 write down your target market or ideal customer, and everything there is to know about who they are, how old they are, their marital status, where they live, what they do in their free time, what they need in regard to your product – what is the problem they are looking for a solution for?
In Day 2, take a long hard look at your product or service and write down the benefits your target market or ideal customer will get from your product. Will it save them time or money, will they do what they need to do more efficiently?
In Day 3 look at the list of benefits and write down how they will feel about them. Will they feel proud and can show off? Will they feel more comfortable, less stressed?
In Day 4 write some messages that appeal to their feelings and shows them the benefits.
In Day 5 work out how you can include those messages into your marketing and sales activities then start using them!
Go on, you can do it!
And while you’re thinking marketing, you might like to read about my online course and workshop on writing your own Marketing Plan.
It’s called SMART Marketing and provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to write your focused marketing plan and you can read more by clicking here.
In the meantime, do your challenge and I’ll see you next week!
Cover photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash