Business growth depends on marketing communications. You formulate a message, and you express it to your target audience. Under ideal circumstances, this communication works both ways: you also listen to what your customers and prospects have to say.
Simple marketing communications
Effective branding is bolstered by simplicity. Make a statement. Keep it short and simple. If your message is memorable and to the point, people are much more likely to remember it. How many of us still remember advertising blurbs from our childhood? Probably just about all of us. And the most memorable of those blurbs were just a few well-chosen words, probably repeated about a thousand times for effectiveness. Whether you’re selling kids’ breakfast cereal (“They’re Grrrreat!”) or adult beverages (“Tastes Great! Less Filling!”) these simple messages are so catchy that they extend beyond the company’s advertising campaign and enter the lexicon of our broader society.
Your brand can do this too. State your case to your target market in just a few words. You will be rewarded with loyal customers.
Elaborate marketing communication
There are times when three or four words aren’t enough. Sometimes the message is too complex to be summed up in a brief phrase. Once a prospective customer’s attention has been grabbed, what do you do with it? Either present an immediate call to action, or answer any questions the customer might have by explaining what you do. How does it work? What options are available? Are upgrades or support included in the package price? Even though you will rarely be able to answer all these questions in just a few words, your long-form communication definitively benefits from a marketing perspective.
When marketing communication takes place on a web page, it is called “content.” (You may have heard that it is king.)
You need content for your website. Yoast recommends a minimum of 300 words to a page, if you want your site to be ranked favorably by search engines like Google. What are you going to say? Will you bore your visitors to death with “We’re the best” style self-promotion that makes you sound exactly like your competitors? Or will you provide your visitors with an engaging user experience based on useful, relevant, helpful information that points them in the right direction for solving their problems while simultaneously demonstrating your expertise? It takes time and effort to craft quality content; but the payoff is a strengthened relationship with your customer base.
Informative brochures and manuals
When you send out a brochure, it is a long-form sales message. Even so, the content should be succinct and optimized for readability. If the reader still has questions after reading your sales material, they can contact your sales office, where your helpful friendly staff will be happy to make sure that all doubts are resolved.
Continue making the sale, long after you believe the customer is sold on your product. This means, for example, that the instruction manual, which won’t be read until after the purchase, should be an important part of your marketing. You don’t want people to return your product to the store because they couldn’t figure it out! You want everything to be completely clear, with minimal confusion and a simple problem-solving routine.
The important thing about marketing is to convey your message to your target market. If your customers are listening to the radio, then you will want to advertise on the radio. Your message should be clear, memorable, and catchy in order to be effective. For example, radio advertisements often feature two spokespersons engaged in a “conversation” in order to make a point. The most appropriate message for your advertisement will depend on your target market and their preferred media.
Don’t just talk at your customers. Listen to them, too. Engage them in a meaningful conversation. You’ll be surprised how many people are happy to tell you exactly what product development tips would fulfill their requirements.
Henry Ford’s quip about a faster horse is often quoted; but business owners must balance unusual technology revolutions with the lessons learned from far more common marketing disasters, such as the failure of New Coke in the 1980’s. If you haven’t just invented the successor to the automobile, then you should probably ask people what they want.
It’s amazing how willing they are to respond.
If you own a very small business, you can simply chat casually with your customers in person. If you’re a little bigger, surveys are inexpensive and simple to manage. And regardless of scale, you can engage your customers online.
The beauty of the World Wide Web is that it enables two-way communication. This is the basis of the Internet phenomenon widely referred to as “Web 2.0” – technologies that form the basis of Facebook, Twitter, blogging platforms, and so on. Interactivity is the new black: it goes with everything. Engage your customers in meaningful discussion and help them to solve their problems. They will reward you with invaluable referrals and repeat business.
Slogans, blurbs & text
When it is time to develop an effective marketing strategy, it becomes necessary to come up with something clever, catchy, memorable, and relevant to say. Sum up your brand promise in just a few words, and then explain the important details in smaller type or through a different media. At Mardesco, our Chief Content Strategist got his Bachelor’s degree in English. Leverage the power of words when you work with Mardesco to develop strategic marketing slogans, advertisement blurbs, and the text for your product packaging and marketing materials.