Four Questions to Differentiate Your Marketing Message

Four Questions to Differentiate Your Marketing Message

Written by: Dave Goates, Director of Human Capital

Time to update your marketing collateral? Here are four questions to ask, preceded by some key words to look at:

Examples of the Old School Marketing: Words such as “leader, leading, best, largest, top, unique, target, innovative, solution, synergy, and paradigm” have had their day in the sun (and the sun has gone down). Blah, blah, blah. . .

Examples of New Technology Marketing: Words like “inbound, SEO, pay per click, lead generation, building reach, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog, traffic, mentions, hits, and engage.” Five years ago those words weren’t on anyone’s lips.

Re-evaluate your messaging by asking these four questions:

1. Why do your clients pick you?
I once heard someone describe a power point presentation as “visual vomit.” His meaning was the presenter dropped a wagon load of information that, while interesting to some, failed to communicate the real difference between the competitors and their unique value proposition. You may in fact be “the leader, faster, newer, best,” but have you identified yet why you make a real difference in your client’s world? Focus on “Why do our customers pick us instead of our competitors?” Just answer that question and pick the top three reasons. Let your customers tell your story in video testimonials. They will do it better than you can.

2. What do you do that your customers currently undervalue?
It helps if you have people in your organization who are constantly challenging the assumptions you’ve made about your own value proposition. Why promote what your customers consistently undervalue? Because offering your customers new insights about things they have been focused on is how you add the most value to the relationship. Evaluating your results with them keeps you ahead of the curve. Whatever you’ve done for them lately will always be under review. What you did for them yesterday may not always be enough tomorrow. Study their markets, become expert teachers, offer consulting to them for free. Ask yourself, “What is it our customers can’t see in their offerings to others that we can provide?” Why haven’t they seen it in us?

3. What’s in your slide deck about your customers’ needs?
Here’s the biggest problem I observe about marketing pitches, almost universally. Look at your first five or six slides in your slide deck. If it’s all about you, you’re missing the point. In today’s world of instant communication, it has to be about them and their needs. Your credibility shoots right through the roof when you focus on them. Your solution will emerge as it comes out of their mouths, not yours. Check your messaging — is it about them, or you? For example, we know here at Launch Leads that the degradation rate in our clients’ lead lists is 3 percent per month. We’ve developed answers to reverse the degradation, and we’re now communicating with our clients on a topic they weren’t paying attention to. Big value added.

4. What are you doing to calculate the ROI for your client?
Help your clients understand what the ROI might be if they do something to change their behavior. Forget about what your competition is doing. Stay focused on what your customer needs and wants from you. Help your customers take action to improve, and do the calculations on their ROI for them. Teach them, lead them, guide them toward, “Wow, I didn’t know you could help us do this!” Remember, it’s not as much about what you want them to buy as it is what you can do to bring about a result they already desire. That’s ROI.

Now go back and take a look at your marketing collateral. Does it teach your prospects about you or about them? Have you healed their pain, or salved your own ego?

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