Great messaging is the key ingredient to a great marketing campaign. When you can communicate, clearly, exactly what value you can provide to your target audience, you’ll create more fans and earn more leads and business.
When you have a message that is concise and clear you’re removing ambiguity in your marketing. You’re eliminating guesswork. You’re creating a better buying experience for your customers. And that’s what we all want, right? To make the process of buying from you as straightforward and simple as it can be.
Writing messaging for a website, presentation, sales collateral, or whatever, is pretty hard work. There is so much to consider in it—who is the likely reader, .where are they in the buying process, what are their principal challenges? Things can get complicated rather quickly.
I believe that is why marketers tend to fall back on describing the product and tech-specs. It’s a lot easier to simply explain what a product does than to educate someone on the value it provides and why it matters to them.
However, creating messaging that is more valuable doesn’t have to be complicated. All you have to do is:
Focus on The Customer’s Needs, Not Yours
Many marketers fall victim to a common mistake: creating messaging around what you want to tell people, rather than what they want to know. We see this all the time — marketers spout off product specifications and technical information about the product, but don’t describe in plain English what problems a product solves or the value that it will provide to those that use it.
There are a few challenges with product-centric messaging that focuses more on what a product does or the specification of a product:
- It assumes that the reader already knows what the product is and what value it provides.
- Messaging like this assumes that the reader already knows what they are looking at. For someone that is not as well-versed in the type of product or service you’re selling, a lot of the information may be lost on them by being too specific right off the bat.
- It doesn’t allow you to differentiate or speak to the problems your product/service solves.
Marketing is all about education. Educating the market on what you do and the solutions you provide. Many times, the customer knows they have a problem that they are looking for a solution to but they may not know the way to solve it or what tools, services, products, etc that will allow them to fix the issue.
That’s where great marketing and messaging comes in. We call this Problem-Out Messaging.
Problem-Out Messaging allows for marketers to frame the issue that their customers are facing in language that is clear and makes sense to them. From there, they can introduce their product/service as the solution that will solve their problems and provide technical information at a time that is appropriate.
Here’s a little exercise you may take to help with modifying any messaging you have that is too focused on specs or on what you want to say, and not focused enough on what the customer needs to know:
- Read your messaging
- Say aloud why that matters to a customer
- Rewrite the message to focus on why it matters
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See the difference? In this fictitious example the marketer just told of a product spec (a rather boring one might I add), but it has a very real use-case: seamlessly syncing work to any device. We’ve all had to do the flash-drive shuffle before, or emailing yourself copies of your work so you can pick up where you left off on a different computer, right? What a hassle!
Both of these messages are correct, but we tend to feel more strongly about using messaging that puts the customer first and paints a better picture about why they should be paying attention to what you’re showing them.
A more clear, more personal, message will connect with your audience on a deeper level.