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Copywriting for print

Defining your marketing message and not just being all things to all people…

There was a lad I went to school with many years ago who would begin at least one sentence every day in the school yard with the immortal words… “If you think that’s bad…”.  No matter what story you told or experience you had, his was more extreme and more exciting. Think ‘Jay’ from ‘the inbetweeners’ with a strong midlands Irish accent and slightly less outlandish claims.

At first, we briefly thought that maybe he had somehow turned down a trial for Liverpool as his gifted class (in Dublin, of course) and womanising commitments were simply too time-consuming. It became very clear (after one day), that everything coming out of his mouth was just noise and he was trying to impress all of the people all of the time.  This never works.

In fact, being all things to all people in your business life is also an accident waiting to happen.

Why you should never be all things to all people in your marketing communications and sales materials

  1. They won’t believe you – if you’re a service provider who claims to prioritise their customer service with really, helpful staff at the lowest prices around – something just does not add up. Make one or two claims and stick with them.  Otherwise, many people will dismiss you as someone who over-promises and under-delivers.
  2. It’s not true and you‘ll get found out – you convinced them to check you out with your big promises and now they’re dealing with reality. The reality is you simply cannot provide top quality products and services at the lowest prices with high levels of service for very long. And when they realise you’re not all you claim to be, you’ll be dropped.
  3. You’re wasting time instead of building up your actual reputation – while you’re telling everyone you can do everything they need at the price they’d love to pay – you’re missing out. Instead of convincing people to try you out and then disappointing them, you could be focussing on one unique selling point (USP) you have and slowly but surely build a solid reputation that may be enough to stake a real claim in one part of the market.

So please, enough empty promises! Build your USP slowly but surely, otherwise you’ll end up just like ‘the boy who cried wolf’. Speaking of wolves, if you think that’s bad, my cousin was actually reared by wolves in a cave in the London Underground…true story….

Make your marketing message lean and clean and if you need any help, get in touch with me for a second opinion …..

2 replies on “Defining your marketing message and not just being all things to all people…”

Good point – can’t remember Michael O’Leary pushing the customer service angle on Ryanair that hard but as I seem to remember he did mention something about price.

thanks for your comment ‘on the QT’. Mr. O’Leary is certainly always on message and never misses a chance to mention the ‘l** far** airline’. Message definition at its best…

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