Research carried out by the Irish Times recently reported that Kerrygold holds a special place in the hearts of Germans. Respondents to a survey in the country were asked ‘what they think of when they think of Ireland’. A whopping 11% said ‘Kerrygold’. That’s 2% more than Irish music, another top quality export. While you may not have the brilliance or resources of Kerrygold’s marketing department, defining and delivering your message is a crucial ingredient in making sure your marketing communications carries real impact.
How do you define your message and achieve the sort of brand clarity Kerrygold routinely holds? Essentially, this survey tells us that Kerrygold’s message in Germany is ‘we’re Ireland’ or something along those lines. Consumers outside Ireland see Kerrygold as a piece of Ireland. They see it as a reflection of all that greenery, that rich agricultural land and that agricultural expertise which Ireland excels in. If you’re an SME and you’re thinking, well that’s OK for them. But how do I define and deliver my marketing message like that?
A few things to do to make defining your message easy
- Ask yourself ‘what do you do different?’ – is there something in your business armoury that no one else can replicate. Are you someone who has sole distribution rights? Are you a certified expert in your field? Are you the only company specialist in x in the entire region of y? Have you someone on your team with more experience in your area than anyone else in the industry locally? Find your edge, sharpen it and cut through the competition.
- Think of some adjectives –think of a few words and phrases that best describe you and what you do. Reliability, approachability, expertise? Come up with a list of five initially. It should become clear enough where your strengths lie.
- What do your target audience want to hear about a supplier in your sector – it’s all well and good knowing what you’re good at and what you can bring to the table. But make sure it’s in the interests of your customers and always ensure that whatever your edge is – you can match it to what your customers or potential customers want to know.
- Be consistent in your marketing communications – this is crucial. If you’ve gone to the trouble of defining and building your message, you must be consistent on both your website and all your marketing communications. For example, in terms of web content, if you’re talking about the cheapest prices on your ‘home’ page and …supplying only the best quality products on your ‘products’ page, there’s something not right.
- Positioning is ‘marketing-speak’ for how consumers see you and your product or service relative to your competition. For an SME, this is something to keep an eye on but once your message definition is strong enough, the positioning should begin to work itself out. Keep open communications with your customers and get as much feedback on an ongoing basis as you can.
These are just a few basics in helping you develop your market position and message, or your ‘marketing edge’ as such. You may never get the message definition achieved by the heavyweights like Kerrygold but defining yourself in terms of your immediate, local market will ensure your marketing ‘axe’ stays sharp and cutting. For any help defining your message, feel free to get in touch.