What’s your problem? – The nuts and bolts of marketing messages

If you’re an SME, ‘message-definition’ is a bit like pre-season (marketing) training. It’s the hard work you put in on a windswept pitch in January that will get you results when the sun shines later in the year.  Targeted ‘on-message’ marketing can only be achieved by thoroughly understanding your customers’ problems. And if you’re currently struggling with that very issue, read these four steps to message definition and find out what your problem is. Because their problem is your problem!the problem_marketing message

Four steps to message definition…

  • Your target market – Who are they? Are they men or women? What age are they? How do they think – are they primarily ‘numbers people’ that are driven by the bottom line? Are they organisers, or romantics or confident or stressed? Write all these attributes down. Sweeping statements they may be but we’re trying to come up with an average of your target audience – someone you can think of when you’re creating your marketing materials…For the rest of this example, let’s say your target market is Mary, a fifty-something IT Manager in a mid-sized SME.
  • Your problem is their problem – find out what their problem is! Think about their daily working life. What’s Mary’s problem? She may be trying to cut costs and cutting costs in a hectic IT world is not easy. This problem is now your problem and if you are trying to help Mary, you need to know how you can do it.
  • Turning the problem into a solution – how are you going to solve Mary’s problem? (You know this already and it may feel like you’re covering old ground but stay with me….). You can help Mary cut costs by introducing specific IT budget-centric solutions.
  • Have solved problems before – so, now you know who you’re helping, what their problem is and how you can help them. Why should they believe you? What’s the finishing touch to your marketing message? It’s evidence. It’s track record. It’s the assertion that ‘you can trust us, we know what we’re doing because we’ve done it before’.

You can also add the USP into the mix but you’ve probably done that already. You need to be obsessed with other folks’ problems. Just as long those people are your customers and prospects! So get your marketing message in top condition and soon you’ll be solving problems left, right and centre….

And if you need a hand with message-definition or indeed any aspect of marketing communications, get in touch with me.