As a marketer, you know how important it is to have a marketing strategy.
You also know how important it is for your strategy to align with your audiences’ needs and interests, and the required approach for each channel you use, whether it’s social media or email. Having a marketing strategy also helps you create the content your audiences want to see and share it where they’re most likely to see it.
But, when you have this strategy, how do you figure out what to say in the content you share with them? What you need is a marketing message, and it’s just as important as your overall strategy.
You can think of it like this: if you know you want to post about a new product launch on Instagram, how will you prove to your audience that they need to buy this new product? Your marketing message. Essentially, no marketing message means no way to execute your strategy.
In this post, we’ll define what a marketing message is, give real-life examples from businesses, and explain how you can create your own.
A marketing message refers to the words you use to communicate with your audience to convince them to do business with you. Your message is extremely influential in helping you meet your business goals, as it can be the difference between a new acquisition or sending a customer on to your competitor.
Because of this, you should craft your marketing message with care, specifically for the audiences you’re trying to reach. It should also address their pain points and present your business as a solution.
When your message speaks to their needs, you’ll build trust with your audience and inspire customer retention.
Every business engaging in marketing needs a marketing message, whether you sell B2C or B2B, software as a service (SaaS), or clothing.
Successful marketing messages attract leads and convert them to paying customers. Below we’ll go over some real-life examples of effective marketing messages.
As a clothing and apparel brand, Nike is committed to providing equipment to everyone who needs it, regardless of the sport they play and who they are.
Their marketing message is “Where All Athletes Belong,” and it speaks to their target audience and lets them know that they have something for everyone —from professional athletes to first-time players.
Black Girl Sunscreen targets an audience often left out of sun safety discussions: women of color. Their message lets that market know they’re there for them: “Protect your melanin. Sunscreen is always in season.”
People with dietary restrictions or food preferences that don’t align with mainstream ideas of nutrition are often unable to find food they can eat at fast-food restaurants.
Chipotle’s marketing message, shown in the image below, reads “Find your plant power.” The brand is speaking directly to those with diverse needs, inviting them to try their expanded menu with plant-based options and letting them know that they recognize the gap in the market for their needs.
Ingredients in beauty and cosmetic products can be hard to understand if you don’t have a scientific background or relevant experience. Lab Muffin’s marketing message speaks to those who want to understand the chemistry behind the products they use: “The science of beauty, explained simply.”
Zoom is a virtual meeting tool that allows users to connect virtually. It markets to an audience who wants to continue having fulfilling conversations, regardless of their physical location: “Meet OnZoom. A marketplace for immersive experiences.”
All in all, these marketing messages capture attention and, in just a couple of words, explain why their business is the best fit to meet their audience’s needs.
As mentioned above, a well-crafted marketing message converts your audience into customers. All businesses should aim to have one, and below we’ll discuss how to create a compelling marketing message for your own business.
Just as with most marketing practices, you can’t begin creating your marketing message without identifying your target audience. When you know who they are, you’re not marketing to customers you think are interested in you, but rather to those you know are interested in you.
In brief, your target audience is a group of consumers with similar characteristics and purchasing intent, and stand to gain the most value from your products. While your overall target audience is probably defined by the industry you’re in, it’s important to have a deeper understanding.
To learn more about your target audience and narrow down who they are, you can conduct buyer persona research, analyze your competitors, practice social listening, and invite people to participate in focus groups or interviews.
Overall, what you want to learn from identifying your target audience is understanding what they “look” like. This can be simple demographic information, like age and location, to what they like, desire, and want from the businesses they buy from.
Having this information then makes it easier to personalize your strategies and create a marketing message that will resonate with them, especially when addressing their pain points.
Your persona research should tell you about your audience’s pain points and challenges.
As a refresher, pain points are issues that affect your target audience’s day-to-day routines, business tasks, or general life desires. These challenges are typically things that your audience is actively seeking solutions for.
For example, if you’re a business selling marketing SaaS, you may discover that your audience has trouble managing their campaigns because they use multiple platforms throughout their process. When you create your marketing message, you should speak to your ability to streamline their efforts with your easy-to-use, all-in-one platform.
If you’re a B2C business that sells eco-friendly clothing, a customer pain point could be that they struggle to find brands without significant environmental impact. In your marketing message, you should speak to their desire to minimize environmental pollution through sustainable shopping opportunities.
When you understand pain points, you don’t have to guess why your customers need you — you’ll know why they need you. As a result, you can create a marketing message that addresses their needs.
The first two steps on this list involve gathering the necessary background information, and the following steps will help you begin crafting your message.
Value propositions highlight your product or service’s unique value and tell customers that your brand is tailor-made to meet their needs. It clearly says why they should do business with you instead of a competitor, and that is precisely the point of a marketing message.
When creating your message, present your product or service as a cure for their pain points, and prove it. Continuing with the eco-friendly business example, you can specifically mention that your clothing is locally produced, separating you from the competition that mass produces its goods abroad.
This message tells consumers that you’re solving their pain point, which is a lack of sustainable clothing brands, because you design ethically produced and environmentally friendly products.
Even though your marketing message needs to say a lot, you need to say a lot while saying a little. You shouldn’t beat around the bush. Instead, get to the point and explain how your product is a solution.
Customers should read your message and find answers to their questions without needing to overanalyze your statements. Prioritize being clear, concise, and easily understood, as you want your words to speak for themselves. To reiterate, get to the point.
You can think of it like this: I said a lot in this explanation just to tell you to get to the point. If this were a marketing message, you would’ve moved along already. However, if I wanted to follow the tips I’ve mentioned, I would simply say, “Tell me why you’re the best – no ifs, ands, or buts.”
Even though your customers are in your industry, you shouldn’t assume that they know or understand the technical jargon related to what you sell. Therefore, it’s important to sound conversational and use language that is familiar and palatable to most audiences. Your message copy should be simple, straightforward, and not require an industry-specific dictionary.
For example, you can use technical terms to describe the features in your latest automobile model. Still, car enthusiasts would be the only ones that genuinely understand what it means to have a 600 horsepower engine and AAA uniform tire quality grading (I certainly don’t know what this means).
Aim to write as people speak during conversations, maintain a friendly tone, and make customers feel welcomed. Robotic and technical language may be confusing and lead them to think that doing business with you will be complicated and confusing as well.
In sum, by being conversational and familiar, you’re reaching everyone, from first-time industry customers to seasoned CEOs.
Your marketing message’s overall intent is to attract your target audience, but it’s also to set you apart from your competitors. Given this, a key pillar of your final message is originality.
Run-of-the-mill marketing messages seem like they could belong to any of your competitors, and original ones showcase what makes you unique. This can be your brand's personality, the features that set you apart from your competitors, or a combination of the two.
Your marketing message is unique to your business, your solutions are unique to your business, and your words should prove that.
Consumers are 14% more likely to trust recommendations from someone like them (another consumer) over a brand employee. With that in mind ,using UGC in your messaging, like testimonials and reviews, can help you support your products’ value.
As your target audience likely shares the same challenges, seeing that someone like them has benefited from your product can help them make their final decision. For example, you could say, “95% of our customers love [xyz], and you will too.”
There are a variety of consumer behavior models that explain how people make purchasing decisions. Some models say that it’s through logical reasoning, and others say that it’s purely emotional. In reality, it’s probably a combination of the two, and you should use this to your advantage.
Through tactics like humorous copy, you can showcase your brand's uniqueness to appeal to customer emotions, and use value propositions to appeal to logical reasoning and show customers how you’ll solve their problems.
The key takeaway here is that your marketing message should convince your audience to do business with you.
Focus on showcasing your brands’ individuality, creating an emotional connection, and clearly showing your customers what’s in it for them. If you do this, you’ll likely find yourself with a marketing message that speaks directly to your target audience and helps you grow your list of clients.
Originally published Mar 17, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated March 17 2021