Tag Archives: marketing message

Information overload: get your marketing message right

I often get asked how long a sales letter, email, newsletter, or in fact any type of marketing communication should be. And, as soon as I start to say… ‘well, that depends’… I see a flicker of  ‘ oh why isn’t anything straight forward?’ flash into view.

You will know for yourself that you will read any amount of information on a subject you are really passionate about. The same is true if the information is relevant to you at a particular time; I will read endless travel destination reviews when I am looking to book a holiday, but not at any other time in the year.

The starting point is to know your target audience and identify the point at which they will be most interested in receiving information about the product or service that you are selling. It will also depend upon the relationship you have with your client. Generally speaking, the warmer the relationship, the more time and attention your client will be willing to give you and your marketing.

Remember though, this doesn’t give you carte blanche to bore your clients to death with the wonders of your glorious new technologically advanced elastic band! So, however exciting you think your product is, see it from your customer’s point of view and go easy on the marketing copy.

Tell your customers what they want to hear

Everything about this gorgeous packaging tells me exactly what I’m going to find inside; luxurious, high quality milk chocolate! From the colour and glossy finish, to the gold embossed wording and  product photograph, it is beautifully and cleverly designed.

Just one thing puzzles me though. Why, in the prime position on this lovely wrapper, does it shout 31% Cacao? Granted there are rules surrounding product packaging, but surely placing some random fact about one of the ingredients top right is not wholly necessary?

I love chocolate. I like the taste. I like some brands better than others…but I couldn’t tell you the ‘percentage cocoa content’ of any of them. Perhaps I’m in the minority and customer research shows that cocoa content in a crucial factor when it comes to choice of chocolate? I think not though. 

In any form of marketing communication, be it a business to business proposal or a consumer advertisement, think about what information is relevant to your customers. Turn your product features (what your product is ) into benefits (what your product does for your customers). It is an age-old concept and a well-worn path for those of us with a sales background – but it works.

So here is your challenge. Come up with a benefit statement for each of your product or service features. Use your benefits in your marketing communications rather than a list of facts that will, at best, be ignored and could even confuse potential customers.

What are your customers really buying from you?

Back to school and it seemed like one of the top outings this summer was a trip to London including, almost without exception, a visit to Hamleys. It may be every child’s dream to visit  the world’s largest toy store, but I had no idea that Hamleys was quite such an established part of the tourist trail. Their Regents Street store boasts a massive 5 million visitors per year.

I took a look at Hamleys website as I was intrigued to see how the company  positions itself. I was surprised to see that the main focus is still on selling toys. Yes, they have a ‘What’s On’ section which shows all the events they are running in store, but it wasn’t particularly prominent. It seems to me that if  your USP is your in-store experience why not tell potential customers about it?

The same principle applies to any business be they selling to consumers or in the B2B arena . Time spent understanding exactly what your customers are buying from you and why is extremely valuable. It will help you find your USP, position yourself in the market and will help you generate more relevant marketing messages.

We are all guilty of getting too close to our own products and forgetting to see things from a customer’s point of view. So why not step away from your computer and spend some time thinking about what your customers are really buying from you?