This week, I’m excited to bring you some wisdom from my marketing partner and friend Valerie Hausladen. Valerie is the founder of Magnetika, a strategic marketing firm based in Denver and Austin that services clients nationwide – and someone I trust to bring you, dear readers, some sage advice.
Without further adieu:
Thanks for having me Blair! I’m happy to be a guest on your blog and tell your readers a bit about something I’m passionate about – creating a marketing message that is so well articulated it actually attracts customers.
Lesson One: Creating a marketing message is foundational
Most companies take a stab at explaining what they do, but few really stand out from the competition. A compelling positioning strategy starts by defining who exactly you want to reach and why they want to do business with you. It clearly differentiates you from your competitors and invites consistency across each of your service offerings or target audiences. A great positioning strategy is the critical first step for all communications, including how you set up your website and articulate your value. And it’s an important predecessor to all future communications and initiatives.
Lesson Two: Not an overnight exercise
Creating a marketing message takes research, thoughtfulness and dedication. To be successful you must understand your target customers, and study the competition, outside best practices and your market. The more data you have to drive you message the more effective it will be.
Lesson Three: How to
Let’s dig in here!
Step 1. Research
- Review existing goals and marketing materials, and conduct one-on-one interviews with key company stakeholders. These should include key partners, as well as marketing and sales individuals, if applicable.
- Review competitor websites and materials to identify opportunities for differentiation. Also identify best practices that may be outside of the industry, but are relevant and aspirational.
Step 2. Message Platform
- Assimilate information about your company, your differentiating points, key benefits, competitive advantage and history of customer satisfaction to create a comprehensive message strategy.
- Message strategy will start with a top-level positioning statement (Who We Are) and value proposition for each target audience you want to reach. The value proposition answers the question: Why Should I Care? It will be followed by unique proof points to support each defined benefit. Approved positioning will then integrate into the website copy and roll into each defined segment, service offering or target industry.
Lesson Four: At the End of the Day your Message Should…
After you’ve put some thought and elbow grease into creating a marketing message, it should:
- Clearly explain “Who We Are” in simple, clear and compelling language
- Define a unique company value proposition written for one or more target audiences that answers the “What’s in it for me?” question.
- Identify key differentiators from competition
- Provide reason’s to believe what you say (Proof Points)
- Identify key benefits
- Tell a unique and compelling story that attracts customers.
In order to clearly articulate your marketing message over time your message must be focused, consistent and disciplined. A strategically aligned “One Voice, One Conversation™” positioning strategy is essential to success. After all, customers need to hear a message an average of seven times for it to sink in. So keep it up and don’t give up!
By Valerie Hausladen, Magnetika