I’ve been talking about a set of foundational building blocks that you can use to help propel your business or career to the next level, whatever that means for you.
And just a brief overall review, I’ve talked here about some useful and more general ideas you can put to work in your everyday activities. You can also find other topics like The 3 C’s in marketing, dealing with so-called Constructive Criticism,managing the Perils of the Expectation Game and a lot more.
You may remember that I started off by describing the importance of the Vision followed next by three posts on Implementing the Vision under which we’ve covered two major aspects of the process.
First, Behavioral Characteristics which include Attitude, Focus and Knowledge. That led us smoothly into the second aspect which is Leveraging Knowledge where we discussed more specifically leveraging the elements of Skills, Resources and Experience.
Here, we’re going to add a third aspect under implementing the Vision which I refer to as Market Messaging. Again, there are literally mountains of information written on this broad subject matter but as I’ve said multiple times, I’m giving you what is essentially a “deconstructed” view of this so you can use the pieces to create your own foundation to build on.
So, let’s dig into Market Messaging. What is it? Why does it matter? How do you deal with it?
Well, first, let me formally define it as I see it. Your Market Messaging is the deliberate coordinated delivery of clear and memorable information about your business or career that creates a lasting impression and ultimately compels a desired action on the part of your target market – meaning potential customers or influencers.
People must remember something positive about you or your business in order for them to be motivated to take some kind of action in your favor.
Now let’s dissect that a bit. First, there is deliberate coordinated delivery. And that just refers to reaching the people who are most likely to become customers or influencers for your business or career, and we’ll get into more detail on all this stuff. What about clear and memorable information about your business or career that creates a lasting impression? Simple. People must remember something positive about you or your business in order for them to be motivated to take some kind of action in your favor, which, of course, is the overarching purpose of the messaging.
So, some of you might be asking, “What difference does it make?” And I’ve often heard folks say, “Hey, nobody knows my business or products better than me, so I just tell it like it is, that ought to be enough, right?” Unfortunately, most of the time it isn’t. And here are some reasons why:
- You may be too close to your business.
- You’re biased.
- You may assume that your potential customers see things the same way you
And believe me, that’s perfectly natural. It just isn’t always that helpful to you or your business. And let’s be honest, most of the time, the market has a different view, as shocking and frustrating as that may seem to us at times. And if you’re not connecting with these folks in a meaningful and memorable way, you are going to lose them – maybe forever.
So, you have to make the connection. Sometimes this happens quickly, sometimes it requires a longer-term effort. And either one is ok as long as you’re serious about what you’re doing and you’re in it for the long haul. And for this purpose, I would simply define that connection again as something positive that is remembered about you or your business by a potential customer OR someone who can influence the market in your direction. Both are important.
So, why does this matter? Well, one answer is that most businesses or careers cannot operate in a vacuum. Some can and do, but most can’t and don’t. You have to communicate with the people you depend on to propel your business or career. And while it’s possible to be haphazard in your communications, thoughtfulness, in my view, is almost always more desirable.
And by the way, I’m for a balanced approach. And it’s easy to get out of balance on this stuff. I’m not a big fan of committees most of the time. Get four or five people around a table and try to communally write some ad copy, or a press release or whatever. You’d think maybe it wouldn’t be, but that’s a great example of a highly unbalanced approach. Too much diversity of thought can generate a lot of input faster so you can go nowhere sooner.
On the other hand, being overly obsessed about the process can cause you to create narrow expectations, which can lead to disappointment and bad decision making. So, balance is important. And again, we’ll get into more on this at another time. Small incremental steps are just fine.
So, what are some of the ways we deal with our Market Messaging? Well, here’s a few things to think about for the moment.
One of the great lessons I learned from the thick of my “magazine publisher” days was the art of re-purposing. Typically, with the magazine at the hub we would create all kinds of ancillary activities utilizing the magazine’s identity and reach in the market. And often, we would create editorial content or marketing materials with the intent of using them in as many of these activities and other vehicles as possible. When creating these things, we were always considering how they would be used and might play across the board.
What all that did and still does today is help instill consistency of messaging across different vehicles, venues, outlets and anywhere the message can be seen. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t some tweaking done for these different channels, there is and that’s normal.
But this is one of the ways we can think outside of the single path we may be often inclined to travel. It helps us get used to the idea that there are usually many roads that will take you where you want to go… or someplace better. And anything that helps us open our eyes that much wider is a good thing in my view… which, by the way, is a lot wider than it used to be and I’m happy to share whatever I know with you. I hope it helps.
Let me know if you have questions, I always look forward to hearing from you.