Amongst the never-ending piles of marketing collateral, campaigns and copy, lies the thing that holds it all together: the message. As business owners, creative leads, or just the everyday employee, this message that drives a company’s goals is the leader of the pack. However, we all understand and know the marketing madness happens behind closed doors. Who has what, did that get sent out, where’s the copy, didn’t you get the memo––the lunacy never seems to cease! However, that message, even though sometimes lost and maybe a bit dusty, can help build a solid foundation for a successful business model and potentially transform a company into an industry legacy. But how does one stop the cycle and refurbish the goal that started it all? It’s all about going back to the core, finding the inspiration, the drive and the passion, and most importantly understanding your marketing message and its intended reach––your customers.
Even though the list could go on and on, I’ve compiled a few of the most major and potentially the most harmful marketing habits companies repeat everyday and how to break them.
4. 10 Targets, One Arrow
Most business schools focus on how important it is to establish a coherent, cohesive, and lasting marketing message. Not only does this one small phrase or paragraph summarize all of your goals, it also drives them to be accomplished. Some think it is wise to shoot in multiple areas hoping you’ll hit one marketing bulls eye. However, it’s just the opposite. Without a distinct one to two point goal, your marketing team or yourself will find themselves spreading their efforts very thin across a large playing field. The most successful marketing strategies hone in on one major goal and focus all resources into attaining it rather than putting it into ten different buckets.
3. Put My Name in Lights
When we were children, most of us at some point wanted to live the life of the rich and famous. Even though most of those dreams never transpire, our jobs can also reflect the same desires. Brands often want to be big, monopolize, and be the crowning achievement within a said industry. Nonetheless, brand positioning is not all about convincing the masses that YOU are better than THEM, but rather that YOU can help meet the needs of YOUR CUSTOMERS better than anyone else. The focus within your marketing message should never be about you solely as a brand, but rather you as a service to your buyers. Business is not just dependent on the success and failure of others, but rather building a following of genuine lovers of what you provide.
2. Lost in Translation
We’ve all been in conversations where we have absolutely no idea what the other is saying, so to avoid all awkwardness, the norm is to “smile and nod” until the moment of confusion passes. This also occurs in the business world. Our commercial world covers an endless array of industries from food to logistics to health to manufacturing. Within each of these bubbles comes with a set language and style of communication only understood by those within it. It is up to us as business owners and marketers to alter the language into something more universal. People like to be in the know and truly comprehend what they are being told, taught, or persuaded. Declutter the message and find its level one translation. Simply put: if you can’t explain it in less than 30 seconds, it doesn’t work.
1. Couch Potato Inc.
Not going to lie, finding the drive to get up each morning, drive to work, do great and exciting things is hard. We are all human, and with that comes laziness and apathy. However, the most successful and memorable marketing strategies and messages are those headed by passion and determination. Make sure your goal and message are truly what you want to achieve. If you do not want your company or yourself to live and breathe the message and goal, it’s not ready. One of the worst things you can do as a company implementing a marketing strategy is to do it half-assed. Not because of shame or guilt but the fact that potentially a wonderful opportunity was missed and crumbled. It’s not fair to you, your company, your employees, and above all your customers.
Marketing messaging is a tricky area of business because each and every company has to do it, and each of us does it differently. The take away of all of this marketing mess rant is that the choice is always on your side of the field. Business is a game and you can only win if you give your all and adapt to the changes. So stop chewing those nails, and break those marketing habits because success is only a message and a strategy away.
Cover photo credit: Roy Lichenstein “Crying Girl”, 1964