Seven reasons why nobody understands your marketing message

Here’s why nobody understands your marketing message.

  • It doesn’t get to the point,
  • It doesn’t take the customer’s viewpoint,
  • It uses unfamiliar language,
  • It feels formal and stilted,
  • It’s unoriginal,
  • It needs explanation,
  • It doesn’t leave you with a smile.

But the biggest single problem? You don’t see the problem.

Nobody understands your marketing message because it’s coming from the wrong person

That person is you.

Whoah. You’re the one who started the company. You’re the one who invented the product. You’re the one who knows everything better than anyone!

The prosecution rests, your honour.

Fact is, you don’t need to know the product inside out to market it effectively. I don’t understand how my MacBook Pro works. Hell, I don’t know how my Nikes work – or aspirin, soap, caramilk bars, or my phone’s GPS. I don’t have a clue about how 90% of the stuff I love works. I just know that it works for me.

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It. Works. For. Me.

It’s time you handed over the marketing job to your fans

When I was a young copywriter, I felt terribly intimidated if I didn’t know everything about the client’s product.

Thankfully, with age, I’ve come to relish the fact that I don’t need to know everything about the product. All I need to know about is how the product fulfills a very personal need for its fans.

How do I know that? I ask them.

Nothing fancy about the way I ask, either. I sit down for a coffee with a consumer, ask them what they love about the product, plus a few other pointed questions. (Want the questions? They’re in my Brand Starter Kit book available at BrandDIY.)

Then I sit back, connect the dots, and figure out the deep human needs the product is addressing.

Yup, deep. If a consumer tells you they like X deodorant because it leaves them feeling fresh, that’s not deep, or useful. I’m not going to hurt my fingers typing a long-winded reason why. You can book a time and I’ll explain it over a call.

Those Q&A sessions, and the ideas that pop out of them, are the foundation of marketing messages that everyone understands. And loves.

It’s all about resonance

It’s the oldest trick in the book for winning business. Invite your prospect to lunch, listen hard to what they’re saying, and repeat it back to them.

Underlying this chuckle-worthy truth is resonance. People like people who are like themselves.

In the case of my MacBook Pro, I bought it because Steve Jobs told me it would make me more creative. Steve knew I desperately wanted to be more creative. He also knew I didn’t give a cuss about the stuff inside the MacBook.

If Steve Jobs launched an Apple Frying Pan, I’d buy it because I loved Steve Jobs, and all that he stood for. Not because the frying pan was Teflon.

In marketing messages, you create resonance by:

  • Listening hard to the reasons consumers give for loving your product,
  • Positioning your product by playing back those reasons,
  • Adding a support point or two to validate their choice,
  • Going for lunch to talk to more consumers.

The future is looking bright

I’m a big believer in what I call lazy marketing. That is, enabling consumers to tell me what they love, and then playing it back to them in a way that feels fresh and new.

There are several advantages to lazy marketing:

  • Consumers love to talk about products they love,
  • I don’t have to sweat bullets trying to fabricate marketing messages,
  • I can explain to my clients that this message about the client’s product is far more powerful than any features and benefits laden diatribe – and I can feel good saying it.

Truth is, marketers have subscribed to the tortured artist school of messaging for far too long. Time to stop burning the midnight oil. Time to empty the overflowing trash bin filled with rejected messages. Time to get lazy.

Audit your brand

A great ‘lazy marketing’ step to building a better brand is to contact me about a free, personal brand audit. I’ll look at the consistency and power of your brand messages, and provide a report on where things can be improved. If you’re interested, just click here.

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