As I have said in the past marketing is the process of creating a message.
Not just any message but a simple, descriptive message that can create interest in your product or service. Personally I like to keep that description to a single SIMPLE sentence.
Give that sentence some Sizzle. Make it resonate with your audience.
My attention span is just that — fleeting. I automatically tune out the noise. Anything longer than a sentence and I typically zone out and focus on something else. Must be my ADHD or something but the most difficult part of the marketing process is simplifying that description to its basest form so that it can easily understood, digested, and perhaps even acted upon.
Ask me about this site, and I typically tell my friends that bother to ask, “It’s a blog about golf through my eyes.” If they are a golfer then they are interested — and sometimes not. If not well you’re not my market and I move on.
This is not to say I stick to my one sentence description. In fact I expand on that description AFTER they have expressed an interest. Why bother if they aren’t interested? Focus on the ones that give their attention.
You need to separate the wheat from the chaff; from the disinterested to the interested. You need to qualify your audience. Stop wasting your time trying to be all things to all people. Build your audience by focusing on those who would take an interest in your product/service and focus your one sentence definition that would resonate with them. After that the rest is easy.
Just like I tell newbie sales folks in retail. In retail when a shopper walks in your door you already have a customer. The question you have to answer is what do they need that you have? They already qualified themselves by walking into your door. The hard part — getting them in the door — is already done. You just have to find out what they need. Part of that is knowing your product. The other part is asking the right questions to get to the bottom of what they want. Likewise with simple one-sentence description of your product or service you can determine if there is interest. From there you have to figure out for them how they can use what you have.
I have been in sales and marketing pretty much my whole professional life. What I have come to realize is that sales like marketing is a process. There is no quick and easy despite what some websites tout. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears. And most importantly it NEVER happens overnight.
A lot of folks lump sales and marketing together but they are two different tasks. Sales is the process of selling your goods and services. Marketing is informing your customers or prospects about your goods and services. You can market your products and services in the process of selling your goods/services but you can never sell something without clear, concise marketing to promote a simple yet powerful message. Marketingafter all is the message. It grabs your audience. It promotes interest and hopefully with a little salesmanship — a purchase (sales).
The problem is creating that message. What do you want to say? How can you simplify it so folks can get it quickly and embrace your sales pitch? Simple right? Wrong. There are a lot more folks smarter than you or me but there are also a lot of not so smart and unfortunately those not so smart outnumber us smart ones. Will a picture give them the information they need instead of some verbose, slick advert. Dumbing down your message is key.
Then once that message is created how do you spread the news about your product. Will it be one-on-one? Will you be speaking to a larger audience (i.e. a conference), or will you be mass marketing. Once that is determined you will need to evaluate your work and tweak as necessary. Do you have benchmarks in place that you can evaluate your message? Positive or negative feedback is a good thing. You can then make adjustments to hone your message to be as impactive as possible. These are questions you need to honestly answer for yourself PRIOR to selling your product/services.
Nothing worse that being stumped by a question from a potential customer. Your five minutes of fame are fleeting. You have to be able to think fast on your feet or at least have a way to answer any and all questions (stupid or not) to the satisfaction of your audience.
More of what how to get that message out later. For now be concerned with creating a simple message (a sentence will do) that will help you explain your product/services quickly to a total stranger.
Then take that message for a test drive. See what your peers or prospects think of it. Do they get the message or do you need to tweak it some more? Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Saying it often actually makes the message appear more for rote than just an opinion and that is a good thing. Conveying truths no matter what the context help create a positive rapport for your marketing.