Your message is first among your weapons in the battle of perceptions.
Your message allows you to accomplish many things. Your message can educate the masses, convert the non-believers or separate the wheat from the chaff. But not all three.
Your first clue to your message comes from where in the Awareness Scale your target sits. (See Target Your Market for discussion on Awareness Scale)
The Educational Target
The Educational Target needs the benefits of your type of service/product fully and carefully explained. Dont spend time differentiating your company from your competition, there isnt any. Instead, your target must have their awareness raised until they care.
The Doubter Target
The Doubter Target needs to have their objections overcome. You still must present the general benefits, but concentrate on overcoming the fears revealed in your research. Show how you deliver these benefits better than your competition. Your materials have a greater fight for attention here.
The Differentiation Target
The Differentiation Target is the most obvious target. All your competition is there. This market is already buying your type of service/product and they know what the major benefits are. You must highlight how you deliver the major benefits better than the competition. How you have other, less obvious benefits, your competitors dont. You must really stand out in this crowd. To be noticed, your materials and approach must be unique.
As you can see, each target needs a different message. Dont make the mistake of trying to combine the messages in one approach. It wont work.
Bad marketing happens to good people because they cant believe others are blind to their goodness. Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products. Objective reality doesnt exist. What people believe about you and your product is whats real. This is tough for most people to come to grips with. Creating a positive impression is not saying you are wonderful. Its proving it. Marketing works when it demonstrates, not when it asserts.
Dont explain the tools of your trade and dont list the features. Go for the benefits. Make them clear and desirable. If your target has to figure out the benefits for themselves, youre asking them to do your job for you. They wont. Theyll do something else. The loss is yours.
For marketing purposes, each feature must deliver a benefit. Otherwise, its worthless. Write out all the benefits of your product/service. Pretend you are a prospect. For each benefit statement you write, ask yourself, So what? If your answer to So what? is more explanation, your statement is not yet a benefit.
Client says: Our car has passenger-side air bags. We reply: So what? This is a feature. Client: Our air bags inflate in 1/1000 of a second and can withstand 24 G forces. Us: So what? This is still a feature. Client: The passenger can walk away from a head-on collision. Us: Now thats a benefit.
if you are looking for marketing advice or materials that really work.