Marketing Messages: Mind the Gaps

Sending the Right Marketing Messages?

Chances are high that you are not sending out compelling marketing messages.Marketing Messages - Mind the Gap How do I know? All I have to do is open up any newspaper, listen to any radio commercial, visit most websites or a company’s Facebook Page to know that few, if any, business owners and service professionals are crafting compelling marketing messages to pull in buyers.

Everyone talks about ‘compelling’ messages, yet few tell you how to actually craft them.

This post will give you the first step – talk about something THEY want or need to hear.

How to Craft Marketing Messages

You do that by filling in the gaps.  I’m talking about the marketing gaps between a red hot prospect that is ready to buy from you and those who are not thinking about your product or service. You have to understand how your prospects come to their purchasing decision.  Most don’t open a newspaper and say “I’ve got to have this”.  Typically, they walk through a mental process that moves them from an ice cold prospect to one that is red hot.  The more expensive the item, the more questions and concerns they will have and the longer the process.

Below is a diagram of  the purchasing decision process.  It is how sales are created.Marketing Messages and the Purchase Decision ProcessAt each stage your potential customers are deliberating, considering, weighing different options.  It’s your marketing job to send the ‘right’ message to them at the ‘right’ stage to help them move along the purchase path and ultimately be convinced that they want what YOU have to offer.

It is all about filling in the marketing gaps.

You fill the gaps by putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal customers.  Then you walk in those shoes and ask yourself what they might be thinking at each stage of the process. Specifically, you’re looking for the motivations and the objections your ideal customers may have as they take this journey.  You probably have already identified many of these as you created your Buyer Persona.

Marketing Messages Example

Let’s pretend you sell a particular brand of automobile insurance. Your marketing messages need  to do a couple of things.

First, you want to reinforce your potential customers motivations to want or purchase insurance.

Second, you want to present those who are not yet at this stage with rational and emotional arguments to overcome their objections.

Perhaps the best way to think about this process is to imagine yourself having a conversation with a friend who shares their thoughts with you before making a purchase.  As a friend, you listen.  You make certain they consider all of their options.  Occasionally, you might play devil’s advocate so they really pay attention to your arguments.

This is exactly what you’re doing here.  Instead of face-to-face over coffee, you’re doing it through your online and offline communications.

Back to our car insurance example.  Let’s walk through the purchasing decision process.

Stage 1 – I need car insurance

Motivations:  I need car insurance so I don’t have to worry about the possibility of getting into an accident.

Reinforcing Message:   You want to enjoy driving, not worrying about what would happen if you got into an accident.

Arguments against getting car insurance

I’ve never had an accident or ticket.

Marketing Message:  Accidents happen all the time and they can happen to you and your family members.

I don’t drive that often.

Message Message:  It’s not how often you drive.  It’s about being protected when you drive.

Stage 2 – I should buy car insurance

Motivations:  I want car insurance so if an accident happens, I’m covered.

Reinforcing Message: Here’s Tom without car insurance.  Here’s Tom with car insurance. 

Arguments against buying car insurance:

It’s too expensive.

Message:  Cost comparison of getting in an accident with insurance versus without insurance

I’m really a very careful driver.

Message:  Being a safe driver can save you money.  Safe driver Discounts.

Stage 3 – I should buy car insurance that has maximum coverage.

Motivations:  I want to be fully covered in case of a serious accident.

Reinforcing Message:   Maximum coverage is well worth it.  Take a look at this research. 

Arguments against buying maximum coverage:

I can get away with the minimum insurance coverage.

Message:  That is what Joe thought.  Listen to Joe’s story.

Maximum coverage will be a waste of money

Message: Present research showing how much money per claim versus money in premiums for maximum coverage.

Stage 4 – I should buy car insurance from this agent/company

Red hot Acme insurance buyer.

Reinforcing Message: 5 reasons why you’ll rest peacefully knowing you have Acme Insurance.  Here’s what others have to say about Acme.

Arguments for another brand and not Acme

I want an insurance company that has been around for a long time.

Message:  Brand comparison of your company versus others

I’m thinking I’ll use an agent referred to me by my online network

Message:  Top 10 reasons why you want a local insurance company/agent.

Bottom Line

Hopefully this example helps explain the purchasing decision process, the messages that reinforce and the messages that overcome objections at each stage of the process.

Stop wasting your time, money and resources and start crafting marketing messages that fill the gaps for your prospects. Then use your marketing messages in ALL of your communications – social media updates, blog posts, website content, newspaper advertising, etc.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts?

Do you understand how your prospects think about your products and services?

Are your messages compelling or are they falling flat?

You should share your thoughts in the comments section below. The Marketing Bit - Join Us

 

 

 

 

 

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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