Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
The Right Message The Right Way
Tapping into more effective marketing by understanding how your audiences consume information
Have you ever been out to dinner and seen the member of the wait staff that simply seems to be in the wrong business? How about going to a auto repair shop and seeing all of the mechanics standing around smoking and broken cars in the parking lot? What about going to the grocery store and seeing insects crawling or flying?
All of these thoughts play into your head about whether or not you want to do business with these companies. Essentially, you are consuming information about these companies in order to make your buying decision.
In the same way, your target audiences will consume information about your company. Therefore, when you are doing your business development activities, you will want to take into consideration what your message is, how you will deliver it and how often it is delivered.
Details of the message
Not every prospect you target consumes information the same way. If you look simply from personalities, people fall into roughly four categories:
1) those that simply want an high-level overview
2) those that want all of the details
3) those that would prefer to talk about it
4) those who would prefer to be directed by someone else who has read the information
As you might guess, the way the message is packaged will impact the buyer’s perception; for example, some people are going to look for the authority on a topic, and therefore want to see something that looks like a white paper or article with facts and figures, while other might be looking for the low cost leaders, and will be looking for something that doesn’t look expensive.
For example, if you were looking at two CRM systems, and you wanted the one that would fit into your growth-oriented company’s short and long term goals, and you had the money to choose whichever you like, you probably would avoid a system that is on an old-fashioned looking website. As a matter of fact, when you see it, you will probably pass it by because it doesn’t look the way you expect for it to.
However, if you are more cost conscious, you are probably going to look for something that has more function over form; a system that appears to be expensive will get passed by, or at best, a quick look.
Think about the technology your consumers will want the information in: some people will want to have a physical, hard-copy of the message, perhaps a letter, an article, or an advertisement, while others will want to be able to overview it on their mobile phone in order to decide if they will look at it on a larger device later; if unappealing on the phone screen, you can probably forget about them reading it later. Others, still, will be strictly mobile device or desktop (laptop) readers.
Perhaps you will make a greater impact through mass marketing via billboard, radio or television advertising. This may be the case with truly new product that will require the market to adopt a new way of thinking or doing things; it isn’t just convincing someone to purchase, but rather getting people to believe that it is a real, viable product.
Perhaps good-old word of mouth is the fastest way to get dollars in your door.
If we think about the number of messages we get throughout the day, how many messages does it take to make an impact in order for people to sit up and take notice? Direct marketers will tell you that sending out a single postcard one time versus sending out the same postcard multiple times will increase your response rate significantly. Should it be the same message, or a variation on that message? Should it be through different mediums? What frequency will be the most appropriate?
By knowing your target audiences and observing what encourages them to buy or not buy – their anticipated perceptions, you can begin to determine how much you need to invest in your marketing and messaging activities in order to get your audiences to take notice, gain interest and make a decision. Think in terms of building an extraordinary business. Do the work. Get the right message to the right target in the right medium.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Our entrepreneurial multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.
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