We Had That Problem with Fax Blasts, Too

For marketers, the last five years have been full of emerging technologies that are helping us reach our audiences faster and with more precision.

However, many efforts are still plagued by the same message issues that hampered yesteryear’s fax blasts and direct mail.

Namely, neglecting the fundamentals—forgetting to clearly and concisely illuminate why the customer should care and what’s in it for them.

Why? Most likely because marketing teams are caught up in a race to get to market while simultaneously trying to make sense of new B2B marketing channels and their tools and services.

Just remember, even if you pick the perfect channels with the right audiences targeted, success will be elusive without putting the fundamentals first.

Simple and Focused Wins

Believe it or not, creating detailed program flows filled with a plethora of marketing vehicles are easier than clearly defining your main message. It’s because making something razor-sharp simple is much harder than making something sprawling and complex.

But simplification is why good marketing succeeds: making it fast and easy for your audience to understand what they gain. Which is essential in today’s message-saturated, low-attention span business environment.

What to do First

Our advice: Set aside for a moment all the customer journeys, channels, and services you’re considering and focus on the fundamentals that will make or break your program.

  • Clearly define the problem you’re solving. Too often marketers settle on the first answer they come to. Go deeper. You’ll find a message that resonates with the audience on a more emotional level—and that’s often a simpler story to tell.
  • Focus on one message. The tell-tale sign that you’re off track is when you start adding in additional messages. When one becomes many, you’re competing against yourself for audience attention instead of against the competition.
  • Put yourself last. Yes, you need to tell customers about your service or solution, but only after you’ve clearly established which of their problems is about to be solved. Then tell them how and what you are solving it with. Many businesses still want to do this backwards: name the solution, explain how it works, and then try to talk about why the customer should care.
  • Think like an outsider. Being close to a product, service, or your company mission can blind you to how prospects or customers perceive your message. Step away from that world and ask: does this make sense? Is it of any value? Is it obvious why someone should care to read more?

Next time you’re ready to launch into a new program, start at the white board. Build consensus on the most focused, relevant message possible and the best way to tell it. Then create your flow charts of activities and channels to consistently deliver that message.

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