Keep marketing on message: 2 tips

Two quick and easy tips to help improve your business message.

In our work and general adventures, we come across a lot written messages created by smaller businesses and startups. A lot of these messages are well thought out and well executed. Unfortunately, a lot of them are not. Here's what we've learnt from our experience.

  1. Focus on the customers wants, not what the business wants.

When a customer reads a businesses message, they are looking for how the product or service benefits them, and to what degree they can trust the business.

Let’s imagine a chocolate startup with this banner on their website homepage.

“We want to sell our chocolate all over the world.”

A sentence like this appeals to the business founder, but it doesn’t appeal to the business customer. It doesn’t tell the customer anything about how what business does for the customer; instead it focuses on what the business wants. It is in effect asking the customer to buy from the business to help the business achieve its own goals, not something most customers will find very appealing.

Compare that message to this one.

“Chocolate that says, I love you”.

This type of message speaks to the customer; it’s about what the customer wants (to send a message of love), rather than what the business wants.

TIP 1: Focus on the needs of your customers; not your business.

2. Speak about what the business does, not what it will do.

“We will work with our customers to build state of the art websites”.

We see this a lot from small businesses whose founders have written their own copy. For a long time, the founder has had an idea in their head for what their business will become. They have told friends and family and colleagues what they are going to do in the future.

When they open up their business -  a website or physical location - and offer customers the opportunity to purchase their goods, they now exist as a business.

Yet often their communication still reflects their formative thinking.

The problem with this communication is that it gives the impression that the business has no customers; that it’s not a business now but will become a business. This undermines the trust customers have in the business, and it makes them question whether the business is real or not. With trust being so important to finding new customers (thus the importance of Influencer marketing in today's market), this is a message that startups just can’t afford to send.

TIP 2: When your business is up and running, talk about it in the present tense.

We hope these tips help you with your business (marketing) message. Mistakes like this can be difficult to see, especially when you are close to your brand as founders and small business owners often are. That’s why it's so important to work with people who can help you identify the problems and work with you to fix them.

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