Message Drives Marketing
Consider this: you decide to plant a garden in your front yard for flowers. Also, a vegetable garden in the back yard. And maybe a window garden of herbs. Great plan! Those gardens are going to be beautiful and productive. So you dig the dirt, set up a fence, decide what kind of blooms and veggies and herbs you’d like. Then you sit back and wait.
Nothing happens. Why? Because there were no seeds sown, no seedlings planted… there is nothing there to take you from dirt to bloom.
This is a metaphor for how many companies tackle marketing. With the best of intentions organizations decide they are going to have a website and blog, create some social media pages, send out news releases, go to a trade show or two, develop an email newsletter, run some advertising, etc. Great ideas for ways to communicate with prospects and customers. Sure fire success will come!
Then nothing happens. Why? Because like those garden beds, the place is ready, but the most important element is missing. In a garden, that is a seed. In a marketing tactic, that is message. Lots of companies have great intentions, then don’t implement the plan because they don’t have the content to use in all those great communications elements.
Here’s an example… one that I’ve seen numerous times.
It’s decided that an email newsletter is needed. It’s inexpensive, it can be done internally and sent to all prospects and customers. It is a sure fire way to get more blooms (I mean sales). Step one – design the newsletter template. Then fill it with lots of great information about the company. Issue one goes out and high fives all around.
Then time passes… and maybe issue two comes. Friday afternoon and someone says that we need to get another newsletter out. There is a scramble, who has anything to put in it? Ideas are tossed about. Someone is targeted for writing an article (typically someone not currently in the discussion or meeting).
See the pattern? It can happen with email newsletters, social media, trade shows and advertising… deadlines aren’t set, people get busy, other initiatives (usually sales activities) are more pressing.
There is a better way. It focuses on marketing message first. Then the way we will deliver the messages. Any publication from the New York Times to your favorite trade magazine develops an editorial calendar. When you are considering marketing your company, you should think of your organization as a publisher. Content is king! Developing a matrix of the messages you want to deliver in the marketplace. That’s is a great way to set the agenda for your marketing.
Next, decide how to develop and deliver those messages via existing and new communications elements. Content development is assigned months (not minutes) in advance of publication and everyone is a little less stressed.
We’ve run this process at many companies and it is successful. Can we meet to discuss your situation and help you develop your messages? Contact us to learn more.