Should I have one consistent marketing message or multiple messages for different audiences?
I am working on putting together some marketing materials. I am trying to figure out if I should have one consistent message or if I should have different messages for different audiences. I am still an early stage start up. I am thinking of trying different messages to see what resonates with different audiences, but I also don't want people to be confused about who we are and what we are doing. I am curious what other people have found successful.
We are a private equity firm as well as financial advisor for cross border deals. We mainly focus on client in america but also europe. We have been a member of the business community in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for over 30years. I have a degree in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University.
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Hello Brett - I don't want to make your quest even more confusing but if I may, I would like to add this dynamic to your question. I think when you add this component to your question, it may even help you come up with some answers.
You ask if you should have "one consistent message or have different message for different audiences".
Maybe you have already realized this but I submit that you need to have different message for each target audience and if you want to really get it right you will have different message for each "buyer persona". A buyer persona is different than a target audience. A buyer persona gives you an iron clad profile of the decision maker and those profile components that teach you how to construct a message that touches each of these profile components.
But, I digress because my original point was to provide different messages to the same market. I say this because many marketing managers don't pay attention to the different stages of the sales cycle.
For example, each of your customers, in each of your markets start at the top of the sales funnel (TOP), move into the middle of the sales funnel (MOF) and eventually get to the bottom of the sales funnel (BOF).
Your message (even though these are aimed at the same market) must change depending on which area of the sales funnel they are in. If you have a prospect in any of your niche markets at the top of the sales funnel, I normally think "education". Therefore my original message will be one that offer or contributes some educational, not something that attempts to "sell". Once that prospects move into the middle of the sales funnel, the message changes because we now know they have more direct interest in the product or service.
If you are skilled enough to convert the prospect into the bottom of the funnel, they are ready to see a message that includes an offer to connect by demo or consultation.
So you see that if it's 1 audience or multiple audiences, you must change your message to each so it reflects where there are in the sales cycle.
I hope this makes sense and helps some.
Virtual Support Systems.
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What are you best at? That is your prime and niche. Stick with that one thing. That ONE THING, as Curly said in the movie City Slickers.
Thank you everyone for such great advice. This has really been helpful. I have decided to test out some different messaging to see what resonates. Thanks again.
Definitely aim for consistency across all your marketing and contact points where possible. We wrote an article about this too http://www.evolvedsound.com.au/why-a-consistent-message-is-essential-in-business/
It's not an either or kind of question; at least in my mind. You should have consistent messaging that you’re able to target to different audiences. If your audience range is 24-45, your product or service will mean different things to those ages. Don’t negate all your benefits, but know what is most important to, say, 45-year-olds and lead with that message when targeting them.
Who you are and what you do should never change regardless of the audience. Your messaging is about what solution/benefit prospects are going to receive by doing business with you.
You can—and should, I think—have one consistent message that's TAILORED for your different audiences. My over-arching message, for example, is that the services I provide mean our virtual team can be your outsource communication team, or assist your in-house team on projects when you need extra help. And we understand your business because we have experience in it. (That's the message for communication managers/directors within companies.) But another part of my target audience is advertising/PR firms. For them, the message is tailored this way: we can help when your team's overloaded or you're looking for a new outsource partner to subcontract projects to. And my third target audience is non-profit organizations. For them, the message is we can be your outsource communication team, or help on a project basis when you need extra help. And we understand that every dollar of your investment counts. We've worked in the non-profit field, and we understand its challenges. You have to craft different messages for different audiences. Suspects require a different copy approach than Prospects (those who've expressed an interest in your services); and Client/Customer messaging has to be different from both of the previous two audiences. Hope all of this helps!
There is always somethings constant that talk about your principle, your background, expertise, etc. and the other part could vary from segment to segment (may not be different for every individual)
As others have mentioned, make sure your target market is well-defined and that your company is extremely clear on what product/service you are offering to them will meet their needs. Understand the landscape and how you can differentiate from competitors (I'm pretty sure you've already done this). But at the same time, within your target market you may find differences in various human traits. For example, understanding different cultures and backgrounds clearly will be extremely beneficial to provide materials to each subset. So as you create your marketing message, it is critical to find a balance between uniformity and being unique to particular market segments. And since you are in an early stage startup, make sure that your resources are not spread too thin.