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.
Ford Mortgage Services Co. Intl. is one of the leading independent private mortgage servicer and manage a wide variety of security and legitimate loans such as students loans, real estate loans, business loans, personal loans, debt consolidation loans etc on behalf of lenders and investors at an affordable annual interest rate of 3% with no prepayment penalty.
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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.
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If you really want to have a marketing strategy and know how to implement it consistently, feel free to contact a professional team from http://thecmoclub.com/ . These guys know marketing business inside out.
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.
As others have said here, start small.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What is their #1 pain point/ issue/ motivator? (For example, "My ideal client is a busy, educated mom who wants things to be quick and easy so she can spend more time with her kids.)
- Come up with a couple of "themes" that will resonate with your target audience based on what they care about (For example "Convenience" is the key theme in the example above).
- Tailor all of your marketing messaging for that one ideal customer, under that one theme.
- Test it out and keep refining your message.
- Add on other "themes" as you start to learn more about your customers. For example, let's say in addition to "convenience", your customers are also looking for ideas to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your next set of messages could be written from the "health" angle, which would appeal to people who are looking to be educated on how to lead a more balanced life.
Depending on your business, you may need to create different messages for different audiences (especially if you are selling B2B and you need to equip your sales team with messages to pivot the conversation "on the spot"), but that doesn't mean you need a full-blown set of marketing materials for each of your different customer groups.
Customers what to know what is it you can do for them. To answer that question you need to be specific and industry / Market related.
If you are looking to shoot birds you don't go out there with an elephant gun.
Likewise you don't want to be just a "Me too" company. This will happen if you generalize. Use different messages with different keywords.
Treat yourself as the client. How would you advise yourself, if the other you walked into your office.
Let me try to give a short answer. Study says, one is best, three is maximum. Means you should not run more than than 3 communications for single audiance. However, fewer is better.
Communication creates bridge between audience's need and your offer. So try to learn your audience whether they are homogeneous or heterogeneous. if you can create the bridge with all of your audience through one communication, go for one. Otherwise split your audience, select media for each group, create communication for each group. Bottom line, each audience should see only one communication.
A consistent relative message in my opinion is always beneficial. That message can be tailored to address specific unique niches your business serves. Think about the great marketing messages you have seen. They always have a central message in what they are offering, their value proposition, and then they apply that message to moments in peoples lives that the value can be evidenced in.
The short answer- you should really understand who your brand is and what it is that you do.
The truth is, for some businesses they may have multiple "audiences" within what they do.
For example, a couple of years ago I was doing some freelance marketing materials for a clothing store. They wanted to consider manufacturing their own dresses but wanted to reach out to the independent creative community for designs.
We put together a design competition and had our customers vote on which designs were going to be put into production.
In theory, we had 2 different audiences and so our message variated slightly between the two different audiences. One, was our customers and getting them excited about being able to vote on what pieces were going to be put into production. The other, was getting the independent fashion designers attention and saying "Hey! You have the ability to earn some money by sending us your designs". WHERE we marketed these messages was also different. For our customers it was in their usual places- email, social platforms they used, etc. For the designers we had to dig a little deeper and find out where they were in order to make this a successful event.
I have done similar things with a used clothing store. They focused on designer pieces. So they have 1) their customers who are looking for gently used designer pieces at a great discount. and 2) the women who are more affluent, buy these pieces and are looking to discard them or earn some cash. Different audiences. Different places to market to. However, the overall "brand message and feel" was the same. This is where really knowing WHO your brand is is very important.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further assistance.
Have a Great Day!
Basic of understanding between people is common reality. Different audiences are such due to variations in common reality between you and them. Different type of the audience asks you to deliver different service or a product. Talking over and over again the same message is certainly to some degree effective. Though you may increase your sales by talking more real and by serving different needs of a different audience. A decoration supplies company would speak different to office owners and to home owners. You need to target your audiences in accordance with their needs. Further, today there is big change in marketing, and that is personalization. Just as you can see small profile pictures here on the MosaicHub, you should use personalized emails when talking to your audience. Using "company", "we", over and over again, without a personal face in those messages is simply loosing the human touch. Employ more of that magic, and increase the human touch. As people are people and they buy because of your energy projected to them, not just because a product is good. When you go to grocery or other small stores to buy anything, you are probably choosing your suppliers by their faces, character, personalities, neatness, beauty and emotions they are projecting toward you. That is how your audience is going to judge you. Be personal, targeted, and serve different audiences by those services and products that they need.
Great advice from all. I'll just add that I was/am in your same boat, as I offer both visual and verbal services as an artist and writer. I found that most clients, probably due to cultural bias, do not believe that a single individual can be equally skilled at both and feel more comfortable hiring someone for each discipline (until I can show them otherwise). So I have different initial marketing for each. Others have had success with the jack-of-all-trades approach.
As some have pointed out, the main focus is your customer benefit, not just your skills/product. Show and tell them what they'll *gain* from your business rather than just what you offer.
(I used to work on car accounts, and rather than just say the engine had 300 hp, we'd focus on how the driver feels with that power. If a car offered high MPH, we'd show the advantage a family has by being able to drive X distance without fueling.)
Hope that helps. Best of success!!
I am a strong believer in building companies deep not wide. With this in mind, it is easier to accomplish this by having a single message. Based on experience, I was not able to modify my services business for the three market sectors I serviced (Federal Government, State/Local Government, and Fortune 2000) as it was too confusing. The stronger your vision and the clearer you are in defining what you do becomes easier for all your shareholders to drive the business you want your way.
It all depends on how much you offer and how many different types of people benefit from your products/services. You can have marketing content for your overall Business... but sometimes it can be a little vague because of how much you have to point at to all the different types of people you cater to.
The key thing that has me worried here is how you said "trying different messages to see what resonates with different audiences"..... that is an indicator that you either don't know enough about your market to know how to connect with them, or you don't have confidence in what you already know about them. Either way that tactic is something common that a lot of people do, but I'd urge you to dig deeper into your market and get a better understanding of them first. First impressions are everything and if you come out with something that doesn't click with them or makes you laughable in a bad way, that will stick with you forever. It's one thing to come up with a message that doesn't hit home the way you want it and tweak it to make it strike harder. But it's something totally different to keep changing your message every few weeks trying to see what works.
They key things you want to tell them aside from what you offer and how it benefits them, is how you've re-invented it to make it more convenient for their way of life. You also want to teach them how to make the best use of what you have to offer so when they actually come to you they're already familiar with the general process for how things are going to work.
You should write out a list of categories your intended market fits into... and if necessary go in a level deeper and break down different sub categories of people that make up each category. Lets say for example you're opening a sporting goods store. You're going to want content that speaks personally to basketball, football, baseball, soccer, volley ball, etc. players. What season you're in will determine who your main focus will be at that point in time for who you want to speak to. Then outside of athletic sports you'll have fishermen and hunters you'll be catering to as well, so you're going to want content that speaks personally to them in their seasons.
Say you also have an app where they can put in their shoe size, pants n shirt size, the type of rifle they have, etc. so they can shop personally online and see exactly which location has the items they need in their size or for their choice of rifles and fishing rods. That's something else you'd want to tailor to them to show each of them how convenient it can be for them.
You can have your "overall" marketing content that speaks to "everybody", but you need to take the time to speak to everybody personally in order to let them know how you can benefit them. Just giving an overall message that doesn't tell them much of anything expecting it to stir their curiosity enough to come to your store or go to your website to look further into what you can do doesn't really move anybody enough to want to jump on it and investigate. It would take for them to see you over and over and over and over and over enough times to finally make them break and say "ok let me see what this is all about because I keep seeing it." Don't get me wrong that's part of the game too, you have to wear some people down over time, but you don't want to rely on that for EVERYBODY when there's ways you can get people to jump on it the first time they see your advertisement because of how relevant it is to them.
Aside from this, figuring out what resonates with people and what doesn't is a lot more involved than it sounds. On the surface one would think "if they respond that means it resonates, if they don't that means it doesn't". But in reality it could very well resonate with them, but they don't have the money to get anything right now, So you may well come up with a good message, but because you don't get any responses within a month you'll chalk it up as ineffective and stop using it and switch to a totally different message.
All in all if you don't know what messages to use, you need to study them more. You can always improve the way you convey and deliver a message as you go. Even if it's not effective enough at first later on once you make it effective all the previous impressions will still tack on to it keeping consistency. Changing the overall message too much will just attach a lot of cognitive clutter to your image and could make you come off as desperate and if they see you as desperate that'll translate as you not being all you're cracked up to be.
Having one message or slogan can make you/your product/service easy to remember and get people to like it but that is a off chance to get it right first go or even 10th go. Try many different messages to see which one works and which ones don't and as with different audiences, it is the same because each age group responds differently to certain words and messages. It is good to have multiple messages because (people- age groups, gender and location) respond differently to certain words.