Advertising Messaging

Too often I see good businesses harm their images and miss out on customers by trying to communicate a patchwork of their services, products, and values in several different places. All may be fantastic messages, but not when thrown together in different places. These businesses can benefit from choosing a cohesive advertising message, communicated clearly and consistently across all channels.

Let’s say your business has the best product available, amazing customer service, and a defined culture and set of values. Which of those qualities should your company communicate to its market? If you said all of them, you’re right…and wrong. All of those qualities are worthy of expressing, but communicating more than one at a time in different advertisements proves confusing to customers. Your business’ advertising message must be focused and steady. This doesn’t guarantee a good message, so much as the right one, but consistency is key.

The most important factors in choosing an advertising message are your market’s needs and wants. Cater to the most pressing issues with your idea, and show your targets your business’ other qualities when they walk through the door. Depending on what your market requires, your business should say what you need it to say, not just what you want it to say.

Consider the following example. Your business provides an amazing experience that goes above and beyond anything any customer could possibly expect. Everyone who does business with you is enthusiastically happy and can’t wait to shout it from the top of a mountain. This is a great message to broadcast, except that your market’s biggest need is your product. Your advertising message should couple the need with the want. Great customer service is what people want (and they deserve it), but your product fills a need. That should be in the message you convey.

Now that you’ve determined what you’re going to tell your market, it’s time to be consistent. Communicate your message in a magazine ad. Post it on your Web site, in your newsletter, sell sheets, brochures, radio spots-and every other channel you use to market your business. Even the addition of custom presentation folders within a marketing strategy could make a difference when it comes to giving it more of a professional feel. It’s all about branding and getting the name of the company out there.

Then make sure all staff who interact with customers, from sales to customer service, all speak the same message as well as in a professional, stylish manner. For example, all employees handing out the likes of a presentation folder that’s been created through pocket folder templates keeps consistency and professionalism. A consistent message is just as important as the message itself and provides three key benefits:

1. Consistency eliminates confusion. Highlighting your product in one place, then your customer service in another, and your values somewhere else can be confusing and frustrating for your market. It is likely that one or more of those communications is not what your market needs to hear. Potential customers will think, “They said product there, and values here. Which one should I believe?” Saying the same thing everywhere eliminates this confusion.

2. Consistency creates lasting impressions. If all your materials, Web site, and advertisements carry the same message, you guarantee that your market will hear the right thing whether they talk to you, visit your business, see your ad, or look for you online. Each impression reinforces your message, and your market will begin to associate your business with an idea that they have been exposed to by your advertisement.

3. Consistency keeps customers. Repeatedly hearing your message that addresses your market’s need drills the message into your market’s collective head to come back to you whenever they have a need for a product or service like yours.

What you communicate to your market is just as important for gaining and keeping customers as the product or service your business provides. Decide what message you need to communicate with your market. Then, communicate that message with consistency through all channels and human resources.