5 Step Plan For Creating An Effective Marketing Message
When looking to gain new customers a big piece of the puzzle is your marketing message. A well thought out message can create more buzz and sales for your business than a lackluster one that costs just the same.
When creating this message there are a couple of routes you can take. You can let the guy or girl who’s selling the ad make it up for you. You can listen to what people outside the industry think (friends and relatives). Or you can cheat and copy what the other guys are doing. But if you want your ad to be effective and your dollars not wasted you need to stop and think about what you want your ad to do. If you only want to gain exposure, get your name out, then you won’t have to work very hard. But if your goal is to have your phone ring then you’d better give it more of your time.
1: Find One Specific Problem
There are many reasons why people might need your services but to have an effective ad you need to hone in on one specifically and create an emotional message around it. To avoid buying an ad that people ignore, find a specific problem and develop a message that provides a solution to that problem.
Many of us don’t get this first step because we’re kinda greedy. We want customers to know that we provide many services and fear that if we spend our time and ad dollars just to get the customer who locked their keys in their car then we’ll not get the customer who’s stranded on the highway.
I understand the argument but disagree.
Let’s say your ad depicts frustration on the face of a lady who’s locked her keys in her car. She’s dressed in high heels and a skirt and is looking through the window into her car with the keys in the ignition. It’s nighttime and raining and she’s alone in a parking lot. That’s kind of emotional right? Besides being late for dinner, she’s alone and vulnerable. Just think of all the bad things that could happen.
You want to bring to mind the pain of a specific situation and paint your company as the hero. And if you don’t appeal to your customer’s emotion you’ll never do that. You want all who see your ad to believe that you are THE trusted resource, the solution to life’s little difficulties.
The person stranded on the highway will be able to relate to the lady stranded in the rain—and you’ll get the call.
2: Create contrast
Contrast is simply how you differ from all those other guys with tow trucks.
When creating contrast you don’t need to be vastly more qualified than your competition, just a little bit different. It could be something that you do that your competition doesn’t do. Do you have the ability to accept credit cards in your trucks? If so what is the benefit of that to your customer? Can you email them a receipt that they can turn into their insurance company for reimbursement?
Does having GPS on all your trucks allow you to give the customer accurate eta’s? And what does that mean to your customer? Will you get there sooner? Will they get a coupon for free pizza if you’re outside the given eta?
The contrast doesn’t have to be spoken it can be something that’s visually appealing. Maybe you’re consistently faster, you’ve got flashy wrapped trucks, and your drivers are all uniformed and neat in appearance.
When creating contrast, rather than thinking in terms of how you know you’re better than the competition, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and see how they might see you. You may be TRAA certified and Wreckmaster 8/9 trained but how does that resonate with your customer? It must be relevant to their needs.
3: State your value
Your value is what the customer will get out of choosing to do business with you. When you unlock a customer’s car or pick them up roadside the value you provide may be time. Maybe they have a flat and are late for a meeting. And let’s say you arrive within 15 minutes. It takes you 5 minutes to change their tire, then another 2 minutes to process their credit card and provide them with a receipt. If this is typical of the service you provide you could say that, “From call to completion we’ll have you on your way within 22 minutes.” The value is what they get out of the transaction.
4: Appeal to their base needs
When looking to make a purchase, a customer will choose the company that can solve their biggest problem. When you appeal to the needs that arise as a result of the other problem (the car problem) you’re more apt to get their attention. They may need to get to work, or pick up their child from daycare, or it may be that they just need to have their car working properly again. Of course you can’t know exactly what need is most important to each person in every situation, but when you appeal to one of these base needs you interrupt their thinking and your ad tells them that you’re more than “just another towing company”. It tells them that you understand their dilemma and can help.
5: Be consistent
Have you ever seen a movie trailer on television and thought “that movie looks interesting, I gotta see that.” and then go on about your day and forget about it? Yes we all have.
That’s why the movie industry doesn’t just stop at trailers. They spend loads on marketing their movies. They place ads everywhere—websites, YouTube, and every other entertainment outlet there is. But in all their efforts they usually stay on one or two specific messages. They advertise in magazines, newspapers and radio. And the actors get in on it too. They do talk shows, and anything else they can do to promote the movie—because we forget.
We forget because we’re bombarded with so much marketing from everywhere. But because they’ve stuck with a consistent message, when we’re ready to buy, we’ll know what to look for.
The successful ads are the ones that hit on one or two specific messages or themes and don’t stop. When your ad is consistent across all media it’ll be easily recognized and remembered when the need for your services arises.