The Importance of the Right Message

Last week I was invited by Bill Dolan and Anne DeRock of Spirit Media to participate with them in a short workshop at the Executive Officer’s Club in Portland. The topic we chose was the Importance of the Right Messaging for marketing. We picked this topic because we have both seen so many terrible ads and other poor marketing communications tools.

Its easy to see, open any magazine, particularly local or regional publications and you will see ads with many serious flaws. The worst of these flaws is when you don’t even know what the company is trying to sell! And it’s not just ads. I am talking about all kinds of marketing communications including websites, direct mail, brochures, etc.

How does this happen? Some of these companies are well known local names and presumably smart people work at these companies but somehow they lose sight of what they are trying to do.

I believe it is because the people in charge do not have the discipline to firstly create a communications strategy and secondly to then evaluate an ad (or other marketing tool) against that strategy.

Here is an example of an ad that I used in the workshop and it’s not to pick on this particular company. There are many other bad ads just like it. The Yellow Pages is another rich source of bad ads.

Imagine how much this ad must have cost. It is a half page ad in a major local business newspaper — perhaps $2500 a placement and it ran more than once I am sure. Not to mention the cost of the ad development.

The bottom line is that poor messaging costs the business a bundle of money. Preparing the messaging foundation is critical to marketing success. It may take a little extra time in the beginning but it will pay off handsomely in the future.

In my next post I will talk about what makes a good messaging and then after that how to develop your messaging strategy.


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