Marketing today is big.
Big data, big degrees, big programs, big money.
Digital, content, direct, inbound, outbound, external communications, internal communications, social, media relations, there are a million ways to slice and dice a marketing program today. Yet at the core of it all, there’s the message.
You can have the best marketing program in the world, but if you don’t know what you’re talking about, no one else is going to either.
In large and small businesses alike, getting everyone to agree on the messaging is a difficult proposition. The CEO says one thing. Sales says something else. Marketing wants everybody to say something completely different.
So what’s the secret to getting to a message that everyone can use, and that people actually care about?
- Get everyone involved. I mean everyone. It’s human nature to want to be heard. Involving members from every team in message development may seem tedious and lead to a longer process, but if everyone from the technology team to sales has some level of involvement in the process, they’ll be more likely to embrace the final product.
- Once you have your inputs, develop a storyline. Just like in your high school English class, think about the 5 W’s. Who, what when where, why. And just like in your high school English class, the “why” is still the clincher. Whatever you’re trying to say, remember to convey why it matters.
- After your basic storyline is in place, tease out your key messages. You can use a messaging map or other brainstorming technique to do this, but make sure your messages can translate into tactical usage so that when you go to implement your big marketing campaigns, they work across all platforms.
- Go back to your stakeholders. Once your messages are clearly defined, make sure everyone who was initially involved in the process is on board and excited about the final result.
Building a brand is no easy task, and with a multitude of marketing communications platforms, it can be overwhelming. So take a deep breath, pound your coffee, pull out your moleskin and get to work. Once you have messages that people actually care about, the rest is just details.*
*Shhhhh don’t tell design I said that.