7 Steps to Ensure Your Core Message Gets To Your Target Market

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How much of your marketing is reaching your prospects where it counts?

Are they acting upon your call to action? Are they thinking about your message - at least a little bit? Are they even reading it, at all?

A lot of what passes for advertising and marketing today bounces off your prospects because the messaging is weak. "Messaging" is a fancy marketing term for the guts of what you are trying to tell people. Your core message announces to the world all the wonderful things your product, service or company can do for them, why it's a great thing they cannot live without, and why they absolutely must choose you instead of someone else.

Your messaging is impotent when it just isn't saying anything anyone cares about. Even you. It is falling upon deaf ears and missing the mark by a mile.

The following seven cost-effective steps will help insure that yours hits your target.

1. Personally revisit your core message with fresh eyes and ears. Do this even if you've done it recently. Think about what you are saying and make sure it is the message you want to communicate. Read it out loud to make sure it sounds the way you want it to.

2. Test your message on real live people to make sure it gets across what you want it to communicate. Have them feed it back to you, in their own words. Is it something they care about? Something they have a passion for? A need for? A desire for? Do this with a mix of existing customers and not-yet customers in your target market.

3. Look at the methods you're using to communicate that core message. Focus on the benefits, and the benefits of the benefits. Often a lot of good communication gets lost in products, features, and functions. Clarify and eliminate all the distractions.

Use this tactic: Examine your website, one sheets and brochures-print them and yellow highlight the words that speak to your core message. Most people are shocked to see they don't communicate that core message very well...or they do it almost as an afterthought, like a little phrase under the logo or something like that. Your core message has to permeate your documents. Don't be too subtle!

4. Launch an assault on your marketing materials. Don't change them all-focus on those that most frequently get used in your business. The marketing idiots who say "We have to redo all our literature!"? Fire them. Replace them with someone who says, "You know, I think that we can get our message across if we just re-work this one and that one, and leave the rest alone."

5. Set up a system that gives feedback to let you know if your message is reaching home. The simplest way to tell is if people are "taking action on your call to action." (If they aren't pursuing you, you know you are not getting through to them.)

Note: This applies to any medium, even "in-store." If you have a retail location, you have to test in your store, using whatever marketing you have available to you. Continually test and hone your message so that it does work.

6. Create an email capability that lets you communicate with your clientele on a continual basis in a way they will value. And just as in "off-line," don't send them self-aggrandizing garbage! Only send meaningful communications that provide something real for your clients and prospects.

7. Develop a customer communications calendar - a mixed media marketing calendar that ensures your audience is receiving your message often enough to keep you in mind. If your goal is to touch your clients monthly, every six weeks, or quarterly, maybe even weekly - make sure you are mailing, e-mailing, calling, visiting, throwing-a-party-for- even sending them flowers - doing something, touching them some way-on that basis.

Business acceleration expert and growth strategist Paul Lemberg is the CEO of Axcelus: Advanced Business Acceleration for Entrepreneurs. Axcelus helps fast-growing entrepreneurial companies scientifically engineer the greatest business value possible, in the shortest amount of time.

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