No matter how well constructed your marketing tactics may be, without the right message, you won’t get results.

Your website may be state-of-the-art and visually appealing. The copy in your sales letter may be brilliantly written. The graphics in your newspaper ad may be stunning. But without the right message, you’re wasting your time and your resources.

Your marketing message should answer a simple question: why should your audience choose to do business with you instead of your competitors? No matter who you are selling to, and no matter what type of products or services you offer, answering this question effectively will play a huge role in the success or failure of your campaign.

So where do you begin? Below are preliminary steps to take:

  1. Start by clearly identifying your target market. Who are you selling to? What are their needs and concerns? What types of challenges are they facing in business or in their personal lives? What keeps them awake at night? What do they hope for in their “wildest dreams?” This knowledge allows you to create a message that resonates with your audience.

  2. Clearly communicate your benefits. This is a concept my clients have heard me repeat time and time again – but it’s critical. Don’t talk to your audience about your product or your services. Talk to them about what your product or services will do for them. Don’t tell them about the shovel, tell them about the hole they will be able to dig with it and how effortlessly they can dig it with your shovel.

  3. Keep it brief. I’m not talking about the piece itself. Length can be a good thing, depending on the medium you are using. But the message itself must be brief and easy to grasp. Nike tells customers “our products will make you a winner.” Southwest tells customers “flying with us is more fun.” Apple tells customers “our products will make your life easier.” Make your message clear, powerful… and brief.