As you plan for your next trade show, you task your team to build a cool looking marketing booth design, pay ten's of thousands of dollars on booth space at the Expo. You buy giveaways, cool new shirts with your company logo on them. You spend thousands of dollars on passes for your team, flights to Las Vegas and hotel and food for your entire team to attend.
The first day at the trade show, thousands of people will pass your booth, stop and keep going. They won't engage with your team unless you are giving away free beer or you are "that company" that uses half-dressed women to lure men into your booth. Wouldn't it be amazing if your messaging connected with your audience and engaged them to ask your team more about what you do? No....Instead you would prefer to use gimmicks and sex appeal to get people into your booth.
Yes, I know what you are thinking, "no, not my marketing, it is on point." The fact is, 80% or more of companies out there have lousy marketing messaging. Even more of you have inconsistent and fragmented marketing messaging because your brand and product content is developed in silos and not trackable. You have product marketing managers focused on individual product lines, developing their specific product messaging in a vacuum. Even worse, your sales managers and sales engineers are off developing their own content because marketing can't keep up with providing the tools and content required by the sales team. It's likely that their content is off message and missing the key points.
Your marketing team has no standard framework to work from when developing brand and product marketing, so they improvise, and the result is mediocre messaging. Add to the problem, that your marketing team has no way to collaborate, manage and track changes to your messaging, and no consistent way to share your brand and product messages across the entire organization.
If you are the founder of a startup or small business, you might be thinking because you either don't have a marketing team or just one person that you don't have this problem. Your messaging is often worse than the larger companies, actually much worse. When you started your business with your engineering buddy, you both sat in a coffee shop coming up with a cool product idea. Then you developed that excellent new product and realized you now needed to market your product.
You went off and built a quick WordPress website, and added your messaging as you developed the site. You used words that you thought would convey how excellent your product was, but the reality is no one had a clue what it did. Your product could have solved world hunger, but because you didn't know how to develop messaging correctly and had no framework, so you improvised. You used complex words and talked about how cool your algorithm could solve a specific problem, and no one had a clue what you did or the problem you solved.
Did you know that most startups fail within four years, and the top five reasons are related to lack of marketing? Number one reason is lack of market need. Entrepreneur.com's article titled "10 Reasons Why 7 Out of 10 Businesses Fail Within 10 Years" states the first two reasons why businesses fail is #1. Failure to Deliver Real Value (aka Market Need) and # 2. Failure to Connect to Target Audiences (aka Marketing Messaging) #3. was Failure to optimize conversions (aka Marketing); #4. is Failure to create an effective sales funnel (aka Marketing). And #5. is Lack of authenticity and transparency (aka building trust, using Marketing).
If you break down the top five reasons, they are all related to marketing. I have worked in small businesses that thought it was funny that they fired their entire marketing team multiple times, yet still struggled to grow at the pace they expected. You can never deliver value to customers if you don't gather market requirements from real customers. You will never provide move prospects through your sales funnel if your messaging doesn't convey your value proposition. You will never connect to your target audience if you don't first understand the market need, and second, develop clear marketing messaging that engages your audience. You may not know this, but you actually need experienced marketing people on your team.
Your marketing message doesn't suck because of your product. You most likely have a pretty good product, but you haven't 1) Used a framework for developing your marketing messages 2) Asked the right questions when developing ideas for your messaging 3) Have a simple way to capture and improve your messaging and 4) No real way to track the effectiveness of your marketing messages over time.
There are frameworks, tools and software available to help you, but you can't continue to build your messaging and content in a vacuum. Its time to think differently and put your messages into your marketing, the right way.
If you would like to learn about our framework, tools, and software to develop your messaging, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.