Now you may have noticed in a previous episode I did a short segment of this live, but let’s revisit this topic again, because it’s so important. Now, the topic that we’re gonna cover today is simple to understand, but not necessarily easy to implement. There’s three parts, and these parts are like digits in a combination lock. When you get these digits in the right order then the lock opens. But when you get these three things in your marketing in the right order your profits open. So let’s unlock that lock right now for you.
The three parts are…
MESSAGE, which is the reason why. Why does someone spend money with you?
The next element is MARKET, which is who. So who are you gonna send that message to?
And then of course, how, which is the METHOD.
So you have the message, the market, and the method. You have the why, the who, and the how. So let’s take a quick look at each of the components.
Your first component, of course, is the message which is the benefit messages. Why do people pull out their credit cards or spend money with you and your company? So, the benefits. Now benefits are really easily defined as emotional or intangible. They’re the result of your features. So often when I work with clients they get confused. They think that 15 years of experience is a benefit. Or open 24 hours is a benefit. No. 15 years in business means that they can trust you and have confidence. Those are emotions. Open 24 hours is a feature. The benefit is that it’s convenient. So you really need to take a close look at all your marketing and make sure that you have really compelling benefits. So the key here is lead with benefits, substantiate your claims with the features.
Now of course, once you’ve got this great, compelling message, you need somebody to send it to. That leads us into your market. Now what do you really know about your market? Have you really done a customer profile? To do that you need to take a close look at their demographics which are their stats, like how old are they, where do they live, how much money, are they married, whatever. They’re statistics. You also wanna look at their psychographics, which are the behaviors, you know, where do they congregate, how do they make decisions, where do they hang out on social media, what do they read, how do they make buying decisions? So now you’ve got the two parts, right. You’ve got your message, and you’ve got your market. Well now, you need a method, right?
You need to know some way of sending that method or that message to that particular market. Let’s say I write a really compelling message that’s going to C level professionals. But I choose to send a postcard. Like that frickin’ is gonna work. That’s not gonna work. So I can have the best message in the world, I can have all my demographics for my C level professionals, but if I use a marketing method that’s not congruent for the market I’m trying to sell to or promote to or communicate to it’s not going to work. Now that’s a little bit extreme. I know you get that. But I know that a lot of you make that same mistake in your business. You’ve come up with one branding message or one slogan or one tagline or one headline and you think it applies to everybody, but it doesn’t, because there’s so many different markets out there, and within each market there’s subcultures and there’s the different generations, right? You’ve got gen X and gen Z and gen Y and tradionalists and boomers and the connected generation, blah, blah, blah. Who gives a shit? I don’t care. You just have to make sure that you know who is your target prospect.
A Little Story to Drive Home the Point
A few years ago I was speaking at a company in New York, and these guys were high powered professionals and each of them made over six figures and when I first got introduced to speak they didn’t wanna listen to the speaker. They wanted to go play golf. We were at this beautiful golf resort. The last thing they wanted to do was sit in a conference room and listen to a speaker. So I said to them, hey guys, give me 15 minutes. If in 15 minutes I haven’t convinced you that it’s worth spending time, we can go. I’ve already got my check in my pocket. You guys can go play golf. Way to go, cheer, yay, right? So they sat down they said okay, and I said okay. Tell me who the best marketer in this, in the room in, ’cause you see these were marketing directors that were responsible for group ticket sales for conventions all across the United States, for conventions and concerts and things like Sesame Street Live and Icecapades and the circus, and things like that.
So this guy comes up, we’ll just call him Bob. So Bob comes up and he brings all of his marketing materials with him so we could do a hot seat, and I said Bob, let’s use the three M system for success. Pick something out that you’re really proud of, and he gets this full page ad for Sesame Street Live, and on the top of it is a headline that says let’s be friends, and then below it it’s a big picture of Big Bird, and then the description and time and date of when the shows are gonna be. And I said to him, I said, well, let’s just look at this for a second. You think this was effective? He said, yeah. I said, how much did you spend on that? He said $70,000. I was shocked.
I said, now let me get this straight. You spent $70,000? I asked him these three questions:
What’s the benefit? He said, “Well, I don’t know, let’s be friends.” And that didn’t make a lot of sense.
Who are trying to send it to? Who’s your market? He said, “Kids.” Now as soon as he said kids, you could have heard a pin drop in that audience because everybody was thinking, oh, I see where this is going, right?
What’s your method? And then I said, Oh, you’re using the newspaper. So let me get this straight, Bob. You spent $70,000 to send the message let’s be friends to kids using the newspaper, and the worst part is I opened up the newspaper and it was the financial section. So, Bob, I was thinking, now Bob, what the heck were you thinking, right? It was a total waste of time. It was a mismatch. Kids don’t read the newspaper.
So he didn’t have the right message. He didn’t have the right market, and he certainly didn’t use the right method.
So I said to the group, I said, okay guys, since you’re all responsible for this, let’s brainstorm real quickly. Why do people bring their kids to Sesame Street Live?
And they all said things like quality family time, lifetime memories, kids are gonna, it’s gonna be great.
Okay, fine, why don’t they take their kids? Well, it’s gonna be a pain in the butt, they can’t get parking, it’s gonna cost too much.
So now we knew what the message was gonna be and we tweaked the message and we said all right, if you’re gonna have to use the newspaper anyway, and you had, you know, he had frequency he had to pay for. So he had to use the newspaper. So we’ll just check box that one.
So now the only two variables that we can change are the message and the market. So we change the message to be “quality family time in two hours or less.” Instead of a picture of Big Bird we put a picture of a family with kids and souvenirs and smiling faces, and then we ran the newspaper ad again the next month, and their sales went up by 30%, and I worked with that company over nine years.
So what’s the real benefit here? You can do this in your business. So when you’re done watching this episode of Fordify and you’ve done sharing it, and liking it, and all that stuff, what I want you to do is I want you to go back and I want you to look at your website. I want you to look at your brochures, your catalogs, your signage, anything you’re using to communicate value for your products and services, and I want you to use the three M formula.
Just sit down and ask yourself:
What’s the message we’re trying to use?
Who are we really trying to send it to?
And what’s the method?
The outcome here is I know you understand the three parts of the combination lock. I know you understand that you should have benefits but do you? I’m sure you know who your target market is, but do you? And I hope that you know what methods you’re using. Bottom line, if what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s this. Go back and look at your combinations, and tweak them, because when you start tweaking these, these digits in the lock, you’re gonna unlock it faster, to bigger profits.
Now that’s it for this week’s episode of Fordify. I’d love to hear what you think. If you agree or disagree, make sure you put some comments below, and as usual make sure you subscribe to be notified when I publish new episodes. I’ll see you on the next episode of Fordify, where we help you Fordify your business.