Imagine a new marketing campaign in which you focused your efforts on ensuring creative execution of your message strategy rather than spending time figuring out what to say, and then even more time explaining what you want the writer to write.
Then imagine that your new marketing campaign came together in two weeks, rather than six. Congratulations, you have imagined what it is like to be free from the “silo effect” which costs time, money and marketing effectiveness.
The “silo effect” is when each marketing collateral piece seems to be envisioned and created in isolation. There is no continuity and consistency in the message to the market. Every marketing piece is a one-off which is no way to do positioning as I pointed out in my last blog about the “silo effect,” one of the most common problems in B2B software and technology marketing.
The “silo effect” indicates that a company does not have a formal process for positioning, that mental space in your target audience’s mind that you can own with an idea that has compelling meaning to the recipient. It’s in this mental space where your solution to your target buyer’s most pressing problem meet and form a meaningful relationship.
How to eliminate the “silo effect”
The best way to eliminate the “silo effect” is to adopt a formal business process for positioning. A big part of the positioning process is to create your message strategy which includes a positioning statement and three to four support points.
A positioning statement is a short, declarative sentence that addresses the target market’s most pressing problem by stating a benefit. It makes it clear why the target market should care about your claim and take action.
Support points unfold your story in more detail and explains how you deliver on the promise made in the positioning statement. “That’s interesting, tell me more,” is how you want your target audience to respond to your positioning statement. Good support points – three to four of them – will pique their interest.
Your message strategy should be detailed enough to accommodate execution of it in every marketing piece you create. It becomes the foundation for everything you do in marketing, so rather than figure out what to say every time you need to create a new marketing piece, you simply execute the message strategy, adapting it to each situation.
Save time and money
How do you save money? First, you greatly reduce the time and manpower needed to create and review marketing materials. Since all your marketing communications use the same message strategy, every project begins with a head start and wraps up without a lot of micro-editing. That’s because your message strategy development process has involved key stakeholders who provided input throughout with the goal of building consensus and buy-in. Any debate that occurs while creating marketing materials focuses on the creative execution of the message strategy instead of having committee meetings to decide what to say.
If you use an advertising agency, your agency team doesn’t have to figure out what to say – at a cost of several days and thousands of dollars. The agency team focuses on what it does best – creative execution of your unique marketing message.
Your message strategy makes it easier to deliver the same message across all marketing activities, including advertising, e-mail campaigns, website content, brochures, product descriptions and presentations to investors, industry analysts and, of course, prospects and customers. It’s also easier to repeat the message. Remember repetition is one of the most important factors in claiming a position and giving it staying power. Believe me, you’ll get tired of your message strategy long before your target audience does. So stick with it.
Use your message strategy in every marketing communication. You’ll not just save money. Your marketing will be more effective, and if you stick with the same position for an extended period of time – like at least 18 months – you get what really counts – ownership of a unique position due to consistency and repetition.