John E. Fike Copywriting Services; Copy, Content & Custom Publications for Companies Who Make Life Worth Living

"Is Your Marketing an Empty Envelope?"

I received this article in an email from Robert Middleton. It made such a clear statement about clear, targeted marketing messages that I had to post it. FYI: I have no affiliation with either Robert Middleton or Samantha Hartley.

"Is Your Marketing an Empty Envelope?"

Imagine you're walking along one day in a park. You look down and see an envelope, which you pick up. It's fine quality paper with a logo on the back and full postage on the front. Impressive.

To your surprise, however, the envelope has nothing written on the front - no recipient's name, no address. And you can tell, on closer inspection, that it's empty.

This envelope, I'm sorry to say, is like most small business marketing. All the investment is spent on the vehicle or marketing strategy, represented here by a nice, stamped envelope. This is like purchasing advertising, web sites, brochures, Chamber memberships and trade show booths.

But, what's missing is a target market (address) and a message (letter inside the envelope). Who should get this envelope? What do you want them to know?

In marketing terms, this missing piece is a differentiated brand message stating who your services are for, and why they need to purchase from you. Without a brand message, you may as well toss your money out the window, because your marketing strategy is doing nothing for you.

Not having a brand is like sending out sealed, stamped envelopes without addresses or anything inside.

This is why so many small business owners find marketing expensive, difficult and a waste of time. If they just did Step #1, things wouldn't be this way.

Marketing Strategy #1: Identify Your Brand Value

A brand is the unique identity of a business. It's not just what we communicate; it includes all the impressions and beliefs your target audience has about who you are and what value you bring them.

Well-branded businesses attract attention with clear, compelling, authentic messages. This can actually shorten the sales cycle, because prospects more quickly understand why they should do business with you. They also appreciate your value, so you can charge premium prices and expect both repeat business and referrals.

No Brand? You're Not Alone.

If your client attraction marketing strategies aren't working, you're not alone. Recent polls I took of large audiences at my seminars consistently showed less than 10% of the business owners felt confident they knew who their ideal clients were and how they were different from their competitors.

Frankly, I was horrified. Over ninety percent of them were wasting money on marketing strategy, sending out sealed, stamped envelopes without addresses or anything inside!

Your Edge in Any Economy: Brand Your Business

Before you waste another dime implementing strategies that deliver NO message, invest in identifying your brand. Here's what you need to do:

1. Develop a Vision of where your business is going, and the role your brand will play in getting it there. If you can describe what success will look like, it'll be a lot easier to build a bridge to it.

2. Assess the alternatives to your brand. When people don't choose you, what do they choose? How, why and for whom are you actually the better choice?

3. Define your target market. Exactly who needs what you offer and will most value how it helps them?

4. Identify your specific point of difference or Unique Selling Proposition. In other words, what's your special sauce or secret ingredient? Whatever you choose, it must be clear, compelling, authentic and consistently communicated.

5. Package your differentiators, verbally and visually. Here's where you create your audio logo, saying who you're for and what you do that no one else can do as well. Develop a look- and-feel for your brand, too: a logo, color scheme and visual style, imagery and a "voice" to use in your marketing communications.

6. Select the marketing strategies you'll use to deliver the message of your brand to your target market. Great ways to emanate your brand message include writing articles or speaking on signature topics, networking and blogging.

7. Finally, cascade your brand through all your "touch points." Every place your brand is seen or experienced by your target audience should be consistent with your core brand identity.

Well-branded businesses attract more prospects with less effort, get superior, charge higher prices and enjoy more profitable and joyful businesses.

If creating your brand right now seems like a luxury you can't afford, consider the money you're currently wasting on ineffective marketing strategies. Why wait any longer?

So, How's Your Brand Doing?

Stuff your envelope with a unique brand message that will differentiate your services, attract perfect clients and build the highly-profitable business of your dreams! There's just a few days left to enroll in the Enlightened Marketing Branding Action Group.

To find out more about Samantha's Group, please go to the link below:

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posted by John E Fike @ 5:58 AM,


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