Welcome to the Attention Economy, where as much as 90% of what you say falls on deaf ears. Here’s how to make your voice heard.
“Marketing no longer controls the conversation with the consumer and is occasionally even banned from it.” In a single sentence, Advertising Age magazine sums up the challenge–and ironically, the opportunity–of marketing today. Whether you sell to businesses, consumers, or both, you’re communicating with people who are newly empowered by technology to share what’s on their minds about you.
While you can still influence the conversation, you just can’t own it any more. Every business everywhere struggles with this new reality. My Fortune 500 clients do. And so do the small-to mid-sized businesses that I serve.
Regardless of an organization’s size or industry, all share a common issue: Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective, as marketing budgets continue to fall. Or, at best, stay stagnant.
With the proliferation of media channels, there’s too much noise. Too many opportunities for customers to cut you out of the conversation, as they talk with each other about you. And too little tolerance to be sold to. Business or consumer, customers want what they want: Better information to make more informed purchasing decisions on their own.
In transition, there is always opportunity–if you know where to look. And that’s why I’ve developed an approach I call Sales Message Marketing. It solves for two needs that every organization shares today:
- Be more relevant to your customers (and therefore, more competitive).
- Be more accountable for every marketing dollar spent.
Sales Message Marketing was born out of necessity. And without knowing it, I’ve been developing it over the past 10 years as I created brand positioning and messaging strategies for Fortune 500 and mid-sized organizations. More than 100 case studies later, I’ve learned that organizations have more in common than they don’t.
Regardless of size, industry, marketing budget or technological sophistication, they all have a great story to tell. But too often, it’s lost in the noise of the marketplace. Which, thanks to social media, is getting louder every day.
Take heart: You still have the one advantage that no competitor can claim. It’s your story. Your message, the one that’s yours and yours alone. I can promise you that every business has one. I’ve had some clients through the years tell me I’m dead wrong. That they’re a “commodity” and no different than anyone else. “That’s why we have to cut prices!” they argue. I eventually convinced many of these folks otherwise. But some just couldn’t break free from old-school thinking.
If you’ve read this far, I’m banking that you’re not one of them. That you believe you offer value that customers wouldn’t find anywhere else. It’s your sense of purpose, and source of pride in what you do. It is your story. And to rise above the noise, it just has to be told the right way. Tailored for each audience. And then refined over time, as market conditions change.
I’ve been doing this for large companies for years. In the past year, I’ve been offering the identical service to smaller organizations. Creating measurably effective sales messages. And creating budget savings that my clients can either reallocate for other uses and be more productive. Or, just take to the bottom line.
“If people only knew what we really do here, our phone would ring off the hook.” I’ve heard it many times from new clients through years. You may have said some version of this yourself at some point. Here’s the good news, you can tell them. You can measure how effective you’re communicating. And you can become more successful, the more you learn. You might not able to lead the conversation anymore. But you can certainly listen in. Participate. And create stronger customer relationships as a result.
According to the American Marketing Association, 80 – 90% of sales support materials is never used. Why? Because the message is irrelevant and hurts as much as helps the sale. So what is all this expensive stuff really good for? Contributing to the noise that makes it hard for your voice to be heard. The answer: Craft a more effective sales message, measure results, then refine your story based on what you learn over time. What’s Sales Message Marketing?
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To talk about creating a Sales Message Platform for your organization, email Andy Bartling at firstname.lastname@example.org Or call 314-570-7453.