Great Marketing Makes for Great Messaging, Part 1

Becky Morehouse

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Part 10 of 12: What I Wish I Knew as a New Marketer

This blog will be distributed in two parts. This week I share a handful of best practices for today’s marketer. In some respects, this blog builds on and expands the themes presented last week.

Next week I look at how to develop a great message.

Read Part 9: What’s the Big Idea?

Often, in our rush to just get things done, we overlook the cost of poor marketing. At the very least, poor marketing results in:

  • Wasted time
  • Wasted resources
  • Lost opportunities
  • Diminished internal and external credibility
  • Increased internal confusion
  • Increased confusion in the marketplace
  • Overly politicized decision-making
  • Higher degrees of uncertainty
  • Inability to accurate predict results

9 Steps to Great Marketing

Fortunately, great marketing is not all that difficult to achieve. Like many things, however, the key is in the prep and your approach. With that in mind, below are nine ideas and insights that lay the foundation for great marketing. The key? Rethinking how you think about marketing

1. Define Your Goal

Always begin with a clear understanding of your marketing goal and target audience and make sure this understanding is communicated to your marketing team. As a corollary, be relentlessly audience centric. Spend serious time in their heads.

2. Brand Marketing vs. Direct Marketing

Recognize there is a profound difference between brand marketing (build awareness) and direct marketing (generate a response). As a corollary, don’t forget that direct marketing is always more effective when it is preceded by effective brand marketing.

3. Big Ideas

Big ideas that engage your audience are always more important than big budgets. If your creative idea doesn’t engage your audience then it is more likely to generate noise instead of buzz.

4. Generate a Response

When it comes to recruiting or fundraising, your job is not to place ads, design social media campaigns, or send out annual fund solicitations. Rather, your job is to generate a response.

5. The Results

Never fall in love with your campaign, publications, website, or social media. Only fall in love with results. The minute you fall in love with your stuff you lose the ability to be self-critical. You will also resist other people’s ideas on how the strategy, communication, and assets might be improved.

6. Refine Your Message

Understand the synergy, security, and elegance of fewer, more important messages communicated more robustly through multiple channels most used by your target audience.

7. Message Value

It doesn’t matter how important your message if your audience doesn’t immediately see its value. Your messaging must be immediately compelling.

8. Give it Time

Give your marketing time to work. A big reason marketers change their messaging is because they get tired of it. Unless your messaging has clearly missed the target, it is always better to tweak than to replace.

9. Do a Post-mortem

When done, always do a post-mortem. This will improve performance in two ways. First, it will help you improve where your marketing missed its target. And second, a post-mortem will help you replicate what you did well.

Next week we’ll look at how to produce great messaging.

Read Part 2: Great Marketing Makes for Great Messaging, Part 2

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