Without understanding and defining your true core message, people are going to compare you to your competition on price alone. This is a tricky situation to be in. Sure people want the best deal possible, but they also want to be taken care of. They want to buy from companies they can get behind. They want to understand the purpose.
Here are two important elements to focus on while developing your core message:
- A true core difference – do the research and make sure none of your competitors are preaching the same thing
- An idea that resonates with your clients – take the time to understand what your clients love about you and develop your core message from there
Doesn’t sound too difficult right? Below are 4 easy steps to break down the important elements and how to avoid competing on price alone.
Learn what your competitors are preaching
Time to kick off the research! Visit your top 5 competitor’s sites and read through their “About Us” pages. Copy and paste the overview from the about page and put them all in one document. Do the same for your site. Go through and read the descriptions and highlight some of the common themes you see throughout each. I am guessing “great customer service” and “years of experience” might be mentioned in a few of them. Take it one step further and delete any mention of the companies names in your document. Pass it around to members of your team and see if anyone can correctly identify your description and each of your competitors. This alone might be an eye opening experience.
Give your competition props
It’s now time to spy on your competition. Set up a listening station to keep tabs on what you competitors are doing. Everything from monitoring social media to signing up for their newsletter to tracking keywords. Understanding what your competition is doing, what works for them, will provide you with a bit of direction. I am not saying copy your competitors marketing efforts, simply suggesting you might be able to learn from what they are succeeding at. They wouldn’t be focusing on gaining 1000s of Twitter followers if it wasn’t paying off on some level.
Listen to the people that matter the most
Your clients are the most important people to your business. Take the time to listen to them, show them you care, and learn from them. Sit down with 10-15 of your best clients (most profitable and refer you the most) and interview them. Ask them about their experience with your company and how you can make it even better for them. Take their feedback and continue to improve but also use it to develop your core message using words that actually resonate with the people you serve.
Here are a few of my favorite questions:
- Why did you choose us in the first place?
- Why do you stay with us?
- What do we do that others don’t?
- What could we/our products/services do for you that we don’t?
Communicate your difference
You have taken the time to do the research. It’s now time to create your core message – this message should be a short statement that becomes your marketing message workhorse. Commit to it, stick to it, and resist the desire to change. It may develop over time, however, the core statement should be something you are proud to preach over the years.
I would love to hear from you. What is the core message you are ready to commit to – one that will help your clients understand your purpose?
Sara Jantsch is the Director of Community at Duct Tape Marketing. It is Sara’s job to see to all the little things that make our community members feel appreciated, informed, special and looked after. She is also a Marketing Consultant and has a strong passion for working with small business owners. Connect with Sara on twitter.