A sign outside a pub in Ireland reads:
“Husband Crèche. Is he getting under your feet?? Why not leave him here while you shop? Free crèche, just pay for his drinks!“
The word “crèche” roughly translates to a child’s day care center. I love this sign, and not just because it sits outside a pub (although that does have its attractions). It’s a great sign because it meets all the criteria for a great go-to-market message. It certainly resonates with me and everyone I share it with.
Let’s go through the key components of a great marketing message:
Ask yourself, “who is the message intended for, what role do they play in an organization, and what are their responsibilities?” For the message to resonate, you need a clear idea of the person’s position in the organization. If you don’t know the responsibilities of your audience you may generate a bland and undifferentiated message—one of no interest to them. A message to a CIO will be different from one aimed at a CEO. It’s important to be clear who you’re targeting.
You’ve got to get the attention of your audience with a message that impacts them personally.
Focus on a common business issue your target audience is facing. How does it impact them personally? The personal impact is the important bit. For example, a company’s inability to get shipments out on time may be a problem for the company, but it only becomes a true pain when it directly impacts an individual. If the supply chain manager is struggling to get products shipped on time and it’s her responsibility to get the problem fixed—without the tools, systems or capabilities she needs—then there’s a business issue with a personal aspect to it. The personal pain point is a great motivating factor. The litmus test is, if the business issue potentially keeps your target prospects awake at night—then they are already looking for a solution.
This is how you shine. Your proposition is where you show how your solution enables the audience to fix the issue and eliminate further sleepless nights. You do need to make your proposition compelling and unique. To do this, look at the assets you have in your company—your people, your products and solutions, your client list, the fact that you’ve been in business for many years— and pick the things that make you unique. Show your audience how your differentiators help solve pressing business issues, and you’re well on the way to creating a unique value proposition.
One of my recent clients went through this exercise and discovered that they were the only bricks-and-mortar consulting organization in their county with an on-site data center. By making the data center a key component of the solutions they offered, they created a value proposition that was unmatched in their market.
The pitch brings it all together. You link the position, pain and proposition into a clearly defined message. What better example could I give than my favorite pub sign: Husband Crèche, is he getting under your feet? Why not leave him here while you SHOP! Free Crèche, just pay for his drinks.
- Position: The Wife
- Pain: The husband getting under the wife’s feet while she’s shopping
- Proposition: Leave him in the pub while you shop
- Pitch: The crèche is free—you just pay for his drinks
I wonder how many
pints of Guinness