As prospects clench their sweaty hands tightly around their shrinking budgets, even a whiff of confusion or doubt will kill the sale.
OK, perhaps a bit dramatic, but now is the time to sharpen your marketing strategy and certainly sharpen your marketing message. It’s time to cut the garbage and stop trying to be all things to all people — mainly because you can’t possibly do it well and it’s causing you to be no things to no people.
You must cause some drama with your marketing to get people off the fence. You must get your prospects to react one way or another. They must think, “Hey, you’re talking about me” or “I’m not who you’re after.” I love that or I hate that is a far better result than ambivalence.
You’ve got about five seconds to register an emotional response with a prospect or the job of convincing them they need what you do will increase exponentially. The way you do this is with evocative names, messages and positioning against something. Doing something bold, something unique, is how you kill ambivalence and get people talking about your products and services.
For example, my company name, Duct Tape Marketing, often makes people smile. But my prospect, the small business owner struggling to grow their business seems to get the essence of what we do, how we’re different, embodied within those words. I wish I could tell you I did tons of research to verify this prior to launching it, but hey, sometimes you get lucky and in this case, that name alone serves my business like few things could.
Sam Horn, author of POP!, relates a story about a bar that wanted to do something to make its happy hour stand out – they decided to promote bringing your dog to the outdoor patio and called it Yappie Hour.
A message like “We promise to take more than 60 minutes to create your glasses” is a great example of a company positioning itself as a full service provider in a world of quick fix solutions.
“Simply Birkenstock – it’s all we do” is a message that resonates with someone who wants a higher level of product knowledge and selection for a certain brand.
You don’t have to give in to cutesy gimmicks to get attention, but you do have to be willing to take a stand, narrow your market focus and commit to a message and strategy of differentiation that gets people moving in the direction of your business.