Key Message

Category: Marketing Strategies & Tips Tags:

How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan that Yields ROI • Part 6 of 9

Before you begin to develop your key message, make sure you’ve finished your Situational Analysis. You should have chosen the target that you’ll be focusing on and have a clear understanding of what value prop you’ll be going with. Visit customer analysis and competitor analysis chapters for more information

Who should be involved

This part of the process should be left up to your marketing team or individual. This person should gather and sift through all the information that’s been gathered and devise a key message. After reviewing the checklist outlined below, show it to the team and make sure it’s something that the entire organization can stand behind and support. It is important since this will be the first and last thing you emphasize with everyone, including your clients, friends and potential customers.

Preface

At this point, it’s time to take a closer look at your chosen target, solidified value proposition and your finalized vision. Your vision is your destination point – the goal. Your target is who you need to help you achieve your vision. And your value proposition is the brand promise used to help you move your target towards helping you achieve your vision. If you’re finding this target does not resonate with your value prop, then it needs to be revisited and realigned with your customer.

The key message is a strategic way to communicate your value prop to your customer. It’s one consistent message that you want to be known for. This may evolve over time with strategic goals for the year, but for first timers, it’s important to emphasize your value prop in this key message to the public.

Tennis Ball Concept

Most organizations have a slew of reasons or key messages intended to drive home why you should work with them – best prices, best value, best quality, trustworthy, they care, great customer service, expertise in a vertical, etc. Imagine each of your key messages represents one tennis ball (i.e., Best price, best value, best quality, are 3 main key messages). If I had 10 tennis balls/key messages and at a conference, I encounter an excellent prospective client and I try to pass them 10 tennis balls in hopes they might be attracted to one of them. They will catch maybe 5 of them. And if she tosses the 5 tennis balls she caught to her friend who fits a similar profile, this friend may catch 2 of them. I have no control over which tennis ball or message she ends up with.

On the other hand, if I toss a prospective client one key message that I know resonates with my ideal client, I’m positive that she’ll catch that one ball. So, if she recommends us to someone else, she’ll toss that one key message to her friend and when they approach us, I’ll know exactly which key message to drive home. This helps solidify our key message and reinforce the sale.

What a good key message does is deter unwanted clients, saving your team a lot of wasted time on prospective clients that don’t fit the profile.

DESIGNING YOUR KEY MESSAGE

Now you should have all the resources to be able to define a great key message. Looking at our value proposition, we know the meat of the message – this is the anchor to your message. If the value prop is “Great Customer Service”, then you know that whatever your key message is, it needs to be conveying that you have great customer service.

Look to your key target to decide how you say it. Make sure that how you say it resonates with your target demographic. If your customer analysis does reflect that reliability is a big issue in their decision-making process than you may want to ensure there’s a way that you can portray this in your key message. If these factors contradict or remove the focus from your value prop, leave it out.

This may result in a key message like “Excellent service every time”. Try to stay away from cliché, sales-y words or phrases. Don’t worry about the call to action in the key message – that will come later. Just make sure that it’s as short and concise as possible.

Application

Once you’ve defined a precise key message, it’s time to expand on it. The focus is on reinforcing the main goal. In the medium and long version, you can dive into some of your other key messages but it’s important that it obviously reflects.

Key Message (1 Sentence or Fragment)

Short Version (50 Words Max)

This is used for your elevator pitch, used in presentations, quick introductions and any situation where you need a quick verbal or written brief on your organization. This can be used as your social media one-liners. Some may even put it on their business cards and creative materials.

Medium Version (150 Words Max)

This version is used for quick bios on your organization. This may be used in media to introduce the organization, will be used in bios for individuals that represent your organization, etc.

Long Version (250 Words Max)

This is for reports and your website where you need to elaborate a bit more on your organization. Always try to use shorter versions first unless it’s necessary to use this one.

Key Message Example:

Key Message

Creating authentic industry leaders.

Short Version (50 Words Max)

We create authentic industry leaders through our marketing plan-first approach. Our strategy-led process has garnered us national and international awards, but more importantly, has won us the trust and loyalty of our clients who continue to work with our agency year after year. We provide peace of mind by ensuring we maximize every resource available to us; our centralized team works together so that your marketing strategy is both focused and effective.

Medium Version (150 Words Max)

We create authentic industry leaders through our marketing plan-first approach. Our strategy-led process has garnered our agency both national and international awards, but more importantly long lasting, trusting relationships – even friendships – with our clients. Our centralized team ensures your marketing strategy is focused and effective. We begin by understanding your organization’s roots and core values; this allows us to establish your authentic voice and messaging that will resonate with your target audience. Our process naturally draws audiences that relate to your values, which builds authentic long-term relationships with your brand. Our approach ensures that we maximize every resource available to us and provides our clients with peace of mind.

Long Version (250 Words Max)

We create authentic industry leaders through our marketing plan-first approach. Our strategy-led process has garnered our agency both national and international awards, but more importantly long lasting, trusting relationships – even friendships – with our clients. With a centralized team working together, the execution of your marketing strategy is focused and effective. Our approach ensures that we maximize every resource available to us and provides our clients with valuable peace of mind.

One of the greatest benefits of authenticity in marketing is the opportunity for organizations to reconnect with their roots and core values. We take the time to understand your organization so we can establish the authentic voice and message that will resonate with your target audience. Our process naturally draws audiences that connect with your values, thereby building genuine and long-term relationships between your audience and your brand.

What audiences are expecting of brands and organizations alike, are becoming progressively more sophisticated. By listening to the community, we’ve heard the public’s yearning for more authentic messages. Instead of chasing the latest industry trend, today’s audiences are seeking much more than just a product or service. They’re seeking brands that align with their values. Both marketing and communications are becoming more accountable for celebrating their brand’s authentic selves, and it’s our belief that when brands embrace who they are, that in and of itself, is worth celebrating.

After the marketing plan is done, it’s very important to ensure that your branding, website and staff are relaying the same key message. Whether that’s updating your taglines or cleaning up the copy on your website and creative material, train your staff to ensure that they all have a consistent way to talk about the organization (one tennis ball).


Check out all our posts in this series!

 


Tammy Tsang

Tammy Tsang is the Founder of My Loud Speaker Marketing, which has been providing successful campaigns to major clients for over six years. Her company has attained glowing recommendations from prestigious organizations such as the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, University of British Columbia, BC Cancer Agency, and more. She is also the founder of XYBOOM Intergenerational Organization, which runs an annual conference on topics surrounding intergenerational relationships in the workplace.

My Loud Speaker Marketing | Creative Strategies. Authentic Approach. Proven Results. We Get Sh*t Done.