Promotions

Marketing Messages – What Really Gets Customers Through The Door

Would you buy your wine from Dan Murphy’s because they take “pride” in “offering the lowest liquor price guarantee?” Your new plasma TV from Retravision Online because they “guarantee to beat any advertised competitor price?” When your nephew or niece’s birthday arrives, will you purchase your present from Toys R Us because they promise their “prices can’t be beat”, and that they’ll “match any advertised price?” These retailers wouldn’t lie to you… or would they?

According to the University of East Anglia, lowest-price guarantees can actually work against consumers, potentially pushing prices up and discouraging them from shopping around. So, in fact, lowest or best price guarantees are not good indicators that a store is cheaper than its competition. Why, then, do we keep returning to and buying from these businesses? Well it’s pretty simple – you’re a marketing message sucker.

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the small print. We as consumers don’t bother reading that: “In some cases there are prices which Retravision Online cannot match,” “The competitor store must be within 10 kilometres of Dan Murphy’s,” or that the Toys ‘R Us guarantee “Excludes competitor’s category or storewide discounts, conditional sales, package deals, discontinued lines, loyalty or third party offers, fire or liquidation sales, clearance/warehouse outlets.”

Marketing messages should excite customers with what you can do for them.

Our eyes and wallets are dazzled by lowest price guaranteed slogans. So what does this mean for the average business owner? You need to think about what you are selling to your customers. Retravision, Dan Murphy’s, and Toys ‘R Us aren’t telling consumers they’ve been in production for however many years, who they’re owned by, where they source their materials from, or where they hope their business will take them. Why? Because people just don’t care.

Most consumers have one thing they care about more than anything else. You need to work out what it is and sell it to them – whether it’s getting the product to them quicker, being cheaper than your competitors, or by ensuring that the quality is the best on the market. So, if your business has been running since 1969, don’t give them a history lesson from that year – it’s useless and frankly, it’s boring! Instead, mention that with over 40 years of experience under your belt they won’t be paying for you to learn on the job.

If your production takes place locally with locally sourced products, don’t just focus on the fact that this supports the community. Tell your customers because it’s right next door, it’s fresher and faster! In the event there is a problem, you’ll be able to solve it a hell of lot quicker because you have the part right on your shelf – they don’t have to wait weeks for shipping. And, in years to come when a part needs replacing – you’ll be able to do it for them – they won’t have to scour eBay for a part that hasn’t been manufactured in years.

To ensure your business can compete– you need marketing messages that excite customers with what you can do for them. Instead of dropping your pants on prices that might see a short term spike in sales, opt for something that will provide you with long term growth. Find the most compelling features of your business, and sell them.

– Steph

Marketing Messages – Some Harsh Truths

If you’re not selling as much as you used to or sales have petered out, your marketing messages are no good. I know, it’s hard to hear – and it’s supposed to be. This is a wake-up call.

Sure, we could blame it on the market or customers being more frugal with their hard earned dollars. But the truth is you can sell in any climate to anyone if your marketing messages are on-point.

What I mean by on-point is this: are they focused on your target market? Is your audience receiving these messages regularly and through a variety of mediums? And finally is the content of your marketing messages high quality and relevant? If you can’t tick all three, then you may as well be shouting your marketing messages down a well with your fingers in your ears.

Are your Marketing Messages focused?

In 2013, Dove launched their ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign to prove to women that they are more beautiful than they think. Knowing that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful, Dove used this to create a powerful message that resonated with their audience. This message is an extension of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, and the video became one of the most shared videos of all time.

Are your Marketing Messages consistent?

When Motorola launched their ultra customisable Moto X smartphone, their message was simple: this is a smartphone that can be customised to match your personality. The customisation was the key and that’s what they pushed through outdoor initiatives like bus shelters and storefronts that changed colour to match the clothing of the viewer. They even created an interactive print ad that allowed readers to change the colour of the phone on the page using polycarbonate paper and LED light pipes.

Are your Marketing Messages of high quality?

You don’t need a million dollar budget to create highly relevant, high quality content. Kit Cosmetics keep note of customer purchases and email them around the time those purchases are likely to run out. For example, if you purchase a 50g tub of face moisturiser, they know it has a three month lifespan and will email you similar products in three months time. Simple, yet highly effective.

It’s no longer enough for you to spend an hour banging out a sales email on a Monday morning, firing it out on a Tuesday and expecting results on the Wednesday. You need to convince your audience what you’re promoting is worth their time, attention and most importantly of all, their money. Here’s the kicker: all that takes time.

On average, a person will need at least seven exposures to a business’ marketing messages before taking action. The more your target audience is exposed to your message, the more they will recognise it. It’s this recognition which builds familiarity, which in turn builds trust. Once they trust you, they will be open to being sold to.

Multiple exposures to marketing messages – quality marketing messages – aren’t just a pleasantry, they’re a necessity. A lone, well-worded email simply won’t cut it. Your audience needs to see your marketing messages everywhere. In bite sized pieces of information on social media, in downloadable PDFs that offer them value & insight, in banner ads, radio ads, from their neighbour’s mouth – everywhere.

Your target audience isn’t trying to make your life difficult – they are expecting you to work hard for their loyalty. If you can create great, value-adding content that regularly appears in, and is relevant to, their situation you will have them. Remember, you have to give to get.

Now take a few minute, make yourself a cup of coffee and ask yourself: what marketing messages are you sending out? Are they consistent? Are they of high quality or value? And finally, are they appearing everywhere they could be?

– Lachy

Exceeding Expectations

Outside of my hours at Messages On Hold, I have a little creative side project that occupies my time and I recently ordered some promotional materials for it from a popular print house.

Now, this print house is no louse when it comes to customer service. They have successfully implemented an online ordering system that allows you to upload your own designs and place orders safe in the knowledge that things like overrun bleed lines won’t ruin the batch. You used to have to drive down to the store, talk to a printer representative and even pay a file handling fee. Now it’s done from the comfort of your own home. They also offer predesigned promotional material that you can customise and it’s all competitively priced.  After placing your order, you’re offered significant discounts if you buy something else within half an hour. Very clever. These guys are on the ball… mostly.

My order was for 30 pages of promotional stickers. A week later I had received 2 packs of 10, so I called to inform them of the mistake. The customer service representative was efficient and competent. I explained the situation and she concluded on the spot that there must’ve been an error and that she would send through the remainder of the order.

Do this. Not literally. But also literally.

Do this. Not literally. But also literally.

This company has empowered their customer reps to make these kinds of decisions without looking to a superior. Big tick, Kym Illman would approve. They’re also banking on the fact that they did actually stuff up and I wasn’t just trying to scam them out of another 10 pages. The cost of being scammed was significantly less than the cost of possibly insulting a paying customer. The call wrapped up and I received an email saying the package would be express delivered.

Good job, right? Almost. I was a frustrated customer, they admitted fault and now I’m back to where I started with a little lost time and some mild frustration. Will I go back to them? Maybe… sure they fixed the mistake as soon as they found out about it, but maybe one of their many competitors won’t stuff up the first time. I have nothing to lose by trying someone else.

Instead, imagine if the conversation ended like this:

“Please accept our apologies for the missing pages. We’ll quickly get those 10 pages out to you.  We would also like to send you a further 10 pages for any inconvenience that may have been caused.”

I suspect those extra 10 pages would’ve cost them very little to print and they would’ve likely gained a delighted lifelong customer whose expectations had been clearly exceeded.

When faced with a disgruntled customer, realise you’re being presented with an opportunity. It’s a rare case of someone actively engaging with your business with an explicit expectation. Take that expectation by the horns and run with it. You’ll find delighted customers are great for business.

– Jakub