Mind the messaging gap: Why brands are more interesting in person than in their marketing materials

I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve encountered that spring to life when I’m sitting across from an able sales or marketing person telling me about them. But on their websites and in their other marketing materials they are DOA. Why is that? Why don’t brands more often capture that same spirit of relevance and urgency and just plain interest in their written gear as they sometimes do in spoken communication?

#1 Lack of audience contact  When a capable sales person is talking to an actual living, breathing human being sitting they can pick up on verbal and none verbal cues on who that person is and what they’re interested in. This allows the the sales person to dial in their conversation to the aspect of their offering that their audience really cares about, and to cut out the generic stuff that makes their eyes glaze over. Take away that direct human contact, and brands tend to telescope out their messaging from the specific to the general, from the distinct to the generic. The solution to this is to do real first hand research on your customers and prospects by talking to them, and building their inputs into your messaging strategy.

#2 Lack of targeting  While it’s true that the larger the market you can access the more you can potentially sell, it’s also true that the less targeted the message, the weaker it is. Meaning you can go so broad in your messaging that you’re not really moving anyone to do anything. Brands that seek to talk to everyone, usually end up connecting with no one. On the other hand, when you focus on who your key audiences are, you can speak in a way that is more compelling and interesting, at least for them. This is why it’s vital to make strategic choices about who you’re talking to and who you’re not talking to.

#3 Lack of differentiation  When you sound like everyone else it’s just not that interesting. Or effective. This is fine for Big Gorilla brands that simply outmuscle everyone else with the sheer size and scope of their messaging presence. In their case, their dominance is their difference. But for the up-and-comers, the here-to- stay, and the struggling-to-make, differentiation is the spice of messaging. So it’s essential to do an analysis of what your competitors are saying and how they are positioning themselves in the marketplace. With that competitive analysis in hand, you can steer your messaging away from the maddening crowd and towards the open space when it can show up and be consumed more readily and with more interest.

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