How to discover your core marketing message

DSM Digital School of Marketing - core marketing message

Christine Kane, the famous songwriter turned professional business coach, emphasises that core marketing messages aren’t a brand’s mission statement or company culture: “They are the basis of your marketing, of everything you communicate.” These are messages that speak to the very purpose of your marketing. To find your core marketing message, questions need to be asked pertaining to the WHY behind your marketing. Is there a purpose to what you do? Are you able to solve people’s problems? This article looks at the essential parts of a marketing message, and how to identify your core marketing message:

Components of an excellent marketing message

Geoffrey James, the contributing editor of Inc.com, believes that there are components to every good core marketing message. Some of these are:

Get to the point

Weak core marketing messages are long, information-stuffed sentences that try and use the fanciest words possible. Strong ones keep it short and sweet, immediately expressing what is important.

A: “With Diabetes on the rise, we take pride in offering a sugar-free doughnut alternative.”

B: “We give diabetics the chance to enjoy doughnuts.”

Be original

Weak messages sound like they’re straight from an afternoon television infomercial. Strong core marketing messages say something new in a different way.

A: “Our award-winning memory foam mattresses support your spine completely, leaving you feeling great in the morning.”

B: “Rest your weary bones on an award-winning mattress.”

Use familiar language

Weak marketing messages try to be too formal, hoping that Joe Soap will think the brand fancy and do business with them. The strong core messages speak to the individual, in a language you’d use in conversation.

A: “We hope to reverse low literacy levels throughout the African continent.”

B: “Helping people read more in Africa.”

Core marketing message: How to identify yours

Christine Kane goes on to suggest that you can identify your core marketing message by asking yourself 3 questions, then try to answer 3 questions about your ideal client:

  1. How do you dismiss?

    Dismissing in this case refers to your self-limiting beliefs, like I’m just a chef, or there are already soo many plumbers in this city. Write down the ways you minimise your craft, and think about why you got into business and marketing in the first place.

  2. How do you work?

    Write down what the company does, as well as what you’re doing differently to your competitors. Think about what sets you apart from the crowd, and what you contribute to the market and the industry.

  3. What should you do?

    In other words, what does your industry expect you to do? What are the pre-conceived expectations? For example, “freelance copywriters can’t charge a lot because anyone can write.”

  4. What is the client doing wrong?

    Your answer shouldn’t be they’re not dealing with me. Brainstorm ideas on what your customers are struggling with in your field of expertise, and the manner in which your services or products can solve their problems.

  5. What does the client think?

    How do your publics and target audiences perceive you and your industry? For example, a misconception about submitting tax returns is that it’s easier just to do it yourself.

  6. What is your ideal client’s aspiration?

    Take a look at your target personas and brainstorm what they’d most likely have as life aspirations. Are they saving in order to put their children through university? Do they want to lose weight and look great?

As soon as you’ve written down the answers to these questions, take a look at what you have. Is there anything which jumps out at you? Do any of the answers you wrote down to speak to your central essence as a brand? The next step which you will be required to take is to sit down and then draft a core message. We say draft because you don’t want to settle on the first core message you come up with.

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