Maven Tips: Messaging Mistakes

Rules of the Road > Messaging Mistakes

Is your messaging really working for you? Is it based on a well-defined positioning strategy? Does it speak directly to your customers ~ about their needs, wants and desires… in their language, from their perspective? Does it convey your unique value in a way that’s clear, concise and consistent?

Getting messaging *right* is critical for all businesses ~ for entrepreneurial companies, it’s pretty much a make or break deal. Here are some of the common messaging mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid…

Kitchen sink messaging

When your messaging tries too hard to “cover all the bases” and leave no one out ~ the end result is that it speaks to no one. Trying to be everything to everyone is not only impossible, it sends a signal to the market that you’re unfocused and lacking clear direction. If potential customers read your marketing and have no idea of the specific value you offer, or how it relates to them, they’re off to the next contender (over and out).

Head scratch messaging

Have you ever read a website or brochure, several times, and still had no clue what the company does? Me too, all the time. If your marketing leaves folks scratching their heads, you’ve lost a precious opportunity to create a connection with them. When your messaging is overly complex, vague or confusing, the potential customer gives up (throws in the towel and moves on).

Kool-Aid messaging

This is what happens when a company “drinks the Kool-Aid” and becomes intoxicated by it. It’s easy to get caught up in your own world, where the center of the universe is the product you’re offering… after all, those bells and whistles are pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, folks aren’t going to care about all that, unless your marketing makes them care ~ by clearly conveying the unique value you offer (and what it means to them).

Yeah, right messaging

Yes, your messaging should absolutely put your best foot forward and tell your story in a way that’s bold and compelling. However, if it comes across as too grandiose, or if it makes claims that seem (on the surface) to be unbelievable, then folks are left wondering… about the reality of what you’re offering and the truth of your promises. That calls your credibility into question. (Obviously, that’s deadly.)

Me too messaging

I know, sometimes it’s just hard to stand out. Often, your competitors are saying things that you believe are “more true” about your company or product, but if your messaging mimics theirs, or generally sounds like everyone else ~ if it doesn’t capture and convey your value in a way that’s clearly unique ~ then folks are gonna see you as just another sheep in the herd (or is that the flock?).

Messaging du jour

Okay, here it is… the Maven’s #1 Hall of Fame messaging pitfall ~ messaging that changes as fast, and as often, as central Texas weather. When your core messaging is constantly shifting (without a validated reason or a managed approach), nothing sticks, nobody gets it, you stake no clear ground in the marketplace. Game over (unless you fix that fast).

Ding, Ding… Ringing any bells?

If any of these messaging problems resonate with you… you’re not alone. Creating messaging that works is hideously hard ~ actually, it’s probably the biggest challenge you face in your marketing. Messaging needs to be based on a well-defined positioning strategy ~ the essential foundation for capturing and conveying the true value you deliver to your customers.

If you’d like an assessment of your current messaging… drop me a line.