Marketing Materials That Make the Audience “Care”
Whether it’s the one person firm or the largest organization, we often get asked to review, enhance or create marketing materials to better tell the story for the firm. We’re blessed with clients who are doing great work, who know their business and who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their clients happy.
Why, then, so many times when we review what’s being presented do we walk away feeling “blah” about what we have read? For us, it’s as if we are reading the same presentation over and over again with a different firm name appearing on the front cover.
Here’s what’s often wrong:
- The firm name is all that appears – prominently. We call this the “look at US” approach to presenting.
- It’s so much information that we get to slide, or page, 5 or 6 and we’re bored out of our minds about what we’re reading.
- The “same old, same old” problem – same words everyone uses, same approach to telling the story and same “value proposition”.
So, what to do to make your story come alive? Here are 5 key points to telling your story in a way that makes the audience care:
- Step into their shoes. The truth may be that you are the greatest firm ever, but you should let the person hearing your presentation come to that conclusion. Tell your story in a way that makes the person listening, or reading say “Ah-hah, this firm is great”, instead of trying to win them over with your greatness. Subtle messages about what you do well, and how you do them well work so much better, and the best messages are those geared around what the audience really cares about – not about what your firm really cares about.
- Less is more. Cut back the number of words you use and themes you are trying to get across in one place. If the prospect or client wants more, have supporting documentation to give further details. Don’t overwhelm them with data and information.
- Allow time to interact. When presenting, don’t have a complete “data dump” approach. Work in times to ask them what they are thinking and understanding and what they want to know more about. In written materials, consider offering less information so someone has to call you and ask questions or react to what you’ve written.
- Be clear about what you are truly trying to accomplish with marketing material. What’s the purpose? What does “success look like” when the reader, or audience finishes? Tailor the information for the purpose intended. Don’t use the same approach and materials for all situations. The core messaging, your “value prop” should stay the same, but tailor how you incorporate those messages for the situation and the needs.
- Have the call to action clearly stated. What do you want the audience to do? What’s the next step? How should they think/feel or act when they leave your materials behind? Make it clear what they need to do to work with you, or understand more about you.
Simple changes can make a world of difference – remember the focus really is on the audience. If you only complete step number one, stepping into their shoes, you’ll have created an approach to delivering your message that far surpasses most of your competition.