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Marketing 360® Blog

Who Are You Talking To, and What are You Saying?

Post By Scott Yoder | Content Marketing & SEO

Imagine you’re a comic hoping to embark on a successful career. Consider three scenarios.

In the first, you have fantastic material written for Millenials – jokes about social media, online dating, and living in the parent’s basement – that will have them rolling in the aisles. You’re prepared.

Then you go to your performance and it’s at a retirement community. Nobody in the audience is under the age of 80.

How will your act go?

Second, you’re a comedian getting started and you get a gig at a law firm’s company party. You go online, look up the firm and get a good idea of who will be in the audience.

But you don’t know any good lawyer jokes, and none are coming. So you go online to check out some general stuff from Jim Gaffigan and Dave Chappelle. You copy their jokes to make your own routine.

How will your act go?

In the third scene, you’ve really put together some awesome material. Funny stuff across the board that anybody with a job, family, or slight weight problem will find hysterical.

But the gig is at a Holiday Inn lounge on a Tuesday night. The place is basically empty and the few people in the seats aren’t paying attention. They came for a drink and don’t care about your act.

How will your act go?

It won’t go well in any of these three situations. You’re gonna bomb.

bad comedian
“Three guys walk into a bar…”

Now imagine another situation. You’re a business getting ready to invest thousands of dollars in marketing.

The problem is, you’re like the comics. You haven’t matched what you’re going to say with who you’re saying it to.

  • You have a message but you’re delivering it to the wrong people.
  • You don’t have a clear message so you can’t match it to an audience.
  • You have a strong message but can’t get anybody to listen.

If you were a comic, you’d be nervous going on stage knowing your act was about to flop.

But we see business start their marketing work all the time with no specific idea of what they want to say – or to whom.

This doesn’t lead to successful communication.

And marketing, like a comedy routine, is all about communication. All of the tactics and materials you use to communicate are ineffective if you haven’t dialed in a message to influence the thinking of a specific group of people.

So, before you start trying to market and advertise, get your message together:

  • What problem do you solve?
  • Who are the people who need this problem solved?
  • What are their options?
  • Who is your competition?
  • Why will someone choose you over your competition?
  • Why will people hesitate?
  • What fear or sense of risk are they feeling?
  • How does having the problem make people feel?
  • How will your solution make them feel?
  • What objections are people likely to bring up? How can you address them proactively?
  • What is the one thing everyone must know about your offer in order to understand its main value?

Answer these questions and put them together into a value proposition. Use them to develop a marketing strategy that outlines what you’re saying, who you’re saying it to, and why you expect them to care.

Do this before you create plans, set goals, outline tactics, or begin to execute work. After all, how can you design a website or plan an advertising campaign if you don’t know your audience, what you want to say to them, or what action you expect them to take?

If you don’t have your material together, don’t go on stage. It won’t be pretty.