If you were to come across one of your customers on the street and ask them if they knew everything your company does, do you think they would know the answer? While I don’t want to make assumptions, an educated guess would tell me no. I say that because this is a trend I’m seeing too often among businesses. In fact, nine times out of 10 while interviewing my client’s customers they don’t know the full scale of a company’s services. And the likely culprit is your messaging.
As a marketer, I’ve seen this happen often. Many companies start as very tactical – they’re trying to understand who they are still, figuring out what they may offer, and taking whatever work they can. As they mature and can take on more work and bring on more people, they subsequently become more strategic. But their brand messaging often fails to evolve with it. As a result, they fail to communicate to their current customers how they’ve changed, losing opportunities to upsell, while also not communicating their full suite of options or full brand story to potential new customers. This is why it’s important for companies to continue to look at their high level brand and corporate messaging and positioning. They should be re-evaluating this every year and making sure it’s communicated to current customers and to sales teams so they can bring in new customers.
Here are a few tips to take into consideration when crafting (and updating) your brand messaging:
- Customer interviews. The best way to know what your customers’ wants and needs are, is to ask them. Customer interviews are invaluable and can give you insight into what they are buying most, what they wish was offered, how they see you as a company, and how they think about buying. This information will help inform messaging that will connect directly with them, ultimately helping you scale.
- Clearly call out services. Be specific about your services, map them out regularly, and make sure the entire company is on the same page about what they are.
- Language is important. Oftentimes, people get hung up on trying to say things in different or unique ways, but when it comes to talking about your services, sometimes simple is best. Think about how your customers buy. What words are they looking for, for instance? If you try creating a unique word for your service that doesn’t resonate, chances are people will have a harder time connecting. If you’re doing design work, don’t aim for some unicorn design. Keep it simple and something that will land with the broadest audience.
- Make it consistent. From your website, one pagers and call sheets, to any sales enablement materials, social media posts, blogs, and beyond, make sure your services are listed and your messaging is consistent throughout every brand touchpoint. By taking this into consideration at the onset, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. So whether someone is reading one of your newsletters or talking to one of your account managers, they will never question all the various ways you serve your customers.
- Future proof it. One of the biggest traps our customers fall into when they first come on to a project is boxing themselves in. Service companies, in particular, have a tendency to start out as tactical, but as you grow and scale as a company, you have to also be strategic. This doesn’t mean you have to be a Deloitte or McKenzie, but you do have to show that you can think strategically about the things you’re doing by laying the foundation for what’s to come. Make sure you leave room to grow into your messaging.
While these are all valuable tips, they’ll only go so far if every customer touch point (and beyond) isn’t on the same page. From sales people, call centers and your website, to email communications and social media channels, consistency and clarity is imperative. Don’t just talk about all the areas you cover – give examples. And when it comes to human interactions, be sure to show it. This ties directly back to your values and how they’re being conveyed through your teams and how they approach gigs.
If you’re looking for help in this area, or have any questions about what was discussed in this blog, please reach out to [email protected].