Cut through the clutter, make your message heard

Cut through the clutter, make your message heardThere’s so much noise in the business world. Everyone wants to be heard, and at the same time consumers are becoming savvier – and more immune to the old tricks of advertising and marketing.

So as a business owner, how do you stand out from the crowd and make sure your message resonates with the people you want it to?

At its most basic, standing out from the crowd means delivering your marketing message in a way that is different from all your competitors and highlighting what is special about your offer. Remind your customers why they should give you their hard earned cash over someone else. Dominate their attention.

Consider the competition

Before you can do anything better than your competitors, you need to know what they’re doing. Analyse their marketing – look at the design and type of language, where they advertise and what social media channels they are on.

  • What are they doing well?
  • How are they appealing to their target market?
  • Is there something they could be doing better?

Once you know their strengths and weaknesses, you know where challenges – and opportunities – lie for you. It might be difficult to beat them at the things they do really well. But you can definitely step up in the areas where they fall down.

Find your point of difference

Work out what it is about your product or service that your competitors cannot offer – this is your point of difference. That’s what you should highlight in your marketing collateral.

To work out what this is, ask yourself:

  • Is there something that annoys you about your industry? Change the practice.
  • Do the unexpected. If your industry is normally serious, inject humour or a conversational tone.
  • Where does your market overlap with your competitors’? Perhaps you could target a subset or niche in the market.
  • Make yourself look like a leader, an authority in your field – someone people inside and outside the industry look to for advice and insight.

Great marketing material always has a great offer – something that your market needs and wants, and can’t get elsewhere.

Message + delivery: the perfect marketing mix

Once you’ve nailed down what makes you so special, you can start promoting it. Creative marketing and copywriting can really help small businesses stand out from the crowd when everyone is offering similar products or services.

Here are four top tips:

  • Use the right mediums for your audience. Where do your customers hang out? What do they do in their day-to-day life? Target them in these places.
  • Remember your competitors’ weaknesses? Now is the time to capitalise on those. If their web design is top notch but their writing is littered with clichés, invest in punchy, pitch perfect copy that will hook your audience in, and keep the design features sleek and pared back. If they’ve done some great videos but their publicity stunts tend to fail, perhaps you could do a better one.
  • Keep information simple. Your audience will only remember a few key messages, so there’s no point bombarding them with content. Be clear on what they should understand and do. Communicate visually where possible – images express ideas in a snapshot. We process them 60,000 times faster than text.
  • Connect emotionally. Tell a story where your customer could imagine themselves as the hero. Relate to your audience’s own experience.

Getting the people you want to pay attention to your message involves planning and strategy. It’s about what you say – but more often, it’s about how you say it. Think carefully about your audience, measure the effectiveness of your strategies, and learn from what works and what doesn’t.

How do you cut through the clutter? We’d love to hear from you below.

 

Comments

  1. I think I am still in the early stages of cutting through the clutter. I have a pretty broad range of people I coach, which has made it hard to develop my message. I am considering narrowing my focus. It seems like it would be so much easier to market if I eliminate some of my offerings. I may try it for the next month or two and see what happens. It will be a good learning experiment.

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      I went through the same challenge when I started… I found that narrowing my focus gave me a clearer picture of who I wanted to target. All the best.

  2. Stacey Myers says:

    I think showcasing your point of difference is very important. I am still working out exactly what mine is. Although I feel I am well on the way.

    Thanks!

  3. I believe we distinguish ourselves in several ways. Our jewelry- each piece is beautiful, our photography & website is visually appealing, our blogs provide real content as well as product and are spectacular to read. I ‘m not saying other jewelry designers dont have great stuff, etc, I just know we work with a coach on strategy, content, etc to provide a total experience.

    • Vicky Savellis-Grant says:

      Agree with you Roslyn that providing outstanding total customer experience can make a difference. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Great ideas about how to distinguish yourself from the competition. And if you don’t know who your target market is, it’s kind of hard to find them and speak to them. Super tips all, Vicky. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  5. Cheryl Gnad says:

    You gave a very helpful tip on seeing if you as a business can up the value of your competitors’ failings or weaknesses for YOUR message and offerings! Yes, sometimes we can REALLY compete on what they do well on but we might be able to on what they don’t. Thank you.

  6. We definitely need to be clear in our message and find a way to set us apart from our competitor. Great tips!

  7. Carol Rundle says:

    I think the most important part of marketing is to remember that we attract who we are. By identifying who you are and why you’re in business, you are, in essence, identifying your target market and how to reach them.

  8. Katarina says:

    To be clear on what we can do, and how we are different from the competitors and to know which channels to use is all very crucial. Great article.

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