Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Focus Your Message

(1:07) Previously, I introduced you to "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by Al Ries & Jack Trout and highlighted Law # 15 - Candor.

(1:01) Law #5 is Focus: The key to success in marketing is to find an effective way to come to own a word in the mind of the prospect.

(0:57) To me this says that to be truly successful you must be able to concisely state why (and where) you win. You want some word or concept that defines you against your competition. When looking for this word or concept Ries & Trout recommend:

  • The simpler the better.
  • You can't focus on any word that doesn't have proponents for the opposite point of view. (For example, you can't own the word "quality", because everybody stands for that and nobody stands for "the lack of quality".)
  • The narrower and more precise the focus, the more you will achieve.
  • The most effective words are benefit oriented.

(0:45) This reinforces a concept I've discussed before about the importance of knowing what defines your "perfect customer." While the notion of "everyone is our customer" may seem appealing, in reality it leads to a lack of focus which leads to a waste of resources.

(0:38) Find your focus and make that the emphasis of everything you do.

(0:35) Closely related is Law #6, Exclusivity: No two companies can own the same word in the mind of the prospect or customer.

(0:31) Trying to steal away the word or concept already owned by a competitor will only serve to reinforce their position in the market. Asking people to change their minds about a notion will only make them uncomfortable. They will do so infrequently. In reality, using your competitor's word or concept will only make them think of your competitor.

(0:21) You must find a unique word that you can focus on owning by discovering what makes you different from your competition. Then focus on owning that word. Use it throughout your marketing, even consider using it for the password to your WiFi access.

(0:11) Is there a boater who has cruised through the US East Coast that hasn't heard, "32 ounce prime rib" and not thought of Coinjock Marina?

(0:06) Find your focus, use it consistently, and you can win the minds of your potential customers. That's good for business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.