I did not work directly for The Company but for a marketing specialist The Company had hired to help them revamp their website and improve their marketing results. Let’s call them “The Agency.”
In all, The Agency hired me to write on six separate occasions: four landing pages, a home page and an “About Us” page
I came up with some very strong messages for each landing page, each of which was for a different service The Company is marketing. The Agency must have thought so too, since they kept re-hiring me.
The home page was the fifth item they hired me to write. It was to include information about some of the services I’d already written about for the landing pages. As I worked on it, I began to feel a bit scattered.
There were messages I’d written for some of the landing pages which I thought would have been ideal for the home page—headlines and other copy that would have been excellent descriptions of The Company’s “Unique Value Proposition” (UVP, that quality or qualities that make them better or more desirable than their competition).
It was a bit like having Joe manufacture “some doors” and having Fred build “some walls” and having Ron construct “a roof” and then trying to jam all the parts together to make a house.
Build Your Marketing From the Top Down
It seemed to me that The Agency should have had me write the home page first. It’s an ideal place for a company to communicate its UVP. The company could then incorporate the UVP and related ideas into all of their marketing copy, thus creating a strong and consistent overall message.
But there is an even better way to achieve this consistency—before you ever write a home page or brochure or whatever you will use to introduce your product or service. This better way, which I am going to get to in a moment, strengthens your marketing impact and makes effective copywriting a no-effort affair.
Repetition of a Message
So The Agency ended up with several marketing pieces, each of which contained strong marketing copy (if I must say so myself) but all of which functioned more or less independently—each with its own messages but no consistent Company message.
That’s not the ideal scene.
So what is? Before I answer that, consider this:
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Coca-Cola”? You probably think “Coke Adds Life” or “Things Go Better with Coke.” Perhaps even Coke’s red and white “wave” logo. Though they have used other tag lines and images in their long history, these are some of their more enduring ones for me (and I don’t even drink the stuff).
This kind of brand identity is what any company wants if they wish to be successful. In other words, you want the public to identify your product or service with a certain concept: your UVP, the thing you do best, which the customer benefits from.
You can only achieve that through repetition of a particular message or messages. As copywriter Casey Demchak has so succinctly put it:
Repetition builds reputation.
The Chaos of Random Messaging
It is an acknowledged phenomenon in marketing circles that inconsistent messaging reduces conversions. For instance, if a shoe company’s pay-per-click add says “Shoes that massage your feet” but their landing page header is “Shapes and tones while you walk,” a significant number of people who encounter it will search elsewhere for shoes. That’s what inconsistent/mixed/conflicting messaging can be counted on to do.
Can you imagine if some new cola company did that? The lack of repetition of a single or carefully-crafted group of messages would result in no impression on the public. They would never gain any reputation. Mostly likely, they would fade away.
On the other hand, consider the following brands. Large segments of the public immediately know what these companies are about—an effect achieved through repetition of a message:
- Chevy trucks are dependable (“Like a Rock,” “…the most dependable, longest-lasting pickups on the road”)
- Apple Computers are innovative yet simple life-style products (“The Computer for the Rest of Us,” “Think Different,” “It just works”)
- WalMart saves you money (“Save Money, Live Better,” “Always Low Prices”)
Each of these companies’ messages may have been repeated in their ads for years or decades.
This is true for companies and is true for their new product offerings, each of which needs its own messages.
Use This for Consistent Messaging
So how can you ensure that messaging is consistent? How can you get on the road to building a strong reputation?
It’s called a Key Message Copy Platform.
The Platform contains the guiding concepts and messaging about your product/service.
These concepts and messaging are worked out by you, with or without the help of a copywriter (though a copywriter will know all the questions to ask).
It is the master document for all copy you will produce for your product or service. Among other things, the Platform contains:
- Headlines and taglines
- Description of voice and tone of marketing copy
- Descriptive key words that apply to various aspects of the product or business
- Descriptions of how the product or company provides value
- Messages for overcoming objections
- a whole lot more…
The Platform contains the Key Messages about your product and service that must be in every marketing piece in order to bring about the repetition that establishes your reputation.
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
So, when you need to write a landing page, an email sequence, brochure or whatever, you don’t have create it from scratch.
The key messaging—those ideas you want the public to identify with your product/service—has already been worked out. Refer to the Platform before creating your next marketing piece. Incorporate the key messages.
This ensures consistent marketing messages, so your prospects and customers get a consistent understanding of your product/service.
With repetition of a consistent message, you arrive at a reputation. People know who you are, what you do, what you’re good at and how it benefits them.
Do It First
I now try to guide my clients to create a Platform, particularly when it’s evident that they don’t have anything guiding their marketing. Hiring a copywriter to create a Platform is not a budget-buster and is often be the best use of your marketing dollars, for the effect it will have on all future marketing efforts and the establishment of your reputation.
Sounds good, doesn't it? Call me 323-646-2469 or email me and let's discuss your marketing goals.