Diary of a Modern Marketer: The Power of Messaging

June 21, 2021 Victoria Cooling

Dear Diary,

It’s me, Victoria, Marketing Communications Manager at Danavation - computer software company. One thing I learned early in my career is that a marketing campaign is only as powerful as its messaging. No matter what your product is, if the copy is good enough, you can sell sand at a beach.

My first professional job in the marketing world was as a copywriter. Even though I graduated with degrees in English and Psychology, I was always fascinated by advertising and reasons why people buy. And in my opinion, a major component of marketing is understanding the motives that drive human behaviour and how to convey language that resonates with them.

After all, you could have the best product in the world, but if the messaging falls flat, your marketing efforts are going nowhere. Here’s my three-step guide to creating successful marketing copy, and spoiler alert: the writing itself is always last.

Step 1: Who is your customer?

We all know that identifying your target audience is Marketing 101. But many people fail to truly understand who the true target consumer is within that realm.

In my current role, I develop marketing communications for a rapidly growing technology company with a relatively new, cutting-edge product. While the tech-savvy bunch have a good understanding of the functionality of our product, the majority of consumers need different messaging.

As marketers, our goal is to get a product or service in front of the right person, aka the decision-maker. This means that before crafting your communications, you must make sure it will resonate with your target audience in a language they'll understand. Think about it: would you say the same thing about your product to an IT director at a software company and the CFO at a healthcare facility? Probably not.

Takeaway: Before crafting your message, think about who you are targeting and what words will resonate with them.

Step 2: What’s in it for them?

While marketing campaigns play a large role when it comes to influencing a purchasing decision, arguably the only thing a customer is thinking about when they see your messaging is “What’s in it for me?”

The best messaging doesn’t just focus product or service itself, but rather the problem-solving benefits it offers consumers.

Back when I was a copywriter, one of my clients was a huge international hockey brand. I was tasked with writing product information cards for every piece of equipment they sold.

Instead of writing copy that focused solely on the features of each product (which, quite frankly, can get boring for even the biggest hockey enthusiasts), my strategy was to focus on how these features would benefit the consumer on ice, and in turn, elevate their game.

Whether you're selling hockey sticks or handbags, it’s important to focus on the value it brings to consumers, rather than overloading them with unnecessary information. Personalize your marketing copy when you can, and always make sure it appeals to and solves for your consumers’ needs.

Takeaway: Focus your messaging on the consumer benefits rather than the product or service itself and its features.

Step 3: Crafting the message

Once you’ve determined who your target audience is and how your product will benefit them, the last, and arguably most important step, is crafting the copy itself!

With so many ads all around us—both online and offline—your message needs to cut through the noise and catch people’s attention. To help make your marketing copy more effective, try incorporating the following tips:

  1. 1. Keep it simple
    • In copywriting, less is more—9 out of 10 times, the simplest words are the best words to use
  2. 2. Write the way you speak
    • Consumers are more likely to relate to friendly and conversational language than something formal or too contrived
  3. 3. Avoid industry jargon
    • Unless you’re writing for a particular niche, try to identity things by their function rather than using industry-specific terms the reader won’t understand
  4. 4. Use an active voice
    • Active voice is clear, direct, and is easier to read than the passive voice, which makes for good writing (even author Stephen King said so!)
  5. 5. Always include a clear call to action
    • Motivates consumers to take action and is often the differentiator between a lead and conversion

And there you have it, diary. Now, it’s time to get back to writing.


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