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All eCommerce websites put out their best way forward to promote their products, services, customer experience using various tools, processes, and of course what they say and customers testify to the above. However, in the middle of all this are the words being said – from setting expectations to the experience taken away from the journey of your product/service.
Impact of Messaging
It can be said that if you don’t have a good story to say about how you propose to sell your products/services you will end up with a poor response in sales, B2B support, or even product reviews. Messaging is a key component of marketing your business, and if the message is poor, all other underpinnings of your marketing fall to the lowest common denominator. This is why medium to large companies take messaging extremely seriously through dedicated individuals to create, review, edit, translate and use focus groups to confirm those messages – which eventually emerge in the marketing materials.
Without good messaging, you cannot expect good performance online, or offline.
What’s good Messaging?
It can also be said that if your intended audience can resonate with your intended message, then you are “in-tune” with your audience. Ok, so what does that mean? To understand this, it requires you to break it down in how the mind of your audience will process your words such that they comprehend, and drive their (at times emotional) response to what you hope to achieve. There are several steps a person goes through in looking at your information. Leaving the plethora of ways to reach a client aside, and focusing on what you would expect from eCommerce there is still a very large space to organize and map the client journey from advertisement to their customer satisfaction survey.
A good messaging strategy starts from the first client touch as a journey they experience to the customer satisfaction survey past the sales and service engaged.
What contribution does Messaging have on success?
Most Marketing firms would challenge anyone that if you don’t have your Messaging in place, you are doomed to fail, just like we previously covered. However, Messaging is a key ingredient of a larger pot of marketing tools that reinforces what you intend to communicate/convey. Let’s talk about these are tools:
– Products and services: A good description of the products/service is not enough. Too technical you might lose your audience, or too vague will not capture them either. The use of comparisons, like product reviews, competitive reviews and awards are key for your organization to bring to your message on bringing that confidence-building message to your clients. Testimonials by your existing clients, social media influencers, your blogs, your portfolio of engagements with the community, the industry, and how they resonate back to your company’s values are all in play.
Your message starts at the top, and is cultural – success is seen by its sales, the performance of your product/service and how you stand behind it. Combined with an industry need and high client satisfaction you will see the horizon of success.
Barriers to a successful Messaging Strategy?
What stands in its way to reach that horizon, is Access and Price. If your audience falls in love with what you are offering and their need is great – if it is out of reach, you take that emotional attraction to a turn-off to which you might feel that the effort in bringing them to that point was just wasted.
Price: This component competes with the messaging and unlike Messaging which has limits in law, regulations, company standards; Price can be any number or currency. Obviously a “reasonable” Price is being put forward, how it’s done can be complex at times and can distract from the Message. Schemes, Discounts, Promotions, Bundles all have different ways for the audience to bridge your message to the value of your offering – all you are trying to do is to make them justify it to their highest expected budget (if you are unique) or be competitive to the market yet deliver a better experience. Pricing methods are available from cost+markup to a competitive analysis approach. Focus groups/Conjoint price sensitivity research can be expensive yet can deliver very good results in both knowing your user base’s values/purchase approach and price/trade-offs.
Availability: No matter how great the Message or Price – your inability to deliver will tank your sales obviously. However, restocking tools might come in handy if the experience has been positive and you have a short date to restock.
Of course, your structure has to have a logical flow. In the heart of your message, it is dispensed in steps to slowly let your clients absorb, engage, and find see the appeal in what you are offering. This means that your website has to have a certain flow to chose the directions a client can take to approach and see what they are seeking. Using your competition is a data point on how they do it, however, the easier and more concise you make the journey for the client the better it is for them, and for reducing support inquiries. Planning your information architecture is crucial in determining how that information intake takes place. This will also aid in how you structure your messaging at each step.
The Power of your Message
With the above considerations, to deliver your message successfully you have to have structure. What’s your slogan? Your value proposition? Do you have a mission statement? How about your values? How do they reinforce each other? Then you have your marketing Mix (4P’s) in your portfolio to work with – where Promotion is in the heart of your Messaging. This means how you message through understanding your audience’s values, price sensitivity, expected experience, purchasing behavior and marketing research (Qualitative and/or Quantitative). You might have even done a competitive analysis of your competing products to better understand your market landscape in cost/performance/reliability – or just have tested the experience of a competitor. Your message has to be broad enough, yet concise for the audience to reach the conclusion that you have an appealing statement.
The use of words, with other forms of media such as animation, video, photos tie your message together. Sure, tools/apps can go a long way to give you some structure on how you would like to operate your front-end of your store, however, from advertising to your surveys Messaging is what achieves that very elusive “TRUST” and can turn an audience into a client-base.