When it comes to making purchase decisions, today’s consumer has a multitude of businesses to choose from. And they are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages from all of them. If yours isn’t relevant or appealing, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get lost in the chaos.
Here’s a quick example:
- In business since 1908, Ye Olde Company established itself as the premier provider of widgets in the nation. Our founders forged long term relationships that still exist today.
- Passionate employees and cutting edge technology enable ABC Company to create innovative widgets that help you deliver superior quality and results to your clients. We thrive on your success.
As a modern-day customer, which one of these messages is more appealing to you?
Ye Olde Company: working their same processes with their same clients, and reflecting back on the good old days?
ABC Company: taking advantage of new technology and constantly looking for ways to provide better products and results?
It’s about your customers
The year your company got started will not be the thing that earns you new business. Your clients are interested in what you are doing now and how you can give them what they need. Today.
If your marketing story reads more like a dry history book than a gripping thriller, you're wasting valuable marketing time, resources, and real estate that could otherwise be used to help potential clients understand how you can help them solve their problems.
But before you go out and revamp your entire marketing strategy and message, you’ll need to do your homework.
Establish your vision
What is your business really about? The story of how you came to exist may or may not be critical to what you’re doing now. They key lies in remembering that your marketing really isn’t about you. It’s about your clients. What do they care about? What challenges do they have? What do they want? What things do they need?
If your history fits into that narrative in some way, go ahead and incorporate those bits and pieces. But the primary focus has got to be on your customer. If you’re not addressing their critical issues, someone else will. And truly happy customers won’t feel slighted if you skip the “birth of a company” story in your marketing materials. Promise.
One good way to evaluate your value proposition is to bring in someone who isn’t as close to the organization as you are. A business consultant can provide a fresh perspective on your company and your clients, helping you assess what you’re currently offering and what businesses and individuals are actively seeking today.
Work with leadership to set a vision for where you want to go, then come up with a plan to build a business model and company culture that will help get you there.
Don’t let the fear of change stop you! Things aren’t the same as they were when Grandpa started the company in 1908, and running your business in the past is not the way to future growth.
Invest in your company. And your message.
It’s the rare organization who can rebrand themselves successfully on their own. 99% of the time, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Now is the time to bring in the pros. Hire a marketing firm, preferably one with experience in your industry.
But you can’t expect them to do it alone. You’ll need to give the marketing team a solid understanding of who you are as an organization and what you do for your clients. A good marketing message should be focused around capturing the audience’s attention by solving a need. Ask yourself, “What needs does our company solve for our clients and customers?”
A good marketing and web development firm will take you through a comprehensive process to understand what you're trying to communicate. They should offer guidance and suggestions to help you craft a brand, message, and web presence that supports your new client-centered business model.
About that history…
You don’t have to throw your company story in the trash. When done well, including a bit of organizational history can enhance customer experience and engagement. But it should not be your front-and-center focus. Give people the information they need to understand your business model and the benefits of choosing you first.
Then, if they're interested, they can read more about your company and its origin. Keep your story relevant, brief and appealing. Paragraphs of details about the timelines of ownership, location changes, logo explanations, and personal histories aren’t going to be key decision making factors for customers. It may be fascinating information for your team, but probably not for your potential clients.
Your message should be a modern story, front and center on your site, that talks about your business model and what it does for the client.
Instead of rambling on about where you came from, focus on where you and your customers can go together.
Photo by pathdoc