#FocusFriday – Focus on Your Message and Messaging

wesfryer-etechohio09-stageWith so many platforms, strategies and marketing approaches available to us, it is easy to become distracted. Many gravitate to new, exciting and technology-focused marketing tools and social media platforms. However, what is marketing without a message? Understanding what your message is, crafting it and using it are important elements of marketing and business development.

On this #FocusFriday, take time out of your busy marketing activities and programs and examine your message. Ask questions, the answers may require you to hit the reset button or at least reexamine you message and how you are projecting it to your target audiences. The language here may be new to someone unfamiliar, but no matter: take some time to walk through this process and it will strengthen your marketing foundation which is necessary for long term personal and business success.

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Message and Messaging

What is your message?

The definition of message. In terms of marketing, message is the underlying idea or theme in a marketing piece or communication, or the central or primary content or information that passes from a communicator to a receiver. When I think of message I think of what my organization is about and committed to and the value we bring to clients. Understanding your message – and it may change over time – is important. A clear and articulate message conveys confidence, success and ability. A powerful message and how you convey it is a competitive advantage and a differentiator.

Messaging

In the marketing world we often discuss messaging. What exactly is it? This is the process of how you bring your key messages relating what your organization is, what its mission is and why you do what you do. Your messaging focuses on the key points you regularly make when you communicate with your target audiences. Remember, messaging always connects back to your brand.

Clarity

Can you write it, articulate it and explain it? What good is a message if you can’t convey it to the audience? You message must be clear in its intent and purpose.

Organizational Acceptance

Is your message embraced by your organization and is is a part of how team members communicate with customers or prospects? This is vitally important and all team members must be on board and learn how to communicate and share your message effectively.

Message Projection and Consistency

Can the members of your organization explain it and convey it to prospects and clients? This is where regular training and review of your overall message and marketing messages becomes important. Remember, it’s all about focus; if we wander away from what is important, messages get muddled and this creates brand confusion. Consistency in your message and messaging eliminates confusion and keeps attention focused.

Talking Points

Do you have talking points that support your message? For example, if you were at a networking event and somebody asked you questions about what you do or your business could you easily convey your message and key elements of what you do and the value you provide? Preparation is important any time you or a member of your team will be “on stage” or in the spotlight. We regularly train people for TV news interviews which are typically short and to the point. Having three well defined and practiced talking points makes for a much better interview. In a business interaction you can use these defined talking points in the same way.

Value Proposition

Do you know what your value proposition is? The definition of value proposition is an innovation, service or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. Sounds technical – and it can be. However, the point here is can you explain in easy to understand terms what value you bring to a relationship and the value that your products or services bring? Being able to articulate value and back it up with examples will give you a competitive advantage when presenting or when speaking with prospects.

Competitive Advantages and Differentiators

Do you know your competitive advantages and differentiators? We know that having an edge or competitive advantage puts you in a superior position over those in your market space. How you describe these advantages and how you are different in your approaches will allow you to stand out and attract more attention. Being different is a competitive advantage. If you have not taken the time to write down your key differentiators, do so. Take the time and assess how you do what you do, why clients choose to work with you and examine how you are truly different. Write these down and commit them to memory.

Why are we going through this exercise?  All too often I have been in the presence of fantastic business people. Many have great ideas, offer quality services and are leaders in their respective industries. Unfortunately, based on the way many communicate, you would never have the foggiest idea. Communicating, whether it is in person, online, or though video or audio must be done effectively and with a message.

Keep Focusing on your brand and your business.

Sources:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/differentiators.html#ixzz42cn9qquW

Focus Friday is all about being more effective and successful in business and life activities. Focusing will allow you to save time and achieve goals in both your personal and in your professional life.

Have questions, need a resource? Contact me at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com.

Need to start creating a personal marketing plan?  Email the code PMP2016 to me at info@growyourpersonalbrand.com and I will send you a list of questions to ask yourself to get started.

Looking for some help setting up your LinkedIn plan? Visit www.growyourpersonalbrand.com

Join our groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.

wjcorbett@corbettpr.com

By Bill Corbett

Corbett Public Relations Long Island and the World 

@liprguy

@corbettpr

Guess What? You are a Media Company

iPhones

Smartphones such as iPhones are your Personal Marketing Devices.

With today’s changing marketplace for business and communication, the old rules no longer apply. To succeed and thrive you must recognize that you and your business are media companies. How can this be? We are in an age where technology and communications is not only vital for business operations but also for marketing. Some traditional marketing strategies will continue to apply but sticking with them alone will be a recipe for difficulty in the years to come.

A media company. Really? Yes, and the sooner you recognize this and make changes to your marketing the better prepared and the more competitive you will be. In addition to using traditional print marketing and mailings, your multi-media business must add technology.

You hold in the palm of your hand a powerful tool: your smartphone. Virtually everyone in business today carries one and if you don’t, this post is probably not going to help. I call the smartphone your PMD – Personal Marketing Device. This amazing tool can do so many things that many of us would never have thought it would be possible. From a strictly marketing perspective, what does this device do?

Video: When done right, video content created and shared can reach as many people as a broadcast TV program. YouTube is the center of the video universe and you and your media company need to be present. People want video content. They want to watch videos on their smartphones and tablets. They want to watch them at the time of their choosing, on demand. Your competitors are on YouTube and using video. If you are not using video to market and share your brand message, you are two or three years behind your competitors.

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Meerkat (l) and Periscope (r) are two smartphone applications which allow for live broadcasting.

From a broadcasting perspective, new applications Meerkat and Periscope are on the scene and part of the next wave. With these apps you become a live broadcaster. You can do shows on the fly and your followers/audience can watch them live. All of this is done on your phone and amazing to think about. However, recognize that the quality of video from smartphones is great. Use your phone, but whenever possible use real video cameras to capture and create content.

Face to Face Communication: iPhone’s FaceTime application or other applications like Skype allow for one-to-one or multi-user video conferencing. This is another form of broadcasting, but to small audiences. The use of video conferencing will be much more common in the future and for meetings and networking it will become an important tool. To reach larger audiences in a live format check out www.Livestream.com and its mobile app.

Blogging: video content is important but written content is also an integral part of your marketing and branding. Your blog is equivalent to your media company’s publishing arm. Your content is created like a magazine, offering articles on a variety of topics for your audience. Your audience wants this content and they will seek you out for it.  Without a blog your brand has no voice and no place to come to life. For a business, your website is where your brand lives; for an individual it is your LinkedIn profile, but it is your blog that brings your brand to life. This is equally so for your video content and – if you have the energy – a podcast.

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A podcast microphone and headset.

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. They represent the “radio” part of your media company. Podcasts allow you to share your knowledge in an in-depth way. Many podcasts incorporate interviews where ideas can be shared and expertise can be further presented. While not for everyone, podcasts are an effective tool in reaching new audiences and they are the next generation of audio content.

Social media: for most people it is clear that social media sites are where brands and individuals engage with audiences. Many people have social media accounts/apps on their smartphones and use them for personal activities. But they must be properly leveraged for business purposes. Are personal social media accounts used for business still personal? Today we see a mix between what is personal and what is business. In order to engage with people 24/7, it is often necessary to use personal accounts. If you are seeking to build your brand, you want to utilize all social media sites to build awareness and to become an influencer. With a mobile device you have the ability to engage at any moment. Consumers and prospects are online nights and weekends. You need to understand their habits and “live” communicate with them when their eyes and attention are on the social sites that you are using.

Social Media Logos

Icons of various social media platforms that are popular today.

Social media activities can be done on desktops or laptops but more and more of the content is coming directly from mobile devices. Again, your PMD becomes the conduit for bringing your message to potentially millions of people. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, Snapchat and others that are emerging are platforms where you will need to present your brand.

Social media in the consumer space is much different in business-to-business. Recognition of this fact impacts how you communicate with your audiences and the sites that you will use. Certainly LinkedIn is the premiere site for business-to-business while sites such as Facebook and Pinterest are more effective at reaching consumers. The point here is not so much the value of social media; it is not new. However, we need to look at it differently and recognize that social media is not only part of how we project our message but also where we engage with prospects and customers. When social media was new, many focused only on projecting and sharing content. They skipped the important part – building relationships. This is going to be the key factor in the success of businesses that are adopting social media now.

We see that technology, particularly the technology that is in the palm of our hands, has enormous power. Businesses and individuals need to harness the marketing power of these devices and become media companies which offer diverse content (text, video, audio, photos, graphics) to audiences in different ways. Broadcasting alone will not see results; these tools must be used to listen, interact, share and build relationships. Build your media company and use its capabilities today, this is how you will achieve short and long term success.

Going to Google – The Glass Introduction Experience

I had the pleasure and thrill of accompanying Basil Puglisi, social and digital media leader, to his special appointment at Google for a fitting for Google Glass.  Although we were not able to record video inside, I was able to document the experience.  It was quite remarkable.

Google’s Glass training and introductory area is located just above Chelsea Market, a trendy and popular setting in New York City.

After we entered a café-like setting, we were met by our Google training rep, Duyin Ha. She was fantastic and it was clear she had extensive training and knowledge of this amazing new device.

So what is Google Glass?  It’s a device worn like glasses; however, it possesses cutting edge technology which integrates an array of mobile applications and digital technology. If you have not read or heard about Google Glass you are behind the tech curve.  This incredible device takes video, connects with your online “life” and much more.  In the short training, Duyin explained features and walked Basil, a very tech, Google app and Android savvy individual, through the many functions, features and the set up for Glass.

From a marketing and social media perspective, Google Glass has tremendous potential.  The ability to quickly take, upload and share video content and images will make G+ an even more desirable and friendly social media platform than it already is.  Recent reports indicate that G+ has close to 350 million accounts and growing.  Glass interacts seamlessly with Google Chrome and other specific apps created for it.  Here is a prediction – with Google Glass, enhanced apps, services and integration, Google social media use will explode.  Watch out Facebook—with devices, apps and ease of use combined with search, it will be a challenge to keep up.

From the brief time I was involved with the demo and Basil’s first hours with Google Glass I was impressed and certainly liked what I’d seen.

From my public relations and marketing perspective, Google Glass will provide individuals and businesses with the ability to demonstrate, explore, educate and market products and people like never before.  Story telling from the first person perspective will be unmatched.

Glass is new and it was amazing to see how Basil became an instant “celebrity.”  After our session and following just seconds on the street in Manhattan, people were pointing, taking photos and asking questions.


People from all walks of life and ages wanted to know more about Glass.  Glass is a powerful personal branding tool which allows users to broadcast their experiences, demonstrate skills and expertise and show people a glimpse of their personal lives.

Information comes from the first person perspective and this allows users to share in a uniquely personal way.  We will be able to get to know people better and build relationships.  In terms of business, getting to know those that you work with or may work with will open up new opportunities as well as create new questions.

I can’t wait to get my Google Glass.  If you’re listening Google, I am a fan.  Can I get one?

More to come on this great device and technology.  We have not even scratched the surface of what Glass can do for business, brands, and to make life a little easier and more interesting. Here’s one final point. Google Glass enables its users to utilize Google maps. You can enter an address and the map and directions pop right up on the screen.  This technology is ideal for individuals walking in an urban-type setting but is not appropriate to use when driving.

If you have questions about Google Glass ask Basil Puglisi on twitter @basilpuglisi

To read about the story in Newsday please visit http://www.newsday.com/business/lier-test-drives-google-glass-1.5648381#disqus_thread 

For more images from the Google Glass experience please visit http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGrZ67V.

Follow me on social media to see additional posts, images and videos relating to glass and other marketing topics.  Feel free to email me any questions at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com.

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