What’s Your Point? Are You Getting Your Message Across?
Simple questions, right? Yet, how often do our messages miss the point, and then miss moving our clients and colleagues?
Marketing consultant, speaker and teacher Barry Callen has a great system for making sure your message makes your point. He calls it PitchPerfect™ Message Strategy. Barry defines message strategy as the point of one communication to one target market.
We have seen similar versions of the PitchPerfect™ message plan, and I like the practical, actionable simplicity of this system.
Here’s the heart of PitchPerfect:
To whom are we talking (defined emotionally in terms of fear & desire)?
This is the single most important question. You can spend half your time on message strategy in answering this question. Go beyond the simple demo and define your target in a story full of hopes and fears. This will help identify your target’s greatest emotional needs and dilemmas and attract their attention by solving their problem.
What is our point (emotional conclusion we want the target to draw)?
Think of this as if a genie gathered your target together and magically made them believe one sentence, what would it be? The genie also will give the same wish to your competition. What point would you make?
What is the key word in the point (unusual, concrete, specific & powerful)?
The brain simplifies information and turns bulls into boullion cubes. You can either let your customers or competitors do this, or you take control by choosing a powerful word. Choose the key word that makes target feel something and triggers a concrete image, highlights a chief brand difference, believable, ownable, etc.
Why should the target care about the point?
You must find something your target already cares about and build on it. Find the underlying emotional commonality or desire that all target customers share.
Why should the target believe the point?
You are allowed to list up to four reasons to believe. Rank the most important reason first. You need not have more than one. Great question is, what do people need to believe in order to justify their view of reality or their perception of themselves?
How should the target feel about the message, brand or product?
Look for guidance especially around adjectives about a personality. Use test words, pictures, wardrobe, music, style choices, etc. to help define feeling.
What do we want the target to do?
Why are you sending the message to the target? Do we want them to trade up, upgrade or expand a purchase, be aware of a name, become a brand advocate or ambassador, believe you are worth checking out, change attitude or belief about you, etc. Pick the most important call to action and emphasize it?
Good luck using this smart system in your message and communications development.