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The Right Message May Not Be So Right for Your Audience

The number one key to your business growth is crafting a message that speaks to your audience. Having the right message builds up your strengths and helps you overcome any deficiencies you might have.Online Marketing Messages and Channels

McDonald’s doesn’t make the best hamburgers in the world, but they do have a great bit of messaging that speaks to their target audience. It’s that message, not the hamburgers, that makes Micky D’s the number one fast food restaurant in America.

While substance is important in order to have a great message, the message itself helps establish the perception of your substance. Much to my chagrin, my kids would rather go to McDonald’s over Burger King or Wendy’s. They don’t love the food as much as the box the food comes in, and not even close to as much as that toy inside the box.

McDonald’s has the right message for my kids. But I’m the wrong audience for that message, though I’m a sucker at giving my kids a fast-food treat of their choice! So, McDonald’s has a different message for me. Primarily, it’s a message to give my kids a fast-food treat of their choice!

The audience matters as much as the message

If you are putting the “right” message in front of the wrong audience, you’re still going to fail. Each audience needs a “right” message of its very own.

Several years ago, I wrote a letter to my U.S. Senator expressing my disapproval with his position on a particular issue. About a week later, I received a letter thanking me for expressing my support for him on this issue. Huh?!

The letter went on to list out all the reasons why “we” were right about the issue. The problem is, I didn’t think “we” were right. I was, he wasn’t!

If you own or market a business, you may feel you have the right message. And maybe you do. But that may be the wrong message for someone else who is, say, skeptical about doing business with you.

My Senator may have been able to convince me I was wrong, but because he gave me the wrong message, it fell on deaf ears. If his message was right, he went about it all wrong for the audience of me.

The right message for me would have been to acknowledge my viewpoint, sympathize with it, find areas of common ground and only then make the case for the merits of the issue. That message would have had a higher chance of persuading me.

How to craft the right message for any audience

Not everyone is convinced you are the right company to do business with. The message you use for your current customers is not the same message for customers who have yet to do business with you. You must craft a distance message for each audience.

How, when and where you communicate your message plays a significant role in your company’s success. Web businesses have a number of unique communication opportunities to get their message out: website, telephone, emails, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Each can play a significant role in your company’s success.

When you communicate to your customers, potential customers or even skeptics, you can easily craft the right message, only to find that it’s the wrong message for that particular segment of your audience. Current customers need to be addressed differently from prospective customers. Interested parties should be addressed differently from those who are not interested, but can still be convinced.

Each marketing forum provides a unique opportunity to get your message out to a different audience. Whichever forum(s) you use, target different segments of your audience with language that reaches them specifically. In business communications, the one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. I’m sure you’ve got THE right message, but in reality, you need the right message for each target audience.

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to The Right Message May Not Be So Right for Your Audience

  1. Gokken says:

    Hi Stoney,

    Thanks for the great post. Interesting to read and puts you to think to built more website with the same product. Let’s say an ipad (not related to that product just for the example). I can imagine that you create/develop two websites with completely different lay-outs, content and additonal social media sites.

    Of course your backlink structure would also have a complete different footprint for both.

    Hmm mght be worht to try it out, thanks for giving me this brainwave!

    Mirjam