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The Messaging Gap

Creating a clear marketing message that reaches your target audience is not only valuable to your business, it’s vital.

But what are you saying to your market compared to what they are hearing? I’ll refer to this as your messaging gap. And let’s examine the trouble it may cause.

Let’s start by looking at it this way…in one succinct sentence, describe what you provide your customers. Add to that sentence, why you are uniquely positioned to serve your customers.

Did you capture that on a piece of paper?

Now flip the perspective. Answer the above from the viewpoint of your customers. In other words, what would your customers say you provide and what makes you unique?

· Can you confidently state that your customers would say the same thing as you?

· Do you know what they would say?

· Have you ever asked your audience?

Here’s one of those many times in business where you need to be honest with yourself. Challenge your thinking…does the messaging that you send out to your target audience align with the market’s perception of who you are and what you do? Stay here for a minute, and examine the similarities and differences. Is there a gap?

Customers want clarity, and ideally don’t want a gap at all. Customers can bridge a small gap, but a large gap can be a troubling proposition for customers to handle, and candidly may cause prospects to look elsewhere rather than put in the work to build the bridge.

So, after you reflect on this, put some additional thought into some potential improvements with the message that is reaching/not reaching and resonating/not resonating with your target audience.

Consider a few points:

· Customers and prospects desire clarity.
· Customers look for ways to differentiate (if you don’t see the differences, the prospects won't either).
· Customers prefer to work with specialists, so be specific.
· Change is constant; be flexible and embrace re-examining you’re messaging regularly.

Finally, be open to gathering input from your trusted sources: ask your best clients, talk to your referral partners, have conversations with your network. Remember, running a business doesn’t mean you need to have all the answers, but it does require you to have the desire to find them.

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