To get the sale, especially in a mature market, a saturated market, or a small market, we often feel the need to really change things up—to “think outside the box” and do something radical to capture our customers’ or prospects’ attention.
Sometimes the results are in line with our traditional style of marketing, just super-charged.
Other times, they fall into muddy waters that leave us wondering, “how did we get here?”
Mui Tsun, business and marketing coach for service professionals, posed four important questions to business owners in her January 16, 2020, article, “How to Find Your Marketing Style.” We think they make good checks on for any marketing material you share.
Why is your marketing style so important? The short answer: consistency.
You build a brand, a company, a business based on what and how you communicate. When you communicate the same way all the time, you establish a presence, of sorts, that prospects and customers learn to recognize as your company. The colors you choose, the tone you take, the style and types of photos and captions and headlines and subject matter you include build a recognizable personality. It establishes expectations and builds trust.
When you stray too far from that approach or that style, readers begin to raise eyebrows: something’s changed, and it’s probably not good.
Your marketing must represent the values and the spirit of your company. When your marketing strays too far from your company’s true style and identity, it can feel a little uncomfortable. And fake. Which is why you should always ask yourself Tsun’s four questions. She may have intended them for entrepreneurs and other personal self-promoters, but we think—slightly modified—they work well for larger businesses and organizations, too:
· "Do I feel good doing it?" Marketing that’s a little out of your comfort zone can be good, but marketing that’s too far from your norm can leave you wondering if it’s worth taking the risk. If you don’t feel good about the approach, chances are good your customers won’t either.
· "Does it feel like our company?" Consistency in marketing builds your company’s brand, personality, and reputation. You want your readers to know a piece of direct mail is from you before they even open it.
· "Will the people we want to attract feel good about it?" Audience awareness is never far from any marketing strategy. If you don’t think your approach will be received well, abandon ship early and regroup.
· "Is this how we want to show up?" We get it: sometimes we make less-than-ideal decisions because of circumstances out of our control, and many of our projects have less longevity than we’d like to admit. Still, it’s important to remember that EVERY interaction with a prospect or client can make or break the relationship: if you’re not putting your best foot forward and have any hesitation, it’s best to try a different approach.