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How to Effectively Make the Five Classic Marketing Message Mistakes

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By Ray Bernard

In the physical security industry, most marketing collateral does not contain all five of the classic marketing message mistakes. However, it is actually easier than you think to include nearly all of them in each piece, and several companies have successfully done so.

We’re developing five special checklists that you can use to determine if your own collateral includes enough of these interest-killing message techniques.

Don’t worry about aesthetics—these deal-dampening tactics can be very effective regardless of how good your collateral material looks.

Even if you are newer at creating collateral pieces, rest assured that even a small dose of these techniques can still help compromise communication and prompt your customers to start looking elsewhere.

The trick is to remember that, as Frank Luntz has said, “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.”

Five Classic Marketing Message Mistakes

Here are the five seldom-recognized, but subtly powerful, customer interest deflectors:

  • Deadly Duplication. Be sure to make the same statements that your competitors make. This works best when you apply this technique to verbiage about your company as well as your products and services. This helps you convince customers how identical you are to all of your competitors. Done well enough, customers—without their even realizing it—will become quietly persuaded that there is no real leadership or innovation in your company.
  • Buzzword Bravery. Maximize your use of buzzwords. This has the dual effect of inspiring your sales people to use them, while still keeping your customers totally in the dark about what exactly you are referring to. It will be as exciting as the convergence of cloud and big data giving birth to emergent technologies!
  • Message Meaninglessness. It’s easy to become a “master of meaninglessness”. The challenge is to write what sounds meaningful, but in fact doesn’t really say anything that matters. It may seem hard at first, but you can add just a touch of the other techniques to make the task easier. The checklist for this technique contains a few additional tips at how to master this writing skill.
  • Feature Fanaticism. Be sure to focus on product and service features, listing as many features as possible. Try to avoid self-evident feature names, because those add clarity. Just remember that when you focus strongly on features instead of value, as customers read they become less and less interested. That’s the objective. If there is an insistence that you include value points in your collateral, the next technique will help you there.
  • Vapid Value Points. Be sure to craft lofty-sounding and purely conceptual value assertions. Don’t relate product or service capabilities to real-world results. This way the language will sound impressive and be very attractive (so important to get your copy approved) without having a positive effect on customers.

Get Results Fast!

Sadly, for some companies, it is rare to find more than two or three of these techniques in any single collateral piece. Such pieces just don’t do a good enough job at customer disengagement. Cheer up, however, because our checklists will help you quickly find such collateral. Those should be your first targets. You can easily update and reissue them in time for the next trade show, sales meeting or other event. Of course, electronic pieces can be updated in a heartbeat, so there is no excuse not to start getting immediate results. After all, it is important to quickly quash any newly developed customer interest, while it is still lacking knowledge and vulnerable.

Checklist Guidance

Okay – enough of the tongue-in-cheek approach!!! Of course no one really wants to disengage prospects and customers, or quash their interest. Unfortunately, most security industry collateral does contain material that has such an effect. The real purpose of the checklists is to help you identify such material so that you can correct it.

Additionally, RBCS has several “eyes of the customer” specialists who can help turn such material into customer-engaging points, so that each piece can achieve the exact effect you want with your prospects and customers.

For a short time, we are offering a free 30-minute “eyes of the customer” review (via GoToMeeting) of one or two collateral pieces you select. Click now to request your free 30-minute collateral review session.