Market Research Maximizes Marketing Message Consistency

Communicate Value to Consumers by Using Whiteboards for Sales Pitches

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Active marketing message delivery fosters value differentiation. Getty Images | Tom Merton | Caiaimage

Corporate Visions, a company specializing in business marketing and communications, studied how businesses get their marketing messages to consumers or other businesses. Corporate Visions found that roughly 74 percent of companies do not have a formal procedure for distributing marketing messages. The problem is two part. 1) Few companies have marketing message distribution plans, and 2) few companies have a formal process for the development and dissemination of marketing messages.

This means that core marketing messages are often inconsistent.  

Tim Riesterer, the chief officer of strategy and marketing with Corporate Visions, told Cyber Trend magazine that:

"Implementing a consistent, structured methodology that focuses on identifying customers' unconsidered needs and creating a buying vision that defeats their status quo bias will help marketers prepare their salespeople for conversations that matter most."

To provide an analysis and report, Corporate Vision surveyed marketing and sales personnel from 500 business-to-business (B2B) companies. Several of their key survey findings show that B2B marketing processes are inconsistent and ineffective. The numbers below show how the B2B companies participating in the survey scored.

35.1% - Have an established message development process, but it is not applied consistently.

28.7% - Everyone follows a well-established message development process.

 

13.2% - Have a message development process, but it is rarely followed because people are unaware or feel unaccountable.

12.2% - Don't have a formal process for message development, we hire people and expect them to do the right thing, but it's  hit-or-miss in terms of the execution.

10,8% - Don't know what the company does.

Steps to More Relevant and Memorable Marketing Messages 

Well-crafted and consistently communicated marketing messages are very important to business effectiveness. Consulting analyst firm Sirius Decisions explains why this is so:

  1. #1 reason that companies fail to hit their revenue targets is the difficulty sales people explaining the value of their business to consumers.  
  2. The ability or inability of sales personnel to communicate value was rated by 71% of survey respondents as more important than:

Successful sales conversations with consumers should include three things: Effective marketing messages, targeted messaging, and message delivery. 

  1. Effective Marketing Messages - Marketing messages need to convey value to consumers.  This means there must first be a quality product or service that creates differentiation in the minds of consumers. The marketing messages must tip the balance and move consumers from the status quo to a position of admiring or desiring the product or service. 
  2. Targeted Messaging - In order for sales personnel to get marketing messages to the targeted market segment, they need to be equipped with meaningful, persuasive scripts or arguments. When the marketing message content is clear, sales people must know how to make relevant messages more memorable for consumers.
  1. Message Delivery - The three key parts of a relevant and memorable conversation with consumers are: messages, tools and skills. These three parts must all be integrated for seamless delivery. Sales people must have the skills to explain or highlight relevant value to consumers. And sales people must have the tools that help to generate demand for products or services.  

Marketing messages are best delivered through a consistent process or system that ensures the marketing, products, and sales teams are aligned in a common effort to improve the articulation of value.

Now That You Know

According to Stanford University Graduate School of Business Professor Zakary Tormala, marketing messages that are delivered in a whiteboard style are preferred by consumers.

 Here is what consumers say:

  • Explanatory visuals drawn for the consumer in real-time make the sales pitch seem more interesting and engaging.
  • Visuals drawn on a whiteboard help consumers remember details about marketing.
  • Whiteboard visuals that deliver the marketing message seem truer to consumers.
  • Messages delivered on whiteboards result in better recall of critical features
  • Whiteboard marketing is more likely to be shared to persuade others.
  • Consumers who viewed whiteboard sales pitches had changed behavior two days later. 

Don't expect customers to listen to a long sales talk or to watch a powerpoint presentation, and then be excited about what was discussed.  For the most powerful sales pitch, tell consumers a story and illustrate the story while it is being told.