Know Your Message

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If you have watched or followed news at all in the past few months you have undoubtedly heard of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests that have spread to all corners of the United States. No, I’m not getting into politics here, but there’s a marketing lesson to be learned from the protesters.

I met a few OWS protesters in New York City last month, and have seen several interviews of Occupy protesters all over the country on the news, YouTube, and spread through email and social media, and one thing is painfully clear — their message isn’t.

Many protesters ramble on about dozens of different issues, often incoherently, with no clear plan of action or proposed solution to the problems. The “movement” is fragmented and disjointed, and the lack of a clear and unified message is really hurting their chances of being heard.

There is an important lesson here for business owners … it is imperative that you know your message. Who are you? What makes you different, and better, than your competition? When someone at a cocktail party asks you “What do you do?” can you answer them in one sentence, without hesitation?

If not, you need to give some serious thought to your message — what are you about? I recommend coming up with three “messages” — the short, one line “this is who we are,” a longer one to two minute blurb about you that goes into a little more depth, and lastly a detailed message with enough information to fill an interview or “about” page.

A clear, concise message not only explains to potential customers and vendors what your company is about, it also conveys a confidence that you know who you are and why you are the company for the job.

Brandon EleyBrandon Eley
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Brandon Eley is the Interactive Director for Kelsey Advertising & Design and the co-author of Online Marketing Inside Out.

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