In our experience, it is always surprising when conducting a review of a company’s sales and marketing message to learn that there is little or no consistency. Often the website message doesn’t align with the brochure, and neither match the sales PowerPoint. Then, let’s add that each member of a sales team will often a tout a different version of a company’s differentiation, if they tout one at all.
Regardless of the size of the organization, silos develop. If the marketing person creates the brochure copy without aligning with the sales manager and the sales manager doesn’t work with the web copy person, a mixed message is guaranteed.
How can the marketplace know what you are about, if internally there is no agreement? Further, how do you decide what that message should be? The answer can be found from management guru Peter Drucker quote, “Ninety percent of the information used in organizations is internally focused and only ten percent is about the outside environment. This is exactly backwards.”
This effort can be simplified and unified by ensuring that the perspective reflected in all messages is based on external objective information, not internal opinions. One way to ensure you obtain projectible, reliable information about what your customers and prospects value most is an investment in a double-blind customer survey. When you leverage the survey results to guide your message, you are not leaving anything to internal political battles, personal projection or chance. You will have the basis for strategic planning as well as marketing and sales messaging. All will provide company alignment and everyone in the organization will know what you stand for; so will the marketplace.
Every time you send a mixed message, chances are pretty good your company is leaving money on the table because you’re making your prospects and customers function like quiz show contestants – which message should I believe and base my purchasing decision on?
Determine a competitive advantage based on customers values, not just what you – and you – and you – and you – think. Outperform your competition by making disciplined research a line item.