When marketing a business, you will get the best results if you are marketing with purpose.  That purpose should be designed to reach and attract your target market.  If we approach marketing with this intention, we have the best chances to convert our audience.

This sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  You may have heard this idea before.  And yet, it can be so difficult to apply.

In one of the first marketing workshops I ever taught, I had a client come up to me and ask me to critique her business card.  I took a look at it.  It was a lovely card.  I distinctly remember that it had a floral pattern on it.  I asked her what her business was.  “I operate a hair salon,” she said.  “Why do you have flowers on your card?” I asked.  “Because I like flowers,” she answered.

I have referenced this conversation over and over again in the years since.  This business owner had an excellent business card.  It looked professional.  It was appealing.  But it was for the wrong business.  She was not marketing with purpose.  She may have been succeeding in getting leads to say, “That’s a pretty card!”  How many of those leads were connecting her with the fact that they needed a hair stylist?

If there is one thing I have learned in running workshops, it is that it is so easy for us to look at OTHER businesses and understand the core message clearly.  But as soon as we turn the focus to the core message of our own business, we get stuck.  Stuck in writer’s block, stuck in particular words or elements we are fixated on, stuck in the things that we happen to like.

The best way to release ourselves from this is to shift focus.  Marketing with Purpose involves addressing only what your customer wants to know.  Your marketing materials should appeal directly to your target market and tell those leads exactly what they need to know to understand how you can help them.  Here are a few questions to answer that may help you hone in on the message that will achieve this purpose for your business:

  • Who is my target market?
  • What is my target market’s pain point? (What is their problem?)
  • What benefits does my target market expect from a solution to the problem?
  • What values does my target market appreciate?
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There are so many questions you can ask that will clarify what your target market is looking for.   These four are solid basic ones to use as a starting point, but I encourage you to dive deeper.  The more information you have, the more precisely you can craft your message to get your audience’s attention and speak directly to them.  The key is that you use the answers to these questions in your final message.  Then and only then will you be marketing with purpose.

Going back to the example of the woman who operated the hair salon.  Flowers could have been the right choice.  If her target market valued “femininity” or “beauty” and “creativity” or “organic” she could have shaped an image of a hairstyle out of flowers.  If she were living on a tropical island, she could have used an image of a woman with beautiful hair with a flower in it.  If she used organic products made with floral essential oils, she could have highlighted that.  But that is not what she was doing.  When I asked a follow up question about the intention behind her choice of flowers, her answer had nothing to do with anything that would matter to her customer.

Remember: Marketing done with purpose stands a much better chance of being successful at converting your audience.  Whenever you make choices in your branding and marketing, ask yourself “What is the purpose?” and hold yourself to high standards in your answers!  Your audience will.

Make sure to check in next week for a follow up post about how much time you really have to capture your audience’s attention with your marketing.

The first step to marketing with purpose is defining your target markets. If you want to work on defining your target market and you sell B2B, click here!  If you sell B2C, click here!