In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
– Seth Godin, Marketing guru and author of The Purple Cow and Tribes.
Many of us are embarking on our 2015 marketing plans with renewed vigor (and freshly approved budget.) The challenge most of us face is how to make our message, and therefore our products stand out from the crowd.
I was reading an article earlier tonight about an HIMSS attendee who walked the trade show floor and found it hard to find anything unique. “Partnership” “Value” “Outcomes” in the healthcare industry these are the buzzwords that everyone uses — the trouble is that when everyone says the same thing, no one really says anything.
In order to create a Unique Selling Proposition we have to again revert back to our marketing roots and dust off the theories that make marketing different than advertising.
Here are 3 quick ways to help your messaging differentiate you on the next trade show floor.
1. The WIIFM
Your customer needs to know what’s in it for them. We’ve all heard this and yet, we try to make it harder than it has to be. At the end of the day your product should solve a problem for your customer (if you don’t know who your customer is see #2). This should be a “10-words or less” statement. If you can’t define the WIFFM in 10 words or less, you probably don’t understand the problem well enough.
2. Know Your Customer
No product can be all things to all people. You have to know where your product is going to be the best received. Then you need to know how to reach that customer. Whether it’s attending a trade show or delivering online content knowing how to get front and center with the decision-makers is key to your success.
3. Focus on the Message not the Image
Sure a picture is worth a thousand words but it can also lead your audience astray. If you have a succinct message you’ll only need a few words to begin with. Do this by making the most of your headlines and subtitles.
“We are the only….”
“The first to ….”
You can even go a little extreme here and enlist a headline that makes your skeptipcal passers-by want to know more.
“We grew revenues by 25%”
“We decreased readmission for 5 of the nation’s leading health plans”
Once you determine your message, then enlist your design team to select an image that supports it. We all like pictures of smiling happy retirees, the problem is that you could be selling financial services, a progressive retirement community or cutting edge telemedicine. The image can’t be relied on to get attention — you have to use a meaningful message.
Standing out will always be a marketer’s challenge, starting with these fundamentals will help you show your potential customers that you understand them. Then you’ll truly be able to break through the clutter.