Back in the day, if you paid for a print ad in the phonebook, your message was just out there. Once the phonebooks were distributed, the only way to change your message was to knock on 300 million doors and edit each ad with a Sharpie. Granted, this not an efficient messaging strategy.
Fortunately, modern web design and social media give you the power to shape your message in real time, in response to actual events, in a way that evolves your brand in step with the wants and needs of your customer base. But you can’t say just anything. Your messaging must be both agile and consistent.
Risky Business…but in a Good Way
Messaging is no longer a static proposition. Most customers expect some level of responsiveness to real-world conditions. That has never been truer than it is today. Visitors to your website and recipients of your marketing material need to feel that you’re living in the same world they are, that you understand what they’re going through. But of course, the world is a constantly changing place. Refine your messaging to meet this change with speed, transparency, and adaptability. Don’t be afraid to experiment or take risks, but listen for meaningful feedback, and be nimble in the face of failing experiments.
Consistency is Clutch
Messaging is all about conveying your brand identity and value proposition with consistency. You need total alignment at every level of your organization around this message. So, even as you adjust your messaging to face the moment, be sure that this message is communicated effectively to the members of your organization first. After all, if the message doesn’t stick with your own people, you probably want to reconsider your approach.
Don’t Forget All The Other Stuff
It’s not just about messaging consistency within your organization. It’s also about remaining faithful to the immutable things that make your company awesome. The world may be changing, but let there be certain unflagging truths about your company.
Are you the steady ship navigating us through stormy seas? Are you the hero, swooping to the rescue with a brilliant idea? Are you the maverick, boldly flouting danger and instilling you clients with confidence? (Don’t flout too loudly. Nobody likes a loud flouter.) Whatever your brand image, it’s important that you find a way to carry this image through your messaging. Even as your messaging changes to meet the moment, be sure to preserve the user experience, value proposition and brand identity that earned you your customer base in the first place!
Whether you’re developing new promotional materials, creating new blog content, or literally pitching your idea to somebody in an elevator, stay true to who you are.