Too boring, too complicated and too irrelevant. Does that sound like the foundation of a great message? Rafael Mael, marketing strategist, public speaker and founder of Maelstrom Marketing, said the message behind most companies are all three of these things. During his educational session at Cultivate’19 in Columbus, Ohio, he gave advice on how to overcome these challenges and create an irresistible message.
“It all comes down to the art of messaging,” Mael said. “You can call it branding, you can call it marketing and more, but they’re all the variation of the same thing, which is the ability to connect and get stuff done.”
From boring to interesting
According to Mael, the biggest way to overcome a boring message is by evoking curiosity. “Somehow, you have to make them curious. You have to make them want to know more about you,” he said. To do this, he advised “wrapping the message.”
Some ways to wrap your message is by using testimonials as teasers. “Testimonials are tremendously underutilized,” Mael said. “A short and sweet testimonial makes people wonder, ‘Why are you so good?’ “Why are they so happy?’” Other ways are showing your company’s impact by stating the number of customers you have and giving them an inside look by sharing your team and origin.
From complicated to clear
“Your job is to figure out what your underlying message is and how you can relay it to consumers,” Mael said. “The amateur move to is spill it all out; the professional move is to say it short and sweet.” By “short and sweet,” Mael referred to the idea that companies must share every service they offer, instead of a shortened overview. “When you simplify a message, when you streamline a message, you don’t lose, you gain,” he said. “When you incorporate more, the message degrades.”
To ensure a clear message, Mael advised to share it with a child between the ages of 7 and 9. “Kids don’t know fancy jargon,” he said. “If they don’t get it, the problem isn’t them, it’s you.” For a clear message, Mael said to “do surgery,” which means to dissect your original message, throw away unnecessary words and keep the important ones. “You have to be really clear about your message,” he said. “Work it until it’s less.”
From irrelevant to relatable
For a relatable message, Mael suggested finding ways to connect with customers. According to him, mentioning partnerships and suppliers will appeal to an already established relationship, and enhance trust and marketability, which is the goal of any business.
By following these three tips, Mael is sure that any message will become unforgettable, worthwhile and long lasting. “We all love stories, but we have a misconception that a great story is a huge story.” A great story doesn’t have to be big, it has to valuable, memorable and finally, good enough so they can pass it along,” Mael said. “We must be able to communicate with our customers if we want to retain them and grow our shared wealth.”