How To Avoid The “Solutions That Matter” Trap

Strategic marketing messages aren't complicated

It’s message development, not rocket science.

For this post on strategic marketing messages, I was trying to invent a vague and completely meaningless example. The result: “Solutions That Matter.” 

Then I Googled it, just for fun. I invite you to do the same. 

I’m not sure how “Solutions That Matter” could add value to any brand, in any situation. Is it supposed to contrast with “Solutions That Don’t Matter”? 

Major brands can spend millions developing strategic messages to use throughout their marketing.  And still they get it wrong. Your business can do better, even if you’re bootstrapping it.

So with no further ado…

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Make your marketing stronger: Focus

Want to make your marketing message unique? Relevant? Powerful? Then focus on solving the hardest problems for your customers.

Soft focus equals soft salesI worked with a great art director way back when. His favorite expression was, “If it were easy, anyone could do it.” It’s unassailable logic, and more true now than ever.

By focusing on the hardest problems, you’ll be forced to innovate. You’ll be able to do things that no one else does, or can do. You won’t be all things to all people – you’ll be the only thing for a lot of people. How much better for your business and your message.

In marketing-speak, that’s called “differentiation.” And “positioning.” It means you’ll have a story no one else can tell. Here are some examples.

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Netflix v. Amazon: The loser is…

The loser is… named at the end of the post

Would you believe that a story about Netflix v. Amazon is really a lesson for your much smaller business?

Netflix versus Amazon on your televisionYesterday Amazon greeted visitors with a wonderful announcement: Members of Amazon Prime ($79 for a year’s worth of free shipping) now get streaming video of 5,000 TV and film titles to your computer or TV at no extra charge.

That made my day because I’m a Prime subscriber. But it wasn’t about to make me end my $96 per year relationship with Netflix. Continue reading

Bad day at the beach

A friend of mine took his family to Virginia Beach for the weekend. They stayed at the stately old grand resort where the wealthy once frolicked, before they all owned beach homes of their own.

On the first evening, on a brick sidewalk in need of repair, just outside the main building, his teenage daughter tripped in the hole where a brick or two were supposed to be, and broke her foot. Her weekend, and the family’s, was ruined. (Not to mention the daughter’s entire summer vacation.)

If the resort manager were a smart marketer, how would he or she handle this situation? Continue reading