Light the way to a better marketing message

When considering marketing for your business, the question should never be whether good design is worth the cost, but rather what bad design can cost you.

We often encounter new clients who feel they have been active in marketing their business, yet almost always admit to nagging doubts about the depth of their marketing, feeling that business should be better and the return on their marketing investment should be far greater.

Considering that marketing spend can encompass hugely diverse efforts such as website design, newspaper adverts, leaflets, signage design, affiliate marketing, partnership marketing and more – the real question may be: Is your design and message limiting your reach or is it providing superior appeal to an ever-widening audience?

If you hesitate answering that question, then consider something that I like to call ‘purchase beacons’.

This powerful marketing concept tool is something I believe in and use successfully for businesses of all sizes. It’s simple to apply to your business marketing plan and is a practical approach that delivers a focused consumer response.

For example, let’s take an online ecommerce store selling televisions. As a buyer – what are you looking for when you prepare to make or research a purchase? And will your buyer needs match those of your best friend, your neighbour, your spouse, or your co-worker? Probably not. When making a choice on whether to buy a TV from a website, everyone will have different things they are looking out for, such as:

1) Price
2) Ease of refund
3) Warranty
4) Established company
5) Speed of delivery
6) Choice
7) Company location
8) Telephone number
9) Advice line
10) Reviews
11) Awards
12) Accreditations
13) Website security/encryption.

These are the purchase beacons that can lure visitors to and into your business website. Every visitor has several elements from the list above in mind and will mentally tick these off when they are greeted with their personal purchase beacons. The visitor is gathering purchase beacons as they move through your website, feeling more reassured about their decision to purchase with every purchase beacon they encounter.

In order to ‘convert’ your website visitors into actual clients/purchasers, we need to apply and make visible as many purchase beacons as possible in the main real estate of your website’s homepage (the immediately visible top half). Every website visitor is only one click away from hopping to the next site, so everything must be done to make it easy for visitors to see and become excited about this critical ‘selling’ info.

You may have a designer that can create a website that looks ‘pretty’ and sleek, but is there also marketing knowledge that is being powerfully applied and integrated into the design? Spectacular design that carries an explosive and alluring marketing message is a blended philosophy that needs to be applied to every bit of marketing material you produce. Whatever your industry, your message needs to be clear, crisp, and concise, with key purchase beacons lighting the way to attract and reassure the largest majority of your consumer audience.

Before you make any new marketing decisions, first step into the shoes of your target audience, and then list everything that might affect someone’s decision to purchase. Next, pin point the things that you believe could make or break someone’s ability to make a purchase decision. Transfer these points to a new list which will be the basis for precise purchase beacon marketing messages. The final polish to your new breakthrough marketing is to invest in a designer that is an experienced expert marketer capable of transforming your purchase beacon messages into a potent design reality.

A national survey of firms conducted by The Design Council identified where the use of design had made a direct impact on such things as competitiveness, market share and turnover. Calling these businesses “design alert”, they found that for every £100 a ‘design alert’ business spent on design, increased turnover by £255. “Businesses that see design as integral don’t need to compete on price as much as others. Where design is integral, less than half of businesses compete mainly on price, compared to two- thirds of those who don’t use design.”

Your marketing message needs to communicate to the internal and external purchase points every consumer carries in their head. The focus needs to be on communication first and quantity of message distribution second. If you produce 50,000 leaflets without the right purchase beacons that capture consumer interest it will fall short of your marketing goals. Compare this to 10,000 leaflets that grab interest, reassure buyers, and support a confident decision to acquire through well-presented purchase beacons.

To determine how to engage your target audience and make your key purchase beacons as dynamic as possible, identify the following things:

1. My target audience
2. The one most valuable piece of information they desire
3. The most important question they might ask about my product or service
4. Elements that directly encourage conversion

Use the expertise available from your designer or agency to brainstorm and together create powerful marketing that delivers your message successfully – throughout all your marketing efforts.