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5 Steps to Mastering Your Message for Increased Sales

Every business we work with wants to increase sales. One of the fastest ways to get results is to change the way you communicate to your target audience about your product.

At Relevention, we use a Message Development Process that I first learned while marketing fabric softener at Procter & Gamble, and gained a deeper understanding of from the book Jump Start Your Business Brain by Doug Hall.

This process follows the typical buying behaviour of the average consumer and should be a filter for all promotional activities you create (print ads, websites, sales packages, etc.).

5-Step Message Development Process

1. Audience Need – What need does your target audience want fulfilled?

2. Clear Benefit – How does your product or service fulfill that need? Try to use only one large, clear benefit. There will be supporting benefits, but choose the one they care about most and you can deliver on.

3. Reason to Believe – Why should your target audience believe you can deliver? Communicate this through testimonials or proven results, by pointing out new technology or product patent, etc.

4. Dramatic Difference – How is what you’re offering different and better than competitors or alternatives? Effective comparisons are especially important if you’re trying to get consumers to switch to your brand.

5. Call to Action – What do you want your audience to do? Call, email, sign up, go online, jump up and down? People are bombarded with countless advertisements throughout the day; it needs to be very clear what you want them to do and how they can get your product.


Here’s an example of the formula applied to a 30-second Tide detergent TV ad.

Audience Need: 26–45-year-old mom wants her kids’ clothes to be clean (show kids getting grass stains).

Clear Benefit: Tide will get your clothes clean.

Reason to Believe: Tide has a patented formula that removes dirt from fabric (show close-up of the dirt lifting off the fabric).

Dramatic Difference: Compared to the other leading brand of detergent, Tide gets clothes cleaner (show side-by-side comparison).

Call to Action: Choose Tide today (Tide is an established brand found at every store, so there’s no need to tie it back to a website, phone number, or direct call to action).

Try the formula out and use it to test the clarity of your messaging and increase its effectiveness. Keep tracking results and refine your message until you see success.


Posted on 07 03, 2012 by Braden

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