The 7 M’s of Marketing. The Second “M”, Message

Second “M”

Message: What do you want to say to your market?

The message is more than telling your market that you and your product or service exist. It’s answering the question of why they should care, what’s in it for them? How does this particular product or service fit into their lives and benefit them? And, how can you use content to answer these questions for your customers? There are two approaches outlined by David Bell, one is rational and one is emotional. Tugging at the logical or tugging at the heart strings.

Rational Appeal

  • Spokesperson—a spokesperson can outline the benefits of a product or service to viewers, thus encouraging them to purchase. Famous people, well-known cartoons, even famous animals can represent a product. Check out this video for an example employing Mr. Ed, the talking horse:
  • Testimonial—customer testimonials, whether anonymous or indicating the name of the customer, can go a long way in building trust in a brand. Trying a new product or service can be a challenge and financial commitment and it’s helpful to hear from others who had success with it. This moves the “unknown” closer to the sphere of the “known”.
  • Comparative advertising—comparing a product or service to those of the competitors, outlining the benefits of yours and the weaknesses of theirs, can be an effective communication. But be prepared, the competitor may respond publicly.
  • Demonstration—showing how to use a product increases knowledge of how to use it and hopefully interest in using it. Check out the iFetch video here
    — it certainly looks like fun!

Emotional Appeal

  • Negative emotions—think cigarette ads, safety belt ads, and political ads. While not pleasant to watch or listen to, these messages are powerful and can be effective in getting people to take action in the way they suggest. There is a ‘science’ to using negative ads though, and frequency and intensity play a part in how well they work, or if they don’t work at all.
  • Positive emotions—delivering messages that call to positive emotions is another way to bring the heart into a product or service brand. It’s easy to see when watching ads like this one from the 2015 Super Bowl depicting images of “dads” for Dove’s Men + Care products why positive emotions are powerful in delivering a marketing message:

When crafting your message, know your market well so you can pay attention to what you want to say about your product, be clear and simplify the language that you use, make it call out to the customers’ needs and/or desires, and help it resonate with them on a logical or emotional level.


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