If you been through any sort of “marketing 101” education, you have undoubtedly heard about the three M’s – market, message, and media. You may also have heard this expressed as “getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time”.
All three M’s are important, but I believe that the order in which you address (or emphasize) each M is also important.
Typically when we say a company is focused on tactics first, rather than strategy, what we mean is that company is starting from a media point of view. They “need” a blog post, a newsletter, a video, or an eBook. The focus is on the content itself (and/or the delivery of that content), rather than on a business goal or the needs of prospects.
Business owners and marketers who focus on media first tend to become frustrated because they spend a lot of time and money developing content but they are seeing the results they want.
Some companies focus on delivering a message that is all about them. Their marketing materials focus on their accomplishments and qualifications. This type of marketing assumes that if one lays out a logical argument for why they are the right choice, people will automatically buy from them. This type of marketing is becoming less and less effective.
Some companies start with a message focused on the needs or interests of their prospects and customers, but their message gets diluted because they try to appeal to everyone. Their messages don’t tend to be as focused as those who start from a market point of view, so they sometime struggle to connect with their ideal customers.
Marketers who take a strategy first approach start with a focus on their market. They have a well defined market and they have crafted a Core Message (or USP – unique selling position) that helps that market answer the question “Why should I, your prospective customer, do business with you, rather than all of the other choices that are available to me?”
Business owners and marketers who take the time to define their market and USP first tend to have an easier time developing a message that resonates with that audience as well as selecting media that will help them reach their ideal customers.
If you have been struggling to get the results you want from your marketing efforts, take a look at your 3 M’s and make sure you are giving proper attention to all three of them.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant