Quit Sending Mixed Messages

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago for a 4 day restaurant trade show.

The show had over 60,000 in attendance and it was really productive, but that’s not the point of this post.

For me what is truly amazing about a trip to the windy city is the food.

And it didn’t disappoint.

The highlight of the restaurants I went to was Graham Elliot. It’s owned by the chef of the same name who also is a judge on the TV show Masterchef.

The 15 course “Chef’s Menu” was incredible. It was like a conversation of food. Ups and downs, argument and rebuttal, cool and warm, smooth and crunchy, but always delicious.

The only trouble was the restaurant itself.

It seemed to be in some kind of identity crisis, not knowing what it was trying to be. Though the food was world class, and the service was perfect, the restaurant itself wasn’t able to tie it all together.

Strange decor, unassuming bathrooms that could be found in any cheesy hotel and pop music straight out of 5 years ago.

Weird… and very distracting.

This brings up a good point about marketing in general: Don’t send mixed messages.

How to not send mixed messages

When designing your site, landing page, product brochure, blog post, print ad or restaurant you need to stay focused. My favorite trick for this is to take a moment to figure out who you’re talking to, and talk ONLY to them.

Here’s what I mean.

  • First write out who your target for this marketing piece is. Write out their age, gender, occupation and yes, their name.
  • Next write out their motivations. What dreams do they have? What is important to them? Where do they live? Where do they WANT to live? Do they value family?
  • Next write about their fears. What do they avoid? What makes them intensely afraid?

Now you’re starting to get the picture of who this person is. From there you have enough to write out the thought process and objections that this person would go through when they first see your product, service or idea.

Now that you have created this target persona you’re ready to start the process of creating. With every bullet point, illustration, headline and table cloth that you design keep this person in mind.

What would they think about it? Would it appeal to them? Would it create an emotional response?

Remember, it’s not about YOU.

It’s about the client.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>