Keith Bates Blog

NEED TO STAND OUT IN YOUR MARKET?

Maybe your website is sending the wrong message!

November 6, 2017

Ever feel like your marketing message is not standing out from the crowd?

The obvious answer is differentiation. But this comes in several forms ranging from product, to messaging, to markets and beyond. In today’s blog I’m going to touch on “products” via thoughts from Jack Trout’s classic “Differentiate or Die”; and “markets” via Kim/Mauborgne’s just published “Blue Ocean Shift”.

Differentiate or Die needs to be taken seriously!

Differentiation can be a word game whereby you carefully study all your competitors marketing messages and come up with your own really clever, really creative approach…one  which is in stark contrast to everyone else. At this point I want to throw out a thought I have encountered many times over the past 20 years…and that is the response from CEOs that “I have no competition”. My reply is “Nonsense”. Have you ever heard the term “apathy”? There are many prospective buyers who just don’t care. They either have no use, are unaware of your product, or you have not been sufficiently persuasive.

Also beware of the misuse of emotion. If your messaging presents emotion and leaves out a reason to buy all that emotion becomes a waste of money. So many people try to entertain or be clever just for clever’s sake. This often results in overlooking the news factor in their story. If you offer a meaningful difference in the market, dramatize the difference. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! Differentiation typically springs from two sources, either the mind as a result of positioning copy, or the product, the differences of which you are inadequately promoting. For more on differentiation read the book, or call me.

Blue Ocean Positioning is the process of presenting an existing product in a new light to its market.

The original Blue Ocean Strategy is an awesome book. It’s already sold over 3 ½ million copies. The original appeared about 10 years ago. Their premise is that rather than making your product appear different through marketing positioning, you really make the product actually different therefore creating uncontested market space which makes the competition (in the red ocean) irrelevant.

The just published Blue Ocean Shift expands on the original concept by offering a systematic five-step approach that incorporates insights into human psychology to build people’s confidence to succeed. The five steps to making a Blue Ocean Shift include Getting Started,

Understanding Where You Are Now, Imagining Where You Could Be, Finding How You Get There, and Making Your Move.

You could argue that this is an R&D issue rather than communications, but that’s only partly true. Without skillful messaging you could fail to promote the fine line of differentiation from other products offering what to appear to be comparable features.

Two years ago I wrote a white paper on Blue Ocean Positioning, which is available for the asking. Here is a paragraph taken from the front page…

“Powerful, effective marketing is more dependent on messaging than media. How to do this resides within the techniques of Blue Ocean Positioning by Keith Bates, which builds on and extends the concept of Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, as well as Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout.”

For a free copy of “Creativity—the critical gap between Messaging & Media” simply visit www.kbates.com home page for the link.

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Keith Bates has enjoyed a lifelong, around the world, passion for helping people communicate whether it was school buddy book reports or his former ad agency client’s marketing. Keith is different.

A content writer/strategist’s ability lets them see things others don’t. Keith learned early in life that provocative content and imaging were required to change attitudes and beliefs.

This skill came in handy with Keith’s more than 200 clients over the years, most of them software vendors, who found the requirement of translating developer language to end user language pretty challenging.

And today we have a new challenge, only it’s not inventor vs. end user but messaging vs. media. It’s OK to add digital media complexity for message distribution, but not for messaging requirements. 

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