Making your message matter
I’m frequently asked to describe my business and its purpose.
The other afternoon was a great example in point. I attended a networking event. Nothing new there. I met some great people and some useful contacts and, as always, I was asked what I do. I replied to one lady in particular and was met with a reply that I’ve heard several times before “oh, you do data”. I could tell that she was imagining spreadsheets and reams of figures.
Hmm, maybe… in fact, NO.
Yes… I deal in data but that’s a fraction of the story. It isn’t just data, it’s information and content that ensures that my client’s message matters.
I help them to expand their perspective, to demonstrate thought leadership and differentiate their business in what is increasingly a highly competitive environment. I support them with an understanding of the market in which they’re operating or pitching, consumer behaviour within this market, trends that influence and the competitor landscape. This leads to compelling and powerful conversations with existing and potential customers and an extra digit on the bottom line…
This isn’t to say my clients aren’t totally capable of equipping themselves with this knowledge; most of them are. They just don’t have the time.
Small business owners struggle in particular. In a recent survey by the Alternative Board, 30% of business owners work up to 60 hours per week already.
When messages are increasing in volume – the average person is subjected to up to 10,000 brand messages a day – it’s important to demonstrate your brands difference with some irrefutable and powerful facts. Not to impress (although that’s always nice) but to be memorable and, more importantly, to enable your customer to share your content and story. A double whammy if you like.
All too often, conversations in whatever format leave you feeling warm and in some cases entertained (great!) but not necessarily more informed. The ultimate is to achieve all three and for your message to be well and truly sticky. It needs to have enough tangible “hooks” for the customer to understand that you know your stuff and are a valuable contact for them both now and in the future.
And it works.
Fast forward a few days and I attended a workshop where the participants had attended training on 30 second elevator pitches the morning before. Every single pitch here used facts, statistics and interesting nuggets to illustrate and punch their message home. It was great to see and compelling listening.
So, it’s not just data that I deal in. It’s isn’t dry and boring and limited to the data geek. In fact, using data and fact compellingly can elevate a conversation which is unfocused and forgettable into something which has valuable meaning. It can be a pitch, a meeting or a networking introduction. The principle is the same.
At the end of the day, people buy people. And they buy people who demonstrate that they can make a clear and measurable difference to their business. If they’re going to invest they need to know that the investment will be worthwhile. And you can’t argue with that.
# knowledge is power.