Positioning vs. Messaging
Previously, we established and explained why Your Website Platform Doesn’t Matter.
This is the first thing that I want you to keep in mind as we go about making your website better.
Next, I want you to ask a question that 80% of the people I consult with have never considered. It is a question that is simple, but it’s not easy to answer…
What do you want to be known for (positioning), and how are you going to explain that to your visitors (messaging) quickly and effectively?
See… to start, we need to put the website platform lower on the list of importance so that we can focus more on content, and we need to raise positioning and messaging closer to the top of that same list. If you don’t know what you want to tell people and why they should care, then there is no reason to spend any time working on building and populating a website - because it won’t be effective.
In some instances you will see this called the perceived need - you should be able to explain to customers what makes you different, engaging, attractive and ultimately why they need you or your service. When you do this, you stand a much better chance or gaining their attention and their business.
To quickly summarize:
Positioning: what you want to be known for with your audience. The problem you solve. The reason your business exists.
Messaging: carefully crafted statements, ideas and concepts designed to reinforce your positioning.
That is the difference, and now that we understand this difference we can ask the next logical question.
Why do they matter?
Because without these assets, you won’t be able to define your target market - which means you won’t be able to design, automate, track or gauge the effectiveness of your marketing.
You’ll be flying blind.
I personally suffered from the “jack of all trades, master of none” curse for many years. My tagline for The Hauser Design Group was simply this:
“We Believe In Your Business.”
“Sounds great!” I thought. “Applies to everyone and therefore it will lead to more business!”… yet whenever I gave someone my card they asked the same question.
“So… uh… what do you do?”
Nobody should have to ask what you do when they see your website or other marketing products for the first time.
We have since changed our tagline:
“Premium Website Development.”
Guess what we do.
That’s right - we provide premium website development.
Would you believe me if I said that this change has had a monumental impact on our marketing and business as a whole? It seems so simple. I mean, we’re talking about a total of 3 words. It’s such a little thing… but in business, it’s often the little things (many, many little things) that have the largest impact.
This is how we choose to position the business. This is what we want our customers to know the first time they open the website, or read a business card.
This tagline itself is part of my messaging. I also reworked the website content and put a much larger emphasis on all of our online reviews to validate the use of the word “premium”. As I mentioned above your messaging needs to reinforce your positioning, and using phrases like “the best”, “outstanding”, “premium”, “top dog” etc can work, provided you can back up your claim.
With these things in place I can now ask questions like:
How can we get more clients?
Well, who would benefit most from our service offering?
How do we get in front of that audience?
Have we defined what our ideal client looks like?
Before you can create an effective website, an effective marketing plan or an effective business - you need to know who would benefit most from your products and services, and how to find and share your message with those people.
Positioning & messaging are critical concepts, and you must understand the differences between the two.
So, let’s do some homework:
This section is not going to go deep into the finer points of developing a comprehensive marketing plan, however, before you start to work on your website randomly, take some time to really think about your positioning & messaging. Write them down - and hey, keep it simple! You don’t need a 500 word document, just a few sentences to act as your guiding light.
If you need help defining your positioning or messaging, contact me and I’ll be happy to help.
🍻 Cheers, - AJ
Interested in working together? Sounds great!
I help website owners like you turn window shoppers & tire kickers into paying customers. I’m also a partner and Senior Design Lead at The Hauser Design Group where we focus exclusively on premium website development.