The Best Messaging Has The Courage To Be Incomplete
We say this to our clients over and over and over again. I make my students at Acton MBA repeat it aloud in unison in class. The best messaging has the courage to be incomplete.
The best messaging has the courage to be incomplete.
Compare Decoy wine (one of my favorite examples of good marketing all-time) to a peer like Rodney Strong, which produces some really nice stuff at an affordable price point, too.
Rodney Strong does not have the courage to be incomplete. Rodney Strong is a desperate salesperson, chasing you out of the building with key selling point after key selling point, almost haphazardly, as if by trial-and-error.
Old growth vines? Check. Family heritage? Check. Organic? Award-winning? Check. Good price? Check.
We see this failure to self-edit on websites and sales collateral in almost every industry. A seemingly endless cascade of messages speak to every imaginable reason to buy.
We too often ask messaging to make the whole sale, to do all the work at hand. this gives off a feeling of desperation.
Leave no customer behind! Tell them everything! Leave no stone unturned!
Rodney Strong’s label is dense, with every precious bit of real estate put to supposedly good use. Decoy just has a carved wooden duck, and that one brilliant line on the back: “everyday wine for the well-informed.”
Decoy has won their fair share of awards. Their wine is made by some of the best in the business. Their parent brand is world-renowned (Duckhorn). But you won’t catch them saying at of that — at least not at first.
We use the word courage because it really does take resolve and restraint to hang your hat on something and trust that the rest will follow in due time.
You have to give customers a reason to scroll or click “learn more,” we argue. You have to create inertia in the funnel, and you do this by creating allure. What is sex appeal other than showing some, but not all?
Too many company throw everything but the kitchen sink at you. Icon, value prop. Icon, value prop. Icon, value prop. Icon, value prop.
Does a soliloquy work when you meet a brand new person? No. A well-phrased, thoughtful question, or an arguable statement of belief often does the trick, however.
In marketing that’s the goal, really — to strike up an excellent conversation. You have to trust your hook, and have faith that the cascade of engagement you’ve designed from there will deliver the right reinforcements at the right time.
Messaging that has the courage to be incomplete knows it has the goods, and as a result, also has the composure to let things properly unfold.
The best messaging is actually diamond shaped — courage to be incomplete when you first meet a prospective customer, and courage to be incomplete at the bottom of the funnel when you’re trying to close.
In between the aperture opens until education is complete, and begins to close up again as we move towards fruition.
Note: Decoy also does a fabulous job of following the maxim “don’t tell me what you do, tell me what you do for me, “ which we’ll talk about more in an upcoming post.
At my firm JDI, we make precedent-setting science companies well known and understood. Learn more at: www.jones-dilworth.com