Integrative approach

Marketing cannot be separated — connections abound

Boosting a website's effectiveness often requires first focusing the message. Online marketing cannot be separated from all marketing, offline and online.

Further, the message is effective only if it is perceived as being authentic. Knowledge of customer touch points throughout the company, and how well expectations are being met, is a precondition to a focused message that will be perceived as authentic.

The best approach requires collaboration throughout organizations — suppliers and alliances as well as all client company functional areas.

Focusing the message

I help firms focus their message, while accounting for the broad range of details that influence what that message should be.

The proportion of the time I spend on the core marketing issue may not be big at all. However, messaging is central to all marketing tasks, so questions about it always arise early in an engagement. My work on messaging components—like the unique value proposition and positioning—is most likely to require collaboration throughout the organization, and usually happens early on.

I seek engagements long enough to get agreement on improved messaging, implement it throughout all communications channels, and mentor client employees to ensure continuous improvements after I am gone.

Benefits of a clear message

When a company's message is unclear, improving its focus should happen first. A focused message makes it less expensive to get noticed, and easier to begin engagement with customers.

Next: First steps toward a more focused message.