Creating Your Message

Once you know who you are talking to (your target market/persona) and how you are delivering your message (your media strategy), it’s time to figure out what you are going to say (messaging).

Start by taking a breath, clearing your mind and asking yourself what it is you actually want people to do. Sure you want them to sign up for your event or attend a class but can they really sign up for a class when they see your poster on the bulletin board at Whole Foods? No, so what can they do? Visit a website? Dial a phone number? Whatever that action is, it is called the call-to-action and your entire message should be oriented around getting the reader/viewer to perform that one action. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

If you met a girl or a guy you found attractive at a party, you wouldn’t ask if they wanted to get married or have your babies, would you? You would ask if they want to go out to dinner or if they would give you their phone number. That’s the call-to-action. Don’t make your messages too complicated by selling the entire program, just get them to “click here for more information”.

So now you know who you are talking to, how you are talking to them and what you want them to do. It’s time to create a message. The number one thing to remember when you create a message is not to talk to yourself. Speak to that persona! If you aren’t a member of your target market (and you probably aren’t in this situation) then the message you are creating doesn’t need to be appealing to you. Get into your persona’s head, listen to the message and say “Why do I care?”.

From our persona and our other background information we know:

  • They are interested in sustainable local food
  • They are interested in healthy, pure food
  • They care about the quality of life lived by the animals they consume for protein
  • There is a good chance they garden and/or raise chickens if they have the space
  • They are quite likely millennials
  • They are probably educated professionals
  • They are much more likely to be female than our traditional R3 market
  • They are more likely to live in an urban or suburban location
  • They have little or no experience with hunting or fishing
  • They are quite likely married or living with a significant other
  • They may have children living in their home

Your goal in messaging is to:

  1. Attract attention in the media in which your message is being delivered (a black and white ad in a colorful publication, a TV commercial with no sound, an attention grabbing photo, etc)
  2. Communicate/motivate the reader/viewer with the simplest, most compelling message possible
  3. Provide an easily understood and executed call-to-action

Once you have a message don’t forget to test drive it against your personas and ask why each of your personas care about the message. If you have children, neighbors, spouses or co-workers who are firmly in the target market you could ask their opinion as well but don’t get too hung up on one person’s opinion.

If you have time and opportunity to thoroughly test your messaging a focus group or A/B online or email testing are great ways to find out if one message is better than another.