I first heard the phrase “message-to-market” match from an early mentor, Alex Mandossian. He explained its meaning in great detail but I didn’t get it. In 2006 this was too abstract a concept for me to wrap my mind around and I filed it somewhere in the back of my mind to retrieve at a later point in time. That time came sooner rather than later as I experienced greater success when my messages began to meet my market where they were at that point in time.
Here are some examples of how I have used the concept of message-to-market in my business:
Recently I was honored to give the keynote speech at a live marketing event for people who are interested in starting an online business. There were almost two hundred people in attendance and they had all checked the box that indicated they were currently employed and had never owned a business of any kind. My goal was to meet them where they were on that day and not where they would like to be in six months.
The people in this group are at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. Actually, they are at the “pre-beginning” stage because they may decide this path isn’t for them after hearing me and two other speakers share our knowledge and expertise with them.
At that event I only shared some of the basics about marketing and entrepreneurship. This includes committing to work for yourself and building a business, choosing a niche, starting a blog, getting your message out to the world, and finding two or three products in your niche to recommend to others as an affiliate marketer.
This week I’ve been working on my upcoming micro course for affiliate marketing. When I earned my first income online in 2006 it was by recommending a product to people who were an excellent fit for it. My efforts were a perfect message-to-market match between the product and the prospects. The new micro course will be a match for those who sign up to learn from and with me.
We must meet people where they are right now, not where we are right now or where we would like for them to be. Does this make sense?
If your prospects are interested in walking for exercise and improved health, you can’t sell them equipment they will need to run a marathon. They aren’t there, and may never be.
My mother was a classically trained pianist and I wanted to learn to play the piano. She skipped past the basics and I was unable to keep up. Add in the fact that I was impatient and whined when something didn’t go my way and I quit my lessons. I take full responsibility for not sticking with it and deeply regret not being able to play. But I often imagine my mother presenting her message about music to me (her market) in a way that would have caused me to be a raving fan who practiced every day.
Think about the message you are sending to your market. Is it a good fit? Meet your prospects where they are today and they will be much more likely to purchase from you in the future.
If someone comes up to me at a live event and tells me they have always dreamed of writing a book, I simply listen and ask them more about their idea. Next, I ask them what their desired outcome would be after they wrote and published their book. During a discussion such as this one, transpiring over the course of less than ten minutes I am able to tell where they are right now. This is based upon my own experiences, as well as my expertise in working with new authors.
WordPress was in its infancy when I started my online business in 2006. During their first two years Matt Mullenweg and his team made no effort with attempting to convince people like me to give WordPress a try.
Why? It would not have been a message-to-market match. Instead, they wisely chose to reach out to the most techie people they could find and grow with this grass roots effort.
The result? WordPress grew and spread like bamboo in the swamp and as of 2019 about 27% of the internet is powered by WordPress, according to this site.
My colleague Rob Kosberg shares his insight on this topic of message-to-market in his post Meet Your Potential Customers Where They Are:
In 2007 social media was just beginning to ramp up.
Facebook didn’t have business pages and ads weren’t quite mainstream just yet (in fact, they were first called ‘flyers’ in the early days and were found only in the sidebar).
What do you think would have happened if Facebook had tried to roll out a robust ad platform in those early days, when people were still getting used to “showing up” online?
It would have failed miserably.
Facebook needed to learn about its users and provide them with the best experience possible.
They met us where we were.
They delivered the right products at the right time, which is pivotal for any business.
Understanding your customer’s journey is the best way to serve them. Find out what stage of the journey they’re on and meet them there.
First, we start with ‘here versus there.’ And what I mean by that is when clients are coming to you, when somebody is buying my book, or entering my funnel, they’re at a certain place in this journey. They’re here and what they’re really looking to do is get to there. And the same thing is true for you. Clients come to me, people come to me because perhaps they’ve been stuck in getting their book written. They know that a book would help them to grow their credibility, to grow their authority in the marketplace, to take them to the expert thought leader or even celebrity, a space in their market. But they’re just not there.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I am here to serve you with my experience, knowledge, and ideas. Learn how to sell yourself to the world with your message and how to sell your products and services based on what you know with my new online training course, How to Sell Yourself and Your Stuff. You’ll be more than glad you decided to come aboard!