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Marketing 101 - Crafting Your Message by Julie Walker


Marketing 101:
Crafting Your Message
by Julie Walker

Julie Walker, Wine Country Radio - Sonoma County, CAHi.  My name is Julie Walker.  I am a writer and marketing consultant and I work for Wine Country Radio.  I will be sharing marketing jewels throughout 2015.  My expertise is in radio, however the principles I will be writing about span all the Medias.  I will be covering things like:  What is advertising?  Why do I need to advertise?  What is branding?  How do I craft a message people will respond to? 

Good advertising invites, entertains, educates and/or persuades.  The first thing to determine is:   Who am I talking to?  Begin by picturing your perfect customer and tell them a story of what you do and why you do it.  Don’t forget to tell them why you do what you do.  Or how what you do, will affect their lives.  After each statement you make, think about the listener asking themselves….okay, so what??  Why do I care?  Or, how is this is important to me?   Here are some examples: 

1 - We are open Monday thru Friday from 10-6, Saturday 10-7 and Sunday till 4.  Most folks will never hear or read these words.   They are not going to memorize your hours of operation.  In effect, you are answering questions no one is asking.  Your potential customer is probably zoning out and thinking….hmmmm, I wonder what I’m having for dinner tonight?  A better way to say the same thing is:  We are open every day.   So, when you are ready to explore (insert your product here), we will be here.   More memorable and better use of your ad space. 

Advertising is a proposition.  If I purchase this product, what will happen?  Think of Dove or any beauty products, they are promising you younger looking skin by washing your face with their soap.  Or, wear the right jeans, you’ll be sexy and you’ll get the girl or guy and live happily ever after. 

How is what you do a benefit.  What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

Here are some more common phrases that generally do not make a difference to the average potential buyer:

2 - We are a family run business.  I know, shocking…..However, the truth is…..most people do not care if the place they are buying their tires from is a family run business.  Although a family business has advantages which can trickle down to the consumer, it’s generally not a priority statement.  This is not the reason why most people are going to do business with you.  A better way to say we are a family run business, is to have your family in the ad, their voice on the air or photos in print or web banner ads.  Put a face to the family-run.

3 - We are conveniently located and we offer competitive prices.   Again, empty statement.  Guess what, if we can’t find you and your products are overpriced, you are not going to be around long. 

4 - What’s the call to Action?  Many advertisers muddle the message by giving too many instructions.  For example:  Call us at 707 – 000-0000,  go to our website at, come to our store at ____Main Street America USA.   Which one is it?  What do you want me to do first?  Call, come over, go to your online store.  If your message is memorable, entertaining, educating, any or all of the above, I’ll find you. 

At the end of the day remember this, people do not respond to ads, they respond to need.  So no matter how great your ad is…..if I don’t need (a screen door) I’m not coming in.  However, if your message is memorable, your store will be the first place I go, when I want what you sell. 

If you own a business, it is my hope you will find a jewel or two of something helpful that will help you generate sales.  Please feel free to email me any questions you would like me to address at      

Remember….If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!