05 Red Setter Marketing – Getting your proposition right

By Alex Blyth, Editorial Director

Marketing becomes a whole lot easier when you’re telling someone something they want to hear.

It’s a simple truth that’s too often ignored. Too often we rush to get in touch with people we’d like to work with. Sometimes it works – we get lucky – but it’s not as reliable or efficient a process as it could be.

So, with all our marketing campaigns we spend time with our clients figuring out who they should be speaking to, and what they should be saying.

It begins by thinking about your services. What is it you do better than anyone else? What is it that you enjoy doing or that’s most profitable?

Then we look at your audience. What are the common characteristics between the clients? Or at least the ones you’d like to replicate…Are they all in a certain sector? Do they all speak to a similar audience? Or is there some other shared quality? Is there an untapped audience that has an appetite for your services?

We look more closely at that audience. What are the issues they’re grappling with right now? What are the challenges they need help with? What are the opportunities they’re looking to exploit? Which are the specific issues that you are well placed to help with?

And finally, how are you distinctive from your competitors in this space?

Get all of this right and you will be telling someone something they want to hear. You’ll be addressing an issue that matters to them right now, and you’ll be saying things that no one else is. You’ll have a distinctive and strong proposition.

It’s not an easy process. You need an external perspective. You’re on the inside of the jar so you can’t read the label. We’re outside of the jar and we have spent many years helping hundreds of design agencies with their positioning. Often we can point to an area of clear competitive difference that hadn’t even occurred to our clients.

We also help by challenging the easy assumptions. Just because you’ve always said the same things to the same people doesn’t mean that can’t change. And just because no one else is doing something doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done – that’s probably the distinctive space we’re looking for.

More than anything we help them be bold. We stop them trying to be all things to all people. We give them confidence to say something that matters to a specific group of people. And it transforms agencies. It gives focus to their direction, it provides clarity for marketing activities, and attracts the right sort of enquiries – usually far faster than people expect.

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