Remember the Star Trek scenes where Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk would ask starfleet officer Captain Montgomery Scott (often referred to as “Scotty” by his shipmates) to “beam them up” to escape whatever desolate planet they were stuck on during an away mission?
As you develop your message architecture, think of each key message as an attempt to “beam up” your prospects. Scotty had the mystifying ability to pinpoint where his crew was, deliver the transporter beam to “capture” them, and then beam them into his store, errr, I mean, his station.
If your marketing message is as clear and precisely targeted as Scotty’s transporter beam was, it should likewise automagically transport (i.e., convert) customers.
Great messages captivate an audience because they are accessible. They compel a response because they touch upon an unmet want or need. Great messaging creates a story that invites your audience to become a part of it in an authentic, transformational way.
If we follow Scotty’s process above, we too can develop “transporter-like” capabilities with our marketing messaging.
1. Pinpoint your audience
Last week we talked about the importance of knowing your customers. The first rule of marketing has always been, Know Thy Customer. Without this critical knowledge, you can’t possibly develop marketing messages that convert. Before you read step 2, make sure you have mastered step 1 (e.g., go back and read the post and download the worksheet!)
2. Capture your prospects
The transporter beam is the methodology that helps you channel your message to prospects. It’s the mechanism, the science behind the words, that helps the message work for your audience. Scotty used a transporter beam, great marketers use the power of story.
Donald Miller believes that “Narrative is the most powerful transformational tool there is. Story has the power to change peoples lives.”
In its most basic form, developing your primary marketing message is simply about walking your customer through a story arc to help them resolve a challenge or obstacle they are facing.
Miller outlines the story arc structure as follows:
Step 1: The Problem: What’s the pain point you help your customer resolve?
Step 2: The Solution: What’s your unique and memorable solution to that pain point?
Step 3: The Reward: How does your customer’s life look after their pain is resolved?
A more elaborate form of the story arc is presented in the Hero’s journey, where the narrative pattern is shown and described as follows:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
Whereas Scotty captured his team through a simple tractor beam, you will capture yours through a carefully-constructed single sentence called a Value Proposition, using the story arc structures above.
A good value prop tells your customers and prospects what to expect from your company by telling them what you do/sell and how they benefit.
We have a free worksheet that can help walk you through developing a value proposition that converts. Look for the slide out at the bottom to download our worksheet!
3. Deliver them into your transporter room
Transporting Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk into the station room was often a battle (especially when they were in the middle of a phaser fight on an unnamed planet in the Omicron Delta region). They would show up and fade away, and then after much struggle, eventually show up fully ionized and in human form. It was at this point Scotty breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed his shoulders.
And so it goes with customer conversion.
There are customers who will only be partially present, customers who will be fully engaged, and other customers who will become raving fans and be your best brand evangelists. How you convert them, however, all starts with how effectively you connect your message to their pain points or primary needs and lead them through a story that engages them to your brand.