Developing a Marketing Message (Real World Example)

A friend of mine has struggled to get their yoga studio moving, and so I "offered" (i.e. insisted forcefully) to help craft a message that would resonate with their potential audience – a significantly agricultural town in regional Victoria with a population of around 32,000.

The only directive I had was to send me a sample of her messaging, and I’d tell her what I thought.

I went through a process of highlighting sections and adding questions, then wait for a reply, then repeat the process until we ended up with a honed message. Nothing too revolutionary, I know.

This is the sample she sent to me:

Tonight’s Slow Hatha class will have us moving through gentle poses to help relieve heaviness & restlessness in the body, irregular digestion and alleviate stiffness in the joints.

During these changes, we want to encourage you to go back to basic yoga poses and yoga poses for all levels of experience to help stay connected with your stability.

We will emphasize grounding poses, encourage length, keep the heartbeat low and in control, focus on the digestive system and build deeper inhalations during asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing practice).

We’ve had great feedback to our classes online & we are loving the real-time practice. We look forward to seeing you tonight. You only need one person to book and your whole household can join in.

The way to dissect something like this is, in my mind, very simple: whenever I read some and think "¿Que?" someone else will – and that’s the point where you’ve lost them.

Tonight’s Slow Hatha (what does this mean?) class will have us moving through gentle poses to help relieve heaviness & restlessness in the body (how does moving through gentle poses help relieve restlessness?), irregular digestion (what’s "irregular digestion"? how does moving through gentles poses help?) and alleviate stiffness in the joints (again, how?).

During these changes (What changes?), we want to encourage you to go back to basic (back to basic? the fuck you think I am? advanced?) yoga poses and yoga poses for all levels of experience to help stay connected with your stability.

We will emphasize grounding poses (such as?), encourage length (that’s what she said), keep the heartbeat low and in control, focus on the digestive system and build deeper inhalations during asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing practice).

We’ve had great feedback (really? show me) to our classes online & we are loving the real-time practice. We look forward to seeing you tonight. You only need one person to book and your whole household can join in.

Marketing Concepts

Before we start developing this message, I want to talk concepts. There are more words written about marketing concepts than will ever be worth reading, but the following are the presumptions I use when honing a message:

  1. Like every movie, marketing needs a conflict to inspire anything. [1] In other words, what problem is our product solving?
  2. The essence of Marketing is narrowing the focus. You become stronger when you reduce the scope of your operations. You can’t stand for something if you chase after everything. [2] In other words, we need to reduce the scope of this statement. I counted 19 separate items in four paragraphs: we need to say more about less.
  3. The single most wasteful thing you can do in Marketing is try to change a mind. [2:1] An important concept to get over, is you can’t change someone’s mind with a facebook post. We’re not trying to convince people yoga is a good idea. We’re trying to make it comfortable and easy for them to understand they already think it’s a good idea.
  4. Readers should be able to answer these questions within five seconds of looking at our website or marketing material:" [3]
    • "What do you offer?"
    • "How will it make my life better?"
    • "What do I need to do to buy it?"
  5. There’s a difference between the external problem, and the internal: "For example, if we own a house-painting business, our customer’s external problem might be an unsightly home. The internal problem, however, may involve a sense of embarrassment about having the ugliest home on the street. Knowing this, our marketing could offer “Paint That Will Make Your Neighbors Jealous." [3:1] In our case, what specifically is the internal problem our online yoga sessions solve?

Crafting a Message

With all that in mind, it’s time to tackle re-writing this message.

  1. Don’t use techincal terms. While "Slow Hatha" ticks the What do you offer? box, and it might mean something to people who’re already a customer – might – it’s unlikely to mean anything to somone who isn’t already a keen yogi. I, for example, have done some yoga in my life. I, however, have no idea what slow hatha is.
  2. How does moving through gentle poses help relieve restlessness? What’s "irregular digestion" and how does moving through gentles poses help? How does moving through gentles poses help join stiffness? There’s nothing wrong with any of these statements, but there’s no suggestion of any evidence to back up the claims.
  3. During these changes, we want to encourage you to go back to basic yoga poses and yoga poses for all levels of experience to help stay connected with your stability. This whole statement is very… well, bullshitty. There’s no attempt to explain the changes being referenced to, so no opportunity for the reader to see their own experience here. Encouraging people who aren’t yet doing yoga to go back to basics is non-sensical, and there’s no attempt to explain to the reader why staying connected with their stability is valuable.
  4. Finally, We’ve had great feedback. Social proof is the holy grail of marketing: the network effect sells more product for less money in less time than all of the world’s marketing and ad agencies efforts, in all history, combined. So prove it. It’s so easy: just screen shot messages, quote people, share videos.

So how do we turn these observations into a message?

Feedback

  • Tonight’s Slow Hatha ^^(1. what does this mean?)^^ class will have us moving through gentle poses to help relieve heaviness & restlessness in the body ^^(2. how does moving through gentle poses help relieve restlessness?)^^, irregular digestion ^^ (3. what’s "irregular digestion"? how does moving through gentles poses help?)^^ and alleviate stiffness in the joints ^^(4. again, how?). ^^
    • 1. probably named it incorrectly by putting slow info in front of Hatha and not in the description. Simply put Hatha yoga is a series of static physical poses, practised at a slow pace and held for a short time with an awareness of breath and mind.
    • 2. When we lengthen our spine, lengthen our muscles without stretch, & when we lengthen our breath we engage the parasympathetic nervous system and switch of the sympathetic nervous system which in turn slows our heart rate and calm us down. When Moving slowly through poses with awareness of how we hold and fold our bodies & how we breathe we enable this experience of calm and firm. In Sanskrit it’s call Sthira & Sukha
    • 3. Irregular digestion is having to much air in the belly, syptoms mike flatulence bloating constipation dryness and burbs. It’s caused by semi digested good and can impact on our energy levels stiffness and poor circulation
    • __4. Moving through certain poses, helps to alleviate those symptoms by massaging internal organs, relaxing the nervous system and Relase has or air from joints __
  • During these changes ^^(1.What changes?)^^, we want to encourage you to go back to basic ^^(2.back to basic? the fuck you think I am? advanced?)^^ yoga poses and yoga poses for all levels of experience to help stay connected with your stability.
    • 1. What changes? Was talking about current circumstances of isolation and changes to regular routines such as going to work school etc
    • __2. Back to basic? WTF 😆It’s funny I actually do think of others as advanced. It’s a great reflection on how I try to hard and feel like I fail, how I underestimate myself and what I know as I’m always looking ahead at who I see as in front of me. At the same time I want people to know that same message. We don’t need to try to hard to create a sense of relief or relaxation in fact we need to do the opposite of this and keep it simple …base poses such as down dog , forward folds, spine twist, childs pose and rotation of joints __
  • We will emphasize grounding poses ^^(1.such as?)^^, encourage length^^ (2.that’s what she said)^^, keep the heartbeat low and in control, focus on the digestive system and build deeper inhalations during asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing practice).
    • 1. Grounding poses ? Seated folding forward pose (Passchimottanasana) Seated spine twists such as Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, Backbrnds from the floor such as Locust Pose Shalabhasana
      • ^^Q: Why’re they called grounding poses?^^
    • 2. Encourage length? When we feel and look for stretch we ar one step away from pain, we stop blood flow and we engage our fight flight. When we approach the Asana with a calm breath, and a firm hold, not tense, firm, and back off from the feeling of stretch we allow flow ‘yoga’ to happen. Blood flow, drainage from systems, slower heart rate & a sense of ease releasing tentions and stress
    • …we can do this by bringing our spine to a neutral place, bending our knees as much as we need to relieve stretch, actively holding the poses and not collapsing into them, relaxing the belly which in turn will allow more blood flow more heat to build and more calm through the nerves system
  • We’ve had great feedback ^^(1.really? show me)^^ to our classes online & we are loving the real-time practice. We look forward to seeing you tonight. You only need one person to book and your whole household can join in.
    • Jake Lunniss | Developing a Marketing Message (Real World Example)
    • “I had the feeling of connection I love about yoga practice in a studio, with the comfort of practise in my living room. I felt both strong in body and calm in mind and heart. A beautiful balance.” Zara

Step 1

Headlines

The opening statement is the most important. Readers should be able to answer these questions within five seconds of looking at our website or marketing material [3:2]. I like the formula "who you do for who you do it for".

Ex. Online yoga and guided meditation for people who’re f%^&}g fed up with Coronavirus Isolation.

This statement immediately tells people what the product is, and then immediately address the issue of "but yoga isn’t for me" but saying exactly who it’s for: people who’re fucking fed up with coronavirus isolation. And chances are high that whoever is reading fits that description.

Step 2

Supporting Statements

Now our job is to back up what we just declared. Facebook is a blissfully good medium for writing, because the character limits are high.

Let’s face it: we all find kinda like crap at the moment. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling this constant, droning, background anxiety.

Well, yoga and meditation has been proven to help. And if you’ve never done yoga before that’s OK – you know that kind of yoga where people pretzel themselves into knotting their feet behind their head? – yeah, this isn’t that.

Slow hatha yoga is slow movements that engage the parasympathetic nervous system and switch of the sympathetic nervous system. Anxiety is a dread about unforseen, upcoming events: slow hatha forces our brain to focus on the immediate, instead of worrying about "something" – the opposite of anxiety.

And switching to the parasympathetic nervous system slows our heart rate and calms us down.

Step 3

Social Proof

Now is the point where I’d insert some social proof. A quote from real customers would work well.

"It’s nice to carve a little time for myself from the chaos of hime during Covid-19. Yoga calms my mind and gently works my body, and a live class ensures I commit." Shelley

"I have the feeling of connection I love about yoga practice in a studio, with the comfort of practice in my living room." Zara

Step 4

Call To Action

The last step is to close it out, and give the reader the next steps – in this case, how to register for on line class.

*The next class is on #date# at #time#. Because it’s online you only need one spot, and the whole family can join in, so the value is off the charts too.

Register here: link

Or send me a message if you need any help from me!*

Step 5

Assemble!

Online yoga and guided meditation for people who’re f%^&}g fed up with Coronavirus Isolation.
Let’s face it: we all find kinda like crap at the moment. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling this constant, droning, background anxiety.

Well, yoga and meditation has been proven to help. And if you’ve never done yoga before that’s OK – you know that kind of yoga where people pretzel themselves into knotting their feet behind their head? – yeah, this isn’t that.

Slow hatha yoga is slow movements that engage the parasympathetic nervous system and switch of the sympathetic nervous system. Anxiety is a dread about unforseen, upcoming events: slow hatha forces our brain to focus on the immediate, instead of worrying about "something" – the opposite of anxiety.

And switching to the parasympathetic nervous system slows our heart rate and calms us down.

"It’s nice to carve a little time for myself from the chaos of hime during Covid-19. Yoga calms my mind and gently works my body, and a live class ensures I commit." Shelley

"I have the feeling of connection I love about yoga practice in a studio, with the comfort of practice in my living room." Zara*

The next class is on #date# at #time#. Because it’s online you only need one spot, and the whole family can join in, so the value is off the charts too.

Register here: link

Or send me a message if you need any help from me!


Developing a message that resonates with people can seem simple and enormously complex at the same time.

By breaking it down into steps and answering a series of simple questions, it makes it easier to unpack ideas that are stuck in your head, or communicate in a way that eliminates the burden of knowledge that can lead to you assuming too much.

The message above is really a second draft. Normally when I write something I sit on it for a while, wait until it is truly out of mind, and come back to it with fresh eyes. It makes it much easier to see the holes.


  1. Marketing Examples on Twitter ↩︎

  2. From the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎