Marketing Tip of the Week: Matching Messages & Calls to Action

Branding, Community & Small Business Branding, Curb Appeal, Getting Results, Local Business Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Mistakes, Signage, Small Business, Small Business Marketing, Small Retail Business

Marketing Tip of the Week: Matching Messages & Calls to Action

No Comments 15 November 2010

This week I have a very simple marketing tip of the week for you Make sure that in the rush of the holiday season and pushing out lots of marketing messages to meet those media deadlines that you make sure you match your marketing message with your call to action.

First off, why should the marketing message & call to action match? (And similarly, why is a call to action so critical to marketing?) Here are a few of the reasons:

1. You’ll get to your goal faster (and increase sales) by asking for what you want.

2. Your marketing will be more measurable – so if it’s not working you can quit wasting money and if it is, you’ll know where to focus.

3. Clear messages and action items are easier to share – which will expose your business virally to more new customers.

Case Study: Wrong Call to Action

We drove past a billboard last night that basically said “Losing Weight Can Start Online.”

And it displayed a phone number.

Marketing Tip of the Week: Match your marketing message with your call to action.

It’s a simple step-wise process to achieve this marketing tip:

1. Have a marketing strategy. (What is your goal? What do you want customers to do? How can you reach them and motivate them?)

2. Create a marketing message. (What marketing message will motivate folks to do what you want them to do? What can you say or offer that will inspire action?)

3. Insert a call to action. (Ask them to do what you want them to do. Don’t forget to actually HAVE a call to action – and make sure that the call to action makes sense with the message that you sent.)

Examples of Matching Messages & Calls to Actions

Marketing Message: Invitation to attend an event and RSVP for a chance to win!

Call to Action: RSVP online with an e-mail address (so even if they don’t show up, you have their contact information).

Marketing Message: Get updates on new merchandise & special offers

Call to Action: Link to sign-up for the e-mail list / URL for sign-up landing page

Marketing Message: Buy Gift Certificates for Christmas Gifts!

Call to Action: Buy Online or In-Store – include web site URL where gift certificates can be purchased and store physical address

Of course, what should have the billboard have done differently?

Of course, if weight loss starts online – then there should be a URL where I can start my weight loss. Not a phone number.

What marketing messages are you sending this holiday season? Do you have a strong and connected call to action in all of your marketing messages? What’s working well for you?

Photo By: (aka Brent)


Local Business Marketing Partnership Idea – Using Bathrooms

Local Business Marketing, Partnerships & Alliances, Signage

Local Business Marketing Partnership Idea – Using Bathrooms

2 Comments 28 October 2010

I’m always on the lookout for a great new local business marketing partnership idea. Local business marketing is tricky, and I’m convinced that the number one tactic has a lot more to do with working together in business partnerships than working against one another in a competitive stance. With this in mind – and a few other things – I return to the Bathroom Blogfest.

In my first post for this year’s Bathroom Blogfest, I explored an idea for using signage in public bathrooms as a customer experience tool.

There are two items in play in my mind today.

  1. I spend a lot of time helping LOCAL businesses connect with customers – I do local business marketing. And ultimately, I want to convince the public to be like me: to choose locally owned businesses – no matter where they are.  For example, if I’m traveling through Mobile, Alabama – I’d rather choose a locally owned place to eat, shop, get my car serviced, etc. Of course, when I’m at home in Jackson, MS, I stick to the locally owned places nearly exclusively.
  2. In helping local businesses with their marketing, I spend a lot of time connecting local businesses so they can enjoy the benefits of business partnerships – some folks call them business alliances.

Yep, this applies to bathrooms…

Folks who use public bathrooms don’t usually live around the corner. If they did, they’d just use their own bathroom. The folks using public bathrooms are outsiders to the local area. They are either trade area shoppers or they’re passing through for business or pleasure. Regardless, they’re an opportunity waiting to happen for the local economy.

I say it’s time for local businesses to identify those public restrooms – in convenience stores, hotels, service stations, welcome centers, and the like – and the owners of the same. Then, band together a group of businesses and create a simple way to educate and welcome these passersby – and get them to drop some of their change in your business before they leave.

Maybe it means getting permission to post signage in a bathroom with a Twitter account or text message shortcode that will lead to local offers and invitations. Maybe it’s simply a link to a mobile friendly web site that lists several things that are “can’t miss” before they leave town. Ideally, the information would be fresh, relevant to the time of day, month and current local events. But regardless, I’d like to see local businesses seeking to offer their hospitality in that short moment of private pause. It’s local business marketing that I think might just work magic.

Tricks to success:

  1. Simple message – SIMPLE.
  2. Multiple simple offers compiled in one place.
  3. Technology tie-in that makes it easy to engage.

How to Earn Cooperation for this Business Partnership

In case you’re wondering how to gain cooperation from your newly identified partners-to-be? Well, it’s easy – turn them into customers and partners at the same time. Offer a sampling or regular portion of your goods or services to them in exchange for the advertising space in their bathroom…

Closing Comments

So, I guess this is yet another bathroom signage idea, but if I were the customer, I’d definitely count it as an improved customer experience that the bathroom owner though it was valuable to show me hospitality in his/her community in this way. Of course, the sentiment will fall short if the bathroom is dirty.

Moral of this story: Choose your bathroom business alliances as carefully as you should all the other business partnerships you make.

Editor’s Note

Yes, I’m participating in a blogfest with some other bathroom experience junkies around the country. It’s one week only – but hopefully it’ll get you thinking – and doing something – to improve that all-important potty space in your own business. And even thinking about how you can benefit from such spaces in OTHER businesses. As you ponder these things, be sure to check out what some of the others are writing about, too!

Valerie Fritz from The AwarepointBlog writes about Hospitals, Bathrooms and RTLS: Bathroom Blogfest 2010. Did you know that RTLS prevents hospital patient falls and keeps track of critical equipment – all relating to bathrooms?  Very cool stuff.

Bill Buyok from the Avente Tile Talk Blog came up with nostalgic images capturing Stuck in the 60s? Trends & Changes in Bath Design while also putting the times into perspective.

Becky Carroll from Customers Rock! showcases beautiful bathroom examples she has uncovered in Las Vegas. Her contrasting example makes the point of Bathroom Blogfest 2010 – Stuck in the 60s?

Susan Abbott from Customer Experience Crossroads elevates the bathroom discussion in Bathroom Blogfest 2010: Bathrooms are aspirational.

Nora DePalma from Professor Toilet unearths preposterous advertising and promotional materials in American Standard: The Groovy Years. OMG!

Arpi Nalbandian in the TILE Magazine Editor Blog offers An ode to bathrooms blue and pink, or, real ‘Mad Men’ like pink tile too!

Shannon Bilby for Dolphin Carpet and Tile writes about Creating an Attractive Universal Design Bath.

C.B. Whittemore addresses Toilet Paper, Advertising & Bathroom Blogfest 2010 on Flooring The Consumer and Real-Time Marketing & Bathroom Blogfest 2010 on the Simple Marketing Blog.


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About Marianna Chapman

For the past 15 years, Marianna Chapman has been creating game-changing big ideas resulting in big returns for dozens of businesses and communities across the U.S.

Today, Marianna and her team help business and non-profit clients at Big Idea Company, Inc., writes the Results Revolution blog, serves as Executive Editor for Eat Cities, LLC media outlets, and is a frequent speaker to national and regional conferences.

Marianna is a professional problem solver and rainmaker for hire.

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