The one thing that unites all of the world’s best-selling brands is that they have a clear, streamlined marketing message. Although it may seem impossible to replicate the business successes of Apple, Nike, Amazon or Microsoft, there is much to be learned from their successful marketing strategies.

Whilst marketing options are broad, successful marketers understand the importance of the underlying message being conveyed in all content. Consistent messaging across all media, including your website, social media platforms, ads, email campaigns and press releases, is the most effective way to connect with customers.

Whether you are creating a marketing identity from scratch or are trying to define your brand more successfully, a streamlined marketing message is vital. Before you begin building your marketing message, there are some questions you should ask yourself first:

What are you marketing?

Before you can make any decisions on how to deliver a marketing message, it is essential to first have an overview of what you are offering. Regardless of how few or many products, only with a clear account of your offerings can you begin to streamline your marketing messaging. This is where transforming the features of each product into benefits for the customer begins.

A key determining factor in the marketing success of companies on the Forbes most valuable global brands list is that they offer a definitive and distinct product or service. Even companies with expansive ranges are able to focus their offerings into a few key groups.

Who is your customer?

In order to successfully reach your target audience, you must have a clear knowledge of who your customer is. Are they young or old? What are their needs and what do they care about? Are they looking for adventure or do they want to relax?

With this type of knowledge, you can streamline a campaign to target customers more accurately and develop a marketing message that demonstrates how your company can help them. Customer surveys are an excellent way to gather this type of information.

Now that you understand what you are offering and to whom, you can streamline your company’s marketing messaging more successfully.

5 tips on developing a streamlined marketing message:

1. One message

Put simply, two marketing messages is one too many. Multiple messages in marketing and branding campaigns don’t work because customers can only process one message at a time. In order for a marketing message to succeed, it must not only catch the attention of the customer, but it must also be remembered and then acted upon at some future point. By constantly reaffirming a singular message throughout all marketing content, this increases the odds of customers choosing your brand.

2. Clear and simplified marketing

Research shows that customers are 85 percent more likely to purchase from a company when the decision-making process is streamlined and painless. Therefore, there is no need for elaborate websites or complicated advertisements. It is far more beneficial to present the customer with just the information they need to make their decision, discarding anything unnecessary. By knowing your customer it will be far easier to develop this aspect of your marketing messaging.

3. Connecting with the customer emotionally

Your marketing message should be customer-centric. Buyers will relate to your brand, and more easily connect with your marketing messages, when they feel emotionally stimulated on some level. By inspiring or motivating them, by appealing to lifestyle ideals, by empathizing with them or even making them laugh, it will ultimately lead them to want to purchase your product.

You may recognize the following examples of some of the world’s most successful marketing messages that connect with the customer on an emotional level:

Nike: Just do it.

Adidas: Impossible is nothing.

Bank of the Philippine Islands: We’ll take you farther.

Citibank: The Citi never sleeps.

Subway: Eat fresh.

Burger King: Have it your way.

Acer: Empowering technology.

Compaq: Has it changed your life yet?

4. Create a messaging framework

Once you understand the above elements, you can create a simple overview of your singular, streamlined marketing message. This will be the framework that all your marketing content will refer back to. A marketing messaging framework should be built as follows:

  • Brand promise: This is your company tagline.
  • Positioning statement: This is a simple, memorable and tailored message, such as, “For [your target audience], the [brand] is the [your point of differentiation] among all [a frame of reference] because [a reason for the customer to believe].”
  • Target audience: Pick a few main target demographic groupings.
  • Mission: Our mission is to do [something] that [the customer will love].
  • Tone of voice: Is your tone empowering? Human? Progressive? Informative? Youthful?
  • Elevator pitch: This is where you would prepare a paragraph describing your product or service. It should be a clear and succinct description, prepared so that the listener can fully understand your pitch in a short space of time.
  • Brand pillars: Pick three simple pillars of your brand. What do you stand for? Simple? Global? Connectivity? Adventure?
  • Headline benefits: Write a benefit in the form of a headline for each brand pillar.
  • Supporting examples: List three features of your product that support each headline benefit.

5. Strategic marketing choices

Once you have developed a clear underlying message to run through all your marketing content, you must next decide where and when to distribute your media. The options are vast, so you must select the most appropriate ways to connect with your own target demographic. Some examples are:

  • Mail drop: Some of the old-fashioned, tried and tested methods work the best. By implementing an email drop that advertises discounts, special offers and sales, you can attract more customers to your business.
  • Geo-targeting: As accurate location data becomes more widely available through increased mobile phone use, geo-targeting uses consumers’ geographic location information to help you reach a more targeted customer base.
  • Social media: Popular social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus, provide companies with access to targeted audiences. Each platform operates and engages with customers differently, which will be important to understand and master.
  • Content creation: Using all facets of the internet to deliver your marketing message is a great way to communicate with your customers as well as boost your search engine rankings. Blogs, video messages and podcasts are all valuable ways to reinforce your streamlined marketing message and gain a larger audience.
  • Competitions: Launch your new, streamlined and clear marketing message with a competition or giveaway. This helps to build a relationship with your customer by allowing them to engage with your brand.

To streamline your marketing message, you must first know your brand and then understand your customer and what they want. Only then can you build your marketing identity with a simple messaging framework. These are the cornerstones for developing a clear and concise marketing message that can, in turn, be reinforced every time your company puts out marketing content.