Marketing Communication: Are Your Clients Engaging with Your Message?


How can a compelling message help you create more fees? How do you rate the effectiveness of your marketing communication?

I was watching a TED talk the other day about how the Colombian government used clever messaging to demobilise almost more than 17,000 guerrilla fighters over the past few years. That is, they managed to persuade more than 17,000 men and women to put down their arms and let go of the cause they believed they were fighting for, knowing that doing so meant putting their lives in danger.

How did the Colombian government do this?

They used carefully crafted messages that engaged these guerrilla fighters by conjuring up memories and emotions in a very concise way. The Colombian government also used creative ways to ensure the messages were visible by strategically placing them in locations they knew the guerrillas would go.  AND they used of all the communication tools at their disposal – visual and auditory.

They even used Christmas lights on trees in the jungle to remind the fighters what life could be like at home during this festive season.

Using clever messaging in business communication

Like it or not, we’re constantly communicating with others especially in business. Whether it’s face to face, over the phone, emails, or simply when someone is reading what you’ve written on your website, LinkedIn or your bio on a proposal. This is how you reach out to others about your business, your service, or your product. This is marketing communication.

The question is: Does your message create a connection with your audience such that they’d want to engage with you further? Or do they stop listening or reading after a few sentences?

Does your message do you justice?

One of the first things we work on in my 12 month sales growth program is making sure that their messaging is reflecting their true value. I often find that accountants, lawyers, consultants and coaches make these types of mistakes:

1. Focus too much on the services you provide

2. Start off with information that your target audience doesn’t really care about

3. Fill sentences with cliche words and phrases that everyone else in your industry is using

4. Communicate in a way that’s devoid of character or personality

Imagine what it’s like to be in your clients shoes. How are they supposed to make a decision on who is the best to help them if you are all the same (or at least appear to be)?

How are they supposed to appreciate your value if you’re giving them the impression that you’re just “another service provider”?

Wouldn’t it be better if you could create genuine engagement in all your communication with current and future clients – like the Colombian government managed to do with over 17,000 guerrilla fighters?

Action steps

For your marketing communication effectiveness, the first thing you need to do is assess your current messaging. The easiest medium to start is your online messaging (because it’s all written there ready to be critiqued). The key tests are:

1. Will a third party want to keep reading after the first 2 sentences?

2. Will they remember, in a week’s time, who I am after reading it?

3. Does my message give them any idea of my personality – i,e what it would be like to interact with me in person?

If you said no to any of the above, you’re letting clients walk away who otherwise may need your help.

You should then devote some energy into upgrading your messaging to make sure it does your brand justice.

Jenny Tse

at Licence to Bill

I am a speaker, published author, sales strategist and coach to small businesses. Over the past decade, I've worked with some of the largest organisations in the world, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Macquarie Bank and have been invited to speak at the National Audit Conference hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants. I'm brought in by clients increase their revenue. I run a 3 day sales and communication workshop where I teach my 12 step sales process.