Let me introduce you to something I like to call The Impact Vortex. (You’ll understand why I named it a vortex by the end of this article.)
The Pitfalls of Industry Jargon
One of the first challenges in marketing communication is the tendency for messages to turn into industry jargon. Words like "streamlining" and "optimising," for example, while relevant to their specific industries, are frequently used. When targeting a specific audience who is familiar with such terms, using these words in your marketing message is not necessarily problematic because your audience is supposed to understand what they mean. However, the problem arises when everyone in your industry—businesses, competitors, and marketers—starts speaking the same language.
The concept of Threshold Capabilities or Minimum Requirements is partially to blame for this. This concept states that there are basic requirements that a business must meet to survive and compete in its industry. This in turn means that there are baseline benefits that a product or service provides to the market. When marketers include these baseline benefits in marketing messages the risk of repetition increases; where all marketing messages start sounding the same, regardless of the business they advertise.
The Desensitisation Dilemma
This repetition brings us to the second reason why marketers (anyone who has an input in the marketing message, really) should use the Impact Vortex. In psychology and communication, the concept of Desensitisation means that repeated exposure to the same message or viewpoint results in a diminished response. So, if your audience is constantly hearing about time-saving, money-saving, streamlining, and optimising, they may eventually lose interest. This indifference poses a significant risk to businesses and marketers seeking to influence specific behaviours in their target audience. After all, that is what we are supposed to do. As marketers, our goal is to encourage a certain action in our potential customers through the strategic use of our marketing message.
Navigating the Marketing Challenge.
Faced with this challenge, the question arises: Should we continue to use these repetitive messages in our marketing campaigns? Our products or services are likely to continue to provide similar benefits which aren’t going to change any time soon. Businesses could consider a differentiation strategy that includes new types of benefits, but this may not align with the overall business strategy. We also can’t ignore the current benefits of the product or service, because they are still valuable. So, what do we do?
Enter the Impact Vortex.
The Function of the Impact Vortex
The Impact Vortex is a tool for discovering and developing a broader, deeper narrative about our product or service's benefits. It requires us to look beyond the mere benefits and assess the impact of our benefits. The process begins by focusing on a single benefit and then digging deeper to determine its impact on the intended audience. This is done by repeatedly asking, "That results in what?". (Similar to a child's insatiable curiosity in asking "Why?")
Applying the Impact Vortex
Let’s look at an example of how this is applied in practice. Consider a product that simplifies reporting for project managers. The immediate benefit is saving time. But what exactly is the result of saving time? It could result in more time for strategic planning and decision-making.
Now, we have to take it a step further. What does this "more time for strategic planning and decision-making" mean for the project manager? This extra time may result in more effective project management, with projects completed on time, within budget, and to the desired quality standards. Digging even deeper, this in turn, could result in increased client satisfaction, new business opportunities, less stress, better work-life balance, higher job satisfaction, and possibly lower employee turnover.
Creating a New Narrative
Do you see how we have created a new narrative that goes beyond the simple statement, "We help you streamline your reporting”? We can now use the different ways in which streamlining reporting impacts our project manager and their business to generate new and innovative marketing messages and campaigns.
The Power of Impact Vortex
As you can see, the Impact Vortex allows you to present the same benefits in your messaging. Because your benefits remain the same, you are just presenting them in a way that captures your audience's attention more effectively. The outcome of using the Impact Vortex also presents a wide range of new ideas for developing compelling marketing messages and campaigns with a fresh and engaging perspective.
Impact Vortex Workshop Sessions
Would you like to discover the impact of your company's products and services? Get in touch by completing the contact form below to schedule an interactive workshop where we'll investigate your own Impact Vortex.
In this session, we'll look at the different ways in which the benefits that you offer impact your customers, and we'll find new ways to communicate their value to your target audience.