Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kranz on Focus

Over on MarketingProfs.com, Jonathan Kranz has an article, "Before You Write: Your 10-Point Checklist". One among several noteworthy items on the "checklist":
"7. Focus on one thing. I recently worked with an engineering company that has many talents. They do design. They supervise construction. They serve as expert witnesses in litigation. In fact, they do so many things so well that it was hard to craft a coherent message that wouldn't confuse potential clients. In the end, we agreed on a common theme: They solve problems that stump other engineering firms. In doing so, we had to elevate some elements of the message,
such as 'problem-solving,' while subordinating others, like 'design.'

This winnowing process may be painful—we all prefer to say as many good things about ourselves as we can—but it's absolutely necessary. Messages that are too broad disintegrate like powdery snowballs and never reach their targets. But a focused message is like a rifle shot—powerful because it is precise."
Many product managers and marketing gurus say that focus is important. In fact, one of Al Ries's 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is the Law of Focus. The reason we keep on harping on it after all these years is that, unfortunately, there is an almost irresistable desire for companies to broaden their message.

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