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M & Ms — The Sweet Spot of Marketing

In theory, marketing your product, service or non-profit should be easy. You really have only two components on which to focus — and no, they are not plain or peanut.  The M and Ms of marketing are Message and Media. Finding the right combination of message and media is not easy but there are proven formulas that can help.


Some people believe that a marketing message needs to be emotional or contain some emotional aspect in order to move a prospect to action. But the formulas for messages that move people to action are even more basic.


The most successful marketing messages for businesses have first identified the pain a prospect is experiencing. That pain might be the cost involved in completing a needed task. The pain could be how easy or difficult it is to accomplish a goal.

Sometimes, you can identify a pain the prospect didn’t even know was a pain. For example, let’s say you sell lawnmowers. Some people enjoy cutting the grass but most people look at it as a chore or work. If you are selling lawnmowers, the pain you want to focus on is the chore or work aspect of cutting the lawn. Your mower might make cutting the lawn faster, or easier — so that should be your focus.


Will you be the only company claiming your lawnmower can reduce the work a homeowner will experience? No, of course not. But that’s where features come in. Your message will also present proof that your machine relieves the pain of grass-cutting better or faster than your competitor. That proof may come in the form of features your product has but the competitor does not. Your claim to be “better” at relieving the pain of grass-cutting could be proven in the form of customer testimonials, consumer reviews, or ratings.

When it comes to developing a great marketing message, always focus on finding the pain and providing the solution to that pain.


“So many choices, so little time.” is the often repeated saying adapted from actor John Barrymore’s line about beautiful women. But when it comes to media choices, the quote is on target.  Barrymore (yes, Drew’s grandfather), died in the ‘40s, so his media exposure was probably newspaper, sandwich boards — paying someone to walk around with advertising signs strapped on their front and back, and that high-tech invention — radio.

Marketers today have many more choices. In some sense that makes it easier, but on the flip side, hitting on the right one can be a costly and time-consuming process. So what can you do.? Often, it’s a good idea to use a combination of media like print and TV, digital and billboards, paid social media, and sandwich boards (kidding — just wanted to see if you are paying attention).

Identify your best customer and their demographics and look for the media that best represents those demographics. Find out which media your competitors are using. Media selection doesn’t always have to be based on budget or demographics. If your product needs explanation or demonstration, video-based media such as TV, pre-roll ads on YouTube, or video on social media, etc might provide a better response.


Your marketing sweet spot is the combination of the right media and the right message. It may take a while to find and may change as the market matures. But it’s worth the effort. ##

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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