Whatever medium you use to communicate your message, make sure the message is also clear, concise and consistent. Alexander Advisory Group’s Alexander Chandler borrows from the diamond industry to offer tips for improving your content.

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The 4 C’s of messaging. Within the diamond industry, the value of a stone is determined by what is known as the 4 C’s. These are clarity, color, cut and carat.

The 4 C’s of messaging are similar in many ways. They have distinct purposes and functions, are independent of each other, but are complementary, giving value to a message. 

Understanding the correlation between the 4 C’s becomes the virtue of messaging. Mastering each is a recipe for strong messaging. 

A marketing message should be clear, concise, consistent and communicated. Those are the 4 C’s. But what are they and how can they be integrated to create a cohesive, deliberate and valuable message? The following are things to remember of each to make your marketing effective and profitable.

Make it clear

The first rule of marketing is it must be clear. Define your message and make it understandable to the audience. This includes defining what is its purpose.

Then one must choose the medium, wording and graphics of the message if digital or in print. The message must have clarity to be effective. You have to know who your audience is and your message has to be understandable. Your audience may define what your message will be but be wary of making the faulty assumption that your message will appeal to multiple audiences.

The first tenet of communicating effectively is to have a clear message that is clear and identifies with the intended audience.

Make it concise

A message must be concise to keep the audience focused. Too many words may confuse the audience or cause them to lose interest. If a word or phrase is not necessary to the message, then it will detract value.

Busy graphics can also dilute a message. A consumer’s attention span is brief. Simple graphics that are easily discernible are the most effective. An instant connection must be made in today’s digital age.

To be memorable, a message must be concise and free of extraneous words and graphics to attract, connect and keep an audience’s attention. 

Make it consistent

Consistency is third on the list of what makes an effective message. Many make the mistake of thinking putting a single message or two out in a postcard or a social media post is effective.

One-time efforts will fall flat in the long run. It takes repetition of the same message over time to make it effective. Keep the same message and keep at it. Frequently changing slogans and mixing messages is ineffective. When a consumer views a consistent message, they become familiar and are more likely to act over time. Let the audience know what you do and keep at it. 

Make it communicated

A message must then be communicated in a medium that will reach the appropriate audience. Formats and standards for one medium may not work well with another. Research to find and then use the proper medium to reach your target demographic.

For example, how might you best find a first-time homebuyer or an empty nester looking to downsize? Traditional methods such as postcards are still effective for older audiences while social media and video are more suitable to millennials.

Whatever medium you use to communicate your message, make sure the message is also clear, concise and consistent. Using the 4 C’s of messaging gives you a guideline to ensure your message is understandable, reaches the right audience, is actionable, and has a positive rate of return.

Alexander Chandler is president of Alexander Advisory Group and an associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties in Fort Worth, Texas. Follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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