written by
Bradley Waldrop

How To Develop Your Next Blockbuster Marketing Message

Local Business Digital Marketing Viral Marketing 14 min read

So, you've been challenged with piss poor results with your lead generation campaign, right? I'll bet you dollars to donuts that the problem is your marketing message. And, in this short 12-minute article, you're going to be able to craft a blockbuster marketing message even if you're not an A-list copywriter or have a masters degree in marketing and advertising.

In this article, you're going to get:

Using your marketing message superpowers to generate leads for any niche, any product, any service, and whenever you want. It's like having a door-to-door salesman at your fingertips without having to pay commission!

Why Your Marketing Message is More Important Than Your Product or Service

I can't tell you how many times I've been working with a business owner or leader and watch them make the one mistake that will continue to stop them from scaling their business and building real value.

What's that mistake?

They view their product or service as a commodity, and they allow their own fears about the value of their product or their own misconceptions about money stop them from real success.

Don't believe me? Don't take my word for it, let's take a quick look at a recent article from Yahoo! Finance that shows you the power of thinking differently ("20 Products With Giant Markups").

In our journey here, we'll only look at a few, but you'll quickly get the idea.

Rocks (like you skip across the lake) get a mega-million dollar marketing message!

This current add shows how a marketing message can transcend the boundaries of ridiculous to passion
This current add shows how a marketing message can transcend the boundaries of ridiculous to passion

This marketing message for diamonds gives De Beers and others the luxury of charging a premium 50 to 200 percent for a natural mineral - a rock! And, this isn't because of a supply problem. In fact, this is what Mining.com said about the supply of diamonds.

Coming off of 2017, a year in which global diamond supply by volume increased by 11.7% year-over-year, supply is forecast to contract by 3.4% to 147M carats in 2018 (see appendix at bottom for itemized analysis by mine). Mining.com

The Most Common Liquid On The Planet Benefits From Uber-Marked Up Pricing Because of the Marketing Message!

 Keep reading to see how this marketing message boosts sales of water.
Vanity at it's finest in this ad from Core water. Keep reading to see how this marketing message boosts sales of water.

In this advertisement by Core, you can see that their brilliant marketing message puts this water near the top in markup, which could reach 4,000 percent. At full price, premium water is regularly more expensive than gasoline ounce for ounce. In fact, as you peel away Core's marketing message, you start to see the subtleties in data that make a huge difference.

The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is between 6 to 8.5. (The Daily Star)

The 6 Essential Elements of Every Blockbuster Marketing Message

So, what do the powerful marketing messages above have that you don't have? They have a big hairy audacious idea. That right there is a mash-up of James Collins, Jerry Porras and Todd Brown with a little unique twist from me.

Hey! I never said this was a brand new idea.

It's tried and true.

And, most importantly, really misunderstood!

You see, I've been using the big hairy audacious idea for almost 30-years in various niches to sell over $350M in professional services.

It simply works!

And, in this section, I'm going to give you the 6 essential elements of every blockbuster marketing message in a way that you can understand and use immediately. We'll even use the well-known examples above to walk through how you can get your own fantastic marketing message for your products and services.

Element 1 - An Interesting AND Proven Promise

Let's face it, there's nothing new in this world. But, there's always a new way to look at things. For instance, in the diamond business, the unusual (sexy even) idea is romance from a rock! That's right, they've framed a gift of a rock as an individual, unique and exciting promise of enduring love and affection. There might even be a little side benefit in there too, but it's all in your head. I have to break it to you. The rock is a symbol, it doesn't do any of the work itself.

In the example of the bottled water, the intriguing proven promise is the scientific data that backs up their claim of their water being "unusual." While the jury may still be out about the overall results and there might not be mountains of scientific evidence that support every nuance of their claim, the facts are strong enough to be persuasive while still being accurate.

So, what's your exceptional and proven promise? What can you show about how your product or service gives the desired results you claim? Why is the promise interesting, arresting, shocking, unusual, or unique? This is what gets the salivary glands pumping. And, you want that in your campaign!

Element 2 - A Secret Sauce

In their recent article, "KFC recipe revealed? Tribune shown family scrapbook with 11 herbs and spices," the Chicago Tribune trips on the allure of a secret formula! For 75-years, the intrigue of the secret sauce has kept customers coming back over and over again. This is the same intrigue you'll need to grab and hold the attention of your customers.

There's always something unique with the way you provide your service or how you invented your product. It's the special sauce that makes it different. If you don't have a secret sauce, you're going to be sunk.

Is the intrigue in your product the way you've put it together? Is it a trick that you've figured out? Is it your unique background and how you look at things? It's time to find your secret sauce and tease it boldly!

Element 3 - A Single Primary Emotion

It's a scientific fact that we cannot make decisions without emotion. Want proof? Here's a paper presented to the Annual Review of Psychology by researchers at Harvard University, UC Riverside, and Carnegie Mellon University. Since we cannot make decisions without emotion, we shouldn't be embarrassed by bringing feelings into our campaigns.

Let's test this a little?

person using pencil
Photographer: Ben Mullins | Source: Unsplash

What is the primary emotion in the diamond ad? Love? I don't think so. I think it's lust. But, that's me. It's tactful, but it's still the primary emotion behind the big idea in the ad. And, it's been the gateway to liberate truckloads of cash from guys pockets for decades.

What's the primary emotion in for Core water? Being healthy? Nahhhh, that's not an emotion. Let's think for a minute, why are people healthy? They're intentionally healthy for vanity reasons. It's a core emotion that drives a lot of decisions.

Since we're here, maybe it would be helpful to list the core emotions that are typically used in big ideas. As an active member of The Professional Writer's Alliance, I've got access to some pretty cool resources. Here's one I reference all the time!

The critical emotions behind every blockbuster marketing message.
The critical emotions behind every blockbuster marketing message.

In this simple excerpt from "The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting" by the American Writers and Artists, Inc. you can see the primary emotions that drive our decisions every day. Just to be clear, emotions drive all of our choices, not just buying decisions.

AWAI's Primary Emotions List

So, to which of these primary emotions do your customers most relate?

  • Fear
  • Greed
  • Vanity
  • Lust
  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Laziness

As a successful business owner, you probably already know which hot buttons to hit with your crowd. But if you don't see how they are wired, Ben Adkins does a great job of digging into their minds in his article "The Definitive Guide to Getting People to Trust You Enough to Sign Up for your Subscription Program."

Element 4 - A Common Enemy

Have you ever done time in a foxhole together? I mean, have you ever had a massive uphill battle with anything? It might be a group project in school, overcoming the drama in an office, creating a product with a partner. Some ties bind! Your marketing message is the same.

If your product or service defeats a common enemy between your customer and yourself, then you'll have a stronger allegiance over time.

Let's take the water campaign as an example. These shared enemies might include thieving water bottling companies that don't do anything more than fill your jug with tap water, slap a label on it and call it "special." It could be the government for allowing such unbalanced water to come from the tap in the first place.

How can you rally around the defeat of a common enemy with your tribe? What's stopping them from success? How can your marketing message gang up on the enemy and show how together you can defeat the enemy once and for all?

Element 5 - Simplify

I work with highly educated people all the time. I dig them. They are my crowd. But, what I don't like is when they make things more complicated than they need to be. In fact, I've made an entire career out of following them from meeting to meeting to summarize all their details and simplify their ideas in language that others immediately understand.

When you have a simple message that your target market can easily understand, then you've got a substantial foundation to lay out the features and benefits of working with you to solve their problems. But, if your big idea is complicated, it will make people run in the other direction.

Remember one of the primary emotions - laziness - we tapped into earlier? That's precisely where I'm going with this. It is even why I'm putting a video of this article in the beginning. We don't like working hard for the solutions to our problems. We love using the "easy button" (cue another famous big hair audacious marketing message thanks to Staples).

The spot closes with a voiceover saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy button for life? Now there’s one for your business. Staples. That was easy.” - Adweek

Element 6 - Use a Metaphor

Sometimes comparing your product or service to something that everyone understands makes it easier to convey the marketing message. For instance, if you were looking at the water campaign, you can see how Core compared the water to a little worker inside your body moving pH levels around to help your body achieve equilibrium or balance. And, they've even used an image of a fulcrum or teeter-totter that you immediately understand. Metaphors are powerful!

What word image, picture, sketch, sound, or texture are you going to use in your next campaign? What's the big idea and how do you clearly communicate it to your target market?

Why Your Marketing Message is NOT Your Headline

Here's where a lot of people misunderstand how to use the marketing message. The headline is meant to grab your attention, create curiosity, and have people dive into the next line of your ad, landing page, email, or any other promotion. That means, your marketing message is NOT your headline.

So, how do you create headlines that grab attention? You can do it with Bradley Waldrop's Headline Magician that I created here, or you can follow a few basic formulas outlined in Russ Henneberry's article "7 Proven Headline Formulas (And Why They Work)". As I told you in the beginning, you can develop a marketing message even if you're not an A-list copywriter.

So, rather than go into the copywriting details here, I'd suggest you use some tools and move on.


Well, because the bid hairy audacious marketing message is much more potent than a few words you use in a headline or a few sentences you string together in the lead of an ad.

Don't take my word for it.

Test it yourself!

What Happens When Your Target Market is Willing to Crawl Through Broken Glass to Get Your Offer

Crawling through broken glass is a phrase the world has been hearing me say for a while now. And, it's a great metaphor (see how I did that?) how excited, intrigued, and passionate your customer is to get your stuff. And, they want to get your stuff because of the marketing message you've given them.

It's not about cutting prices or giving away the farm - it's about giving them a chance to get in on...

A unique and proven way to defeat a common enemy through your secret sauce that satisfies their one primary emotion in a simple and easy to understand concept.

That's it.

It creates the desire and triggers the emotional connection they need to be willing to crawl through broken glass to get your offer.

The big hairy audacious marketing message is the offer.

Let me say that again - the big hair audacious marketing message is the offer. And, if the message is the right one, it's the offer your ideal customers can't refuse.

Your Marketing Message Superpowers Generate Leads For Any Niche, Any Product, Any Service, and Whenever You Want

Now, let's take a quick look at how you can use your new superpowers to build a list of targeted prospects so that you're not chasing down bum leads or wasting precious time cold calling anymore.

Using Your Marketing Message In A Viral Lead Generation Campaign

Here's a quick sketch of what a viral lead generation campaign looks like. In it, you see only a few things. But, if you've got a strong marketing message, then your target market is going to jump at the chance to win what you're giving away or be begging you to sign up to get what you're giving away.

A typical UpViral Marketing Campaign
A typical UpViral Marketing Campaign

The Viral Campaign Landing Page

Your landing page will use a headline to grab someone's attention. And then, you'll roll out your big hairy audacious marketing message. At the end of the message, you'll ask them to enter your campaign to get what you're offering. And, when you do it right, you'll see conversion rates skyrocket!

What's the marketing message in this campaign?  This proven and unique little light can save your life!
What's the marketing message in this campaign? This proven and unique little light can save your life!

The Viral Campaign Thank You and Share Page

This page does double duty by thanking your entrants for being there and enticing them to share your campaign with others. And, the virility of our campaign will directly reflect your ability to communicate your marketing message.

 Keep the marketing message alive to keep people sharing.
The message is consistent here. Keep the marketing message alive to keep people sharing.

If the marketing message was strong enough for your future customer to enter your campaign, and then you repeat it on the share page, you've automatically given them a reason to share. Unless of course they're greedy and want all the chances of winning to themselves.

And, they are greedy.

So, you'll want to structure your campaign so that you stroke their ego and give them another way to satisfy their greed. You might want to reward them for the most points or give them a chance to win a duplicate of the grand prize. But, no matter how you structure the campaign.

If You Want a Fire-Breathing Lead Generation Campaign or You're Interested in Getting Help With Your Marketing Message...

Let’s face it, sales are the lifeblood of your business. You need laser-targeted and highly-qualified leads every day to grow your business. That’s why we’ve developed an EXCLUSIVE, TAILOR-MADE SERVICE that gives you leads to close more deals and spend more time with your customers instead of prospecting.


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