Less is More

Published Jul, 16 2015
Business Writing Tips
This session was presented live at a past SoundBoard event.
Business Track
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Making your elevator pitchHow Compelling Elevator Pitches Help Us Market to Customers Online

Modern life confronts us with sensory overload: we remember very little of what we see and hear. For business owners, this presents a serious marketing challenge. Trouble is, the more you try to explain your product, the more opportunity you have to confuse the potential customer. That’s why it’s so important to boil down your value proposition.

There’s a temptation to talk a lot about a product or service you believe in. You’re excited about it, and it seems like a great idea to unload everything you know about it onto a potential customer, because what you’ve got is just that cool.

Except, if it takes you more than 25 words to explain how cool you are, you’re probably not that cool.

Ask the Right Question

The question then isn’t what information you want to cover, but rather what information you want the customer to remember.

An “elevator pitch,” named for the 30 seconds you have on an elevator to propose an idea to a busy boss or investor, also applies to effective marketing in general.

If customers are only listening for a moment and remembering little, particularly given all the competitors they are considering, how to do you stand out?

Change the Customer’s Perspective

As Thoreau wrote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, but what you see.”

By creating a tight elevator pitch that wraps your value proposition in a context that resonates, you have an opportunity to communicate to potential customers why their world just got better, and to do so in a memorable way. That’s your chance for a customer to see your brand in a whole new way, and that’s far more compelling than explanation ad nauseum. It is also much more challenging.

Vision and Revision

The art and science involved in boiling down value propositions into a memorable elevator pitch is hard work, and it takes more than just reading a few bullet points to learn. It takes experience and continued refinement, and the importance of the exercise cannot be overstated.