Consistency in Marketing for Small Business

By Alexander Hiam

When you are crafting your marketing message and coming up with one or more ways to communicate it clearly, remember one thing: be consistent! If you repeat a clear, well-focused message, people will eventually get it. Make sure you ask yourself how consistent your marketing communications are.

To check your consistency, gather a diverse sample of your own marketing communications (mailings, website printouts, photos of signs, print ads, and so forth). Lay them out on a conference table or post them around a room. Enlist one or more helpers, preferably people who have keen eyes for detail and are good at editing.

Examine your samples for variations and inconsistencies. Look closely at how you describe the product and its benefits as well as the verbal and visual style of each communication. If some are informal and others are formal, that counts as an inconsistency.

If print ads use bold black Rockwell Extra Bold (a type style) for their headlines and your website uses blue Helvetica, note this inconsistency, too. Also look closely at how the brand name and contact information are presented. They should always appear in exactly the same form and style.

Even if an individual ad, web page, mailing, sign, or other communication is clear and well designed, it won’t work well unless it’s consistent with your other communications. Nobody remembers what you say in marketing unless you repeat yourself frequently, clearly, and consistently.

Work on making your presentation more consistent, and you’ll be amazed at how much better your results become. (Note that every single For Dummies book has the same yellow base color for its cover and the same typeface for the title. You wouldn’t recognize the series without this consistency.)