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The 5 C's

The 5 C's of a Powerful Marketing Message

From Career Tips, 2009 Volume 6, June 2009

Most of us have put lots of effort into the 1st C of our marketing messages - Content. But how much attention have you devoted to the other 4 C's, which actually have more impact?

  • Context
  • Confidence
  • Casual
  • Conversational


I was reminded of this when I was giving a workshop on the Killer Marketing Message, and delivered my "bad example" in an upbeat, confident manner, smiling at the audience. Someone at the back immediately said, "I'd buy from you!"



Don't forget where and how you are making your pitch:

  • A venue where everyone is expected to get up in turn to give a 30 second pitch is very different from a 1-on-1 conversation.
  • The same pitch that is very effective in response to a question may sound stilted or too 'sales-y' as an introduction.
  • In almost every context, shorter is better. Don't focus on trying to tell, aim to leave the listener wanting to know more.




If you don't feel and act confident in your message, why should I give it any credibility? Whatever you are going to say, you must deliver it comfortably, confidently, and smiling like you really mean it.


If you have to pause to remember details, feel nervous or find yourself stumbling, cut it down to just a 1-liner. Only after you get really good at delivering that smaller message with panache, should you consider adding a 2nd or 3rd line.


Remember that a new message or delivery style may feel uncomfortable, so practice it until you can deliver it with confidence. And if you never achieve that level of confidence, think about starting over with a different message that works for you!




The best pitch sounds natural.

  • Avoid jargon and 5 dollar words.
  • Keep it simple, casual and something you could actually say in a friendly conversation.
  • Practice your pitch so that you can call it up naturally in every situation, then throw away the script.
  • Change it up. Switch the order. Use different 'marketing headlines.' This will help keep it natural and not sounding 'memorized.'




I invited a friend who I considered a good networker to join me for a business networking event. I introduced him to someone, and he immediately launched into his 30 second pitch. While the content was sterling, the impression created was that he was trying to sell something.


Don't work to push your message on others, deliver it conversationally. In a natural conversation, there is give and take. You don't suddenly jump up on a soapbox and deliver a pitch. Think in terms of communicating the elements of your pitch line by line in response to appropriate questions.


Focus on all of the 5 C's, and not just the Content, and you will be dramatically more effective with your marketing message!


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