If You Build It, They Will Come, Part 1: Mortar Brings Order


The popular movie quote, “If you build it, they will come,” from the 1989 classic, “Field of Dreams,” signifies the necessity of laying a solid foundation in order to experience success. To achieve meaningful results during any sort of building process, there must be a reliable infrastructure off of which everything is based. This principle is especially true in marketing. Business owners who desire a sizable return on their advertising investment must first construct their exclusive marketing foundation, then execute their campaigns with this as their basis.

Are You Top-of-Mind?

Before detailing the steps necessary to build your business’ unique marketing foundation, it is important to understand that the primary goal of any marketing campaign is to “own mental real estate.” In order for this to occur, your business must be in the top three rungs on the “Ladder of Competition.” This means that when a consumer thinks of your industry, your business’ name should enter their mind (either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd) as a viable option. Businesses who determine to secure a spot at the top of the ladder and own substantial mental real estate in their community will have a significant advantage over the competition.

With this end goal in mind, let’s explore the two essential elements needed to build a rock-solid marketing foundation. These vitally important components, referred to as bricks and mortar, will connect a person’s mind to your business and help you to become top-of-mind in your community.

Bricks and Mortar

Picture a brick house. Each individual brick may appear slightly different from the others, but this does not affect the stability of the house. The stability is determined by the presence of mortar that holds the bricks into place. While the bricks are ever-changing and provide the character that gives a house its unique appearance, the mortar brings order and provides sturdiness to the home’s foundation by holding all of the bricks together.

Similarly, the metaphorical mortar in a business’ marketing message serves as its foundation, holding all advertisements together by remaining consistent. The bricks, or stories, will change periodically to capture interest; however, the mortar remains the same, thus cultivating a public expectation associated with your business.

What is Mortar?

The first step in constructing your business’ marketing foundation is to develop your mortar. According to BrandsFormation™ author, Chuck Mefford, mortar is “the consistency of elements in your marketing message.” These include your business’ slogan, jingle, logo, music, or anything else that affects the overall look, sound, and feel of your advertisements. These components hold each individual message together and should rarely, if ever, change.

Incorporating a consistent mortar in your business’ selling message is crucial because this cultivates a public expectation. When people hear your business’ name, they should immediately be able to sing your jingle, recite your slogan, or point out another unique aspect about you. This type of instant recognition is only achievable through consistently repeating your business’ mortar in your advertising.

Let’s demonstrate by using a local, Mid-Missouri example of mortar’s effectiveness: Who is your “friend” in the pest control business? Almost everyone is immediately able to identify this friend as Steve’s Pest Control. Why? Because Steve and his team developed this phrase as their mortar, then strategically placed it into every, single radio advertisement that aired. But it doesn’t stop there: Steve’s team has ensured consistency across all of their marketing platforms by placing this mortar in everything that they do, including their website, business cards, promotional and print materials, and even on all of their trucks driving around town. Each advertisement may tell a different story, but this consistent mortar (the saying, “Now, you’ve got a friend in the pest control business.”) is permanently cemented into every message, consequently, cementing itself into the public’s memory.

Develop Your Own Mortar

Does your business need the order and effectiveness that mortar adds to advertisements? Here are some questions to kick start your thinking and help you determine the strategic marketing foundation that is sure to boost your business to top-of-mind status in the community:

  • What do we do well?
  • Why should consumers choose us over the competition? What’s better about us as a whole? Is there something that the competition isn’t talking about that we can?
  • Can we “own” a single word, or short phrase, in people’s minds?
  • What do our products/services do for our customers?

Once you answer these questions, leave it to the award-winning creative services team at Zimmer Communications to turn your answers into a one-of-a-kind jingle or slogan for your business. After this mortar is created as your basis, it will be time to pick your bricks (check back for our next blog in this series)!

In order to succeed, businesses must possess a solid marketing foundation made up of effective bricks and mortar. When your business determines to construct this steadfast infrastructure, it is only a matter of time before the public will recognize your iconic marketing message and line up for your services. If you build efficiently, consumers will come!

Reserve Your Spot!

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