At the midpoint of arguably one of the most famous speeches in U.S. history, Dr. King dreams of people being judged by “the content of their character.”  Over time, our clients probably have occasion to do just that.

But, before you can spend enough time with someone in circumstances that enable them to judge your character, they'll first judge you from afar by the topics you associate with, and what you have to say about them.

The good news is that we very much want to be judged.  

Remember, the purpose of marketing communication is to stratify the market, i.e., allow a percentage of people exposed to us to judge that they strongly agree with how we think about issues that matter to them – or, equally importantly, that they strongly disagree and will therefore avoid us and not contribute to cost of sales. Between those two poles is a large group who don't care about the issue, at least right now.

To accomplish this stratification, you have to take a clear, definitive position about an issue of significance to your market segment. If all you have to say is some dressed-up form of “I’m a very good lawyer and I do very good work,” who can have a strong opinion about that? You’re not giving me anything to react to or judge. You’ll find yourself in the no-man’s-land middle ground where there is no reason to notice you.

So, for our narrow purposes, and with proper respect to Dr. King, I’ll presume to borrow and amend his famous expression to encourage you to try to be judged by the content of your ideas.


Want to learn how to stake out a clear position that stratifies the market? The RainmakerVT online course, "Door-Opener: Associate Yourself With Business Problems that Drive Demand for Your Service, will teach you how -- from the convenience of your computer or tablet.