It’s so simple — yet brilliant: “Any time. On Time. All Time Air Conditioning.”

I saw this printed on a van in the parking lot of a gas station in West Palm Beach, Florida. The temperature was in the mid-90s with extremely high humidity.

AC van

Think about what happens when your air conditioning goes out during the height of the summer months.

You want someone who can come at anytime — even if it’s in the middle of the night. And you want someone to be there when they say they will so you aren’t wasting your time waiting.

This is an example of a small business owner who is completely focused on customer needs.

When your air conditioning goes on the fritz, you want it fixed now. As a customer, you don’t care that the company has been in business for 25 years or that its products are state of the art. You have a problem and you want someone who can solve it — period.

Too many small business owners and their sales teams spend time telling you how great they are without taking time to focus on the customer’s needs.

Smart marketing delivers the right message to the right audience — a message that solves a customer’s problem.

Back in the late 80s I had a boutique advertising and PR firm. One of my clients manufactured large pipe casings for major construction sites.

After talking with many of the company’s customers, I learned that if the wrong pipe arrived at a work site it delayed the project and in many cases cost the developer a significant amount of money. Additionally, if the pipe was delivered early or late, there were costs involved too.

Because my client had a solid reputation for ensuring the right pipe was delivered at the scheduled time, we created a marketing slogan that said just that: “The Right Pipe. Right on Time.”

It said everything that needed to be said.

So take a look at your marketing messages.

Are you focused on your customer’s needs or are you touting your wares?

If you have examples of marketing messages that resonate well with customers, share them with us here.

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.