Messaging & positioning doesn’t have to be so hard
How to be more effective & efficient in 2020
Messaging & positioning really doesn’t have to be so hard
At Kompyte, we have covered the subject of messaging and positioning on many occasions. And, with most of our partners, the power of positioning and product messaging is evident. However, as we start to close out the year, we find ourselves revisiting the way we position our brand and explore how we convey our unique strengths to amplify our brand across Web, social media, events, email and one-on-one interactions.
Knowing our messaging and positioning framework is affected by variables like customers’ motivations and requirements, as well as competitors’ actions. We don’t have a set cadence for updating our internal messaging and positioning framework; but, what we do have is a monthly messaging check-in. This activity allows us to keep the messaging matrix up-to-date as we launch new features and functionalities to our products and solutions.
As we go through this process, this month, we thought it the perfect opportunity to give you a play-by-play. We’ll talk to the importance of keeping your messaging up-to-date AND accessible to all stakeholders across our entire go-to-market team, as a clear and concise journey map.
Phase 1: Regular updates…we’re all good
We start by compiling a team, one that includes our most knowledgeable staff on target personas and their needs. We gather one player from each of our core teams:
- Product dev (your feature/functionality expert)
- Product marketing (your product/market fit expert)
- Marketing (your communications expert)
- Sales leadership (first-hand experience with the buyer)
We spend the greater half of an hour revisiting our vision, mission, positioning, statements. We ask ourselves:
- Do these paint a clear picture differentiating our business from others?
- Do we convey our unique value proposition consistently?
- Does it focus on our target audience and their needs?
- Does it come off consistent across all areas of your business?
- Is it easy to understand?
- Do the statements promise something that is realistic?
If we team answers “YES” for the majority of these, we are still on the right track! Our job this month will only be to revisit how our value messaging should be revised for further clarity, to add-in:
- Key differentiators that result from our (and our competitors) most recent or upcoming product releases.
- Kill points in response to a competitor infringing on our market.
- Revision to value points and proof points (aka case studies we’ve released)
Phase 1b: Full revision
Now, let’s say we the answer is no… our mission, vision, position, and value messaging seem all wrong. We are now targeting a whole new buyer, and the features that once differentiated us are standard expectations. Our sales team is losing deals to incumbents, despite our product superiority and cost advantage. It is then time to revisit our product-market fit and run an in-depth competitive analysis. Don’t fret. It happens to the best of us. If you break this into three categories, it is far more manageable.
- What does our product offer? Include, category, components/features, typical use cases, unique advantages, and potential buyer objections.
- Who are our target buyers? Include personas, needs and challenges, industries/ verticals, and as well as, job titles. Bonus points if you can give real examples of current customers your go-to-market teams can use in their inbound and outbound tactics.
- Where do we fit into the market? What is our competitive landscape? Run a full analysis of competitors; including products, messaging, advantages and disadvantages, customer win/loss interviews, and perceived strategic direction (top questions to answer in a competitive analysis).
Phase 2: Meeting of the minds
The next step is to book a time and place you can run an uninterrupted brainstorm. You will want to set a few ground rules, so conversations stay relevant to accomplishing the task at hand. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you review the information you aggregated during Phase 1:
- Defer judgement
- Encourage wild ideas
- Build on the ideas of others
- Stay focused on the topic
- One conversation at a time
- Be visual
- Go for quantity
At the end of the session, you should have three to four messaging pillars. All the while, creating a general consensus amongst all key stakeholders across your go-to-market team.
Phase 3: Build a new foundation
Now it is time to apply what you learned in your messaging workshop and build the first draft of your messaging framework. Take your overarching value points and create value statements, supported by proof points and the features that provide the value. These need to be succinct and copy-ready and listed in decreasing order of significance. Once complete, circulate the draft to all members of your original brainstorming session for input and suggestions.
Phase 4: Take flight
Finally, it is time to test your work with anyone within the organization that makes a brand touchpoint — marketing, sales, and customer success. Give training and highlight how each team can supply feedback for their specific channel. Set goals to gauge progress, so you can rollback any messaging that isn’t performing as well as you’d expect. A few examples:
- Ad copy click-through rate
- Landing page bounce rate
- Email open rate/click-through rate (from both a marketing & sales perspective)
- Search engine ranking and source traffic
- Seller feedback
And, don’t forget to set that monthly check-in so you can adapt your messaging to stay fresh, relevant and convey your true value.
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Product Marketing Director
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