3 Things You’ll Never Achieve Without a Killer Messaging Strategy
My high school basketball coach used to say “You won’t win if you don’t put in the work.” Inspiring words, but hard to appreciate when you’re running suicide sprints and defensive slide drills. He was right, though. Strength and conditioning made us better ball players and definitely helped propel us to the 1992 state quarterfinals. Go Bluejays!
You can choose from a million metaphors, but it all comes back to one truth. No amount of desire will help you achieve your goals if you don’t have a strong foundation to build on.
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The same is, of course, true for your marketing and sales goals. Strength and conditioning = messaging strategy. Without putting in the work to define and strengthen your message, three critical goals will continue to elude your brand.
Meaningful conversations and content
Too many companies get stuck navel-gazing at their product or service’s cool bells and whistles. It’s easy to become so enamored with the “what” that we forget about the “why?” A proper Messaging Strategy clearly defines your brand’s purpose (what you do) and places it squarely inside your audience’s point of view (why they should care).
At the same time, it’s important to keep it simple. If your message is complicated, buyers assume your product or service is, too. We’re also up against that ridiculously short human attention span. Meaning how you structure your message is as important as what you are saying. Lead with clear, compelling value for the buyer. Speak their language. Tell a story that lets them know you understand their pain, you can help solve it, and here’s how.
In the absence of a solid messaging framework, most brands choose to cast a wider net—throwing a variety of value props and benefit statements at their audience in the hope that something might stick. Sales, marketing, product development and executives each giving their own pitch. That goes for individual pieces of sales or marketing content as well. The result is zero brand consistency.
A clearly defined messaging framework helps get everyone—and every piece of content—on the same page. It minimizes confusion for your customers and your employees. It puts your stake in the ground with buyers and lets you own it. Every consumer values reliability in a vendor. Let it begin with your brand voice.
A relationship with your audience
I work a lot with B2B clients. People often assume B2B means you have to be more serious and buttoned up all the time. But at the end of the day B2B is still human-to-human. These are people who don’t leave their personal instincts at the door when they clock in at work. They want to get to know you, trust you, like you … especially if they’re going to make a big ticket purchase from you.
A solid, consistent messaging strategy makes your brand memorable and helps you establish a mutual relationship with your audience. When you communicate with customers in a way that’s easy, reliable, understandable, enjoyable, they reward that with return business and spreading the word to their friends and colleagues.
The ultimate achievement for any brand is customer lifetime value. Think about the Apple’s, Nike’s and Chevy’s of the world. They set an expectation with their customers and they continue to deliver on it, year after year. That’s a relationship, and that makes putting in the work totally worth it.