Create a messaging canvas

Business benefits

Build the foundation for holistic, meaningful, and adaptable messaging.

Set internal expectations that the messaging canvas is an iterative document.

Identify your first messaging canvas as version 1. This clarifies to anyone working on or reviewing the canvas that it can change over time based on additional consumer insights and message testing.

Create a messaging canvas template with quadrants for the What, Who, Why, and How of your product, then sections for your product portfolio and outcome pillars.

Include:

  • A top-of-page quadrant with What in the top left, Who in the bottom left, Why in the top right, and How in the bottom right.
  • Underneath, a box that spans the page width to explain the context within which your product lives, titled Roll-Up.
  • 2-3 Outcome Pillars, each with enough space to outline benefits, value points, product capabilities, and proof points.

In the What section of the canvas, write a basic value proposition that includes what the product is and who it is designed for.

This provides background information for everything that follows. Components include:

  • Top-line value of the product, usually framed as an introductory sentence.
  • Product category and context, usually as the second sentence.
  • Unique value of the product.
  • 2-3 use cases for the product.

In the Who section, create a one-sentence outline of each target audience segment for whom the product is designed.

Define each segment based on the tasks or goals your audience looks to accomplish.

In the Why section, rite a 5-10 sentence narrative about the context behind the creation of your product and the goals it was designed to accomplish.

Provide meaning and urgency to the core customer needs that the product can solve.

In the How section, create a workflow or sequence that explains how customers will use the product.

Explain in more detail how your audience segments can accomplish their tasks or goals.

In the Roll-Up section, explain how the product will integrate or live alongside the rest of your product portfolio without cannibalizing its use.

Provide context for copywriters and content creators about how to position the product internally and for your customers.

Add benefits, value points, capabilities, customer quotes, and proof points to your outcome pillars, based on the themes you identified in your message relevancy map.

Include the following information in each outcome pillar:

  • 2-5 benefits that describe what your product allows your audience to do.
  • For each benefit, a value point that describes why the benefit is important to your audience.
  • For each value point, one or more capabilities that describe in detail how your product delivers that value.
  • Direct customer quotes with pain points that the benefit and value solve.
  • Proof points related to each task that show how you are able to deliver value, like case studies, testimonials, data or research market points.

Validate your messaging canvas through quantitative and deliverable testing.

Quantitative testing options include concept testing and message testing through tools like Wynter. Focus on testing deliverables that will get customer-facing copy in front of your audience, like ads, landing pages, or a sales deck.

Use this process to find the right deliverable to test:

  • Choose a deliverable on the same channels where your customers spend time.
  • Decide on an environment where messaging might make the most difference.
  • Test multiple deliverables, on multiple channels, to validate your findings against each other.

Not sure if the title could be expanded on a bit here.

This needs to be changed to a benefit.

This shouldn’t refer to as “this playbook” but maybe can be reworded to “your first messaging canvas can be called Version 1 for example”.

‘what’ can be Italicized to differentiate from the sentence. (same for the rest of the steps with Quadrant names).

  • I am no expert on messaging canvases, but I would think that the quadrants are important, so maybe should be added to the step, like “…in the How section”. For all of the following steps.

This last sentence can be merged with the step to sound better.

The ‘( )’ can be removed and just put ‘goals’

The link to the playbook seems a bit out of place. This can maybe be worked into the step explanation where relevant or removed.

All feedback addressed, minus the title, which has a similar challenge to the message architecture title.