Develop effective product messaging

Create messaging that matters to find better fit customers and move them faster through your sales pipeline to grow your business.

Turning your positioning into effective messaging is a core part of brand and product marketing. It allows you to express your values and uniqueness, discussing your product and value proposition in a way that gains the attention of and engages your core audience.

What messaging is

Messaging is the articulation of what you promise to your customer, why it’s important, and how you deliver it across the complete customer lifecycle.

It uses:

  • Messaging frameworks
  • Value propositions
  • Outcome pillars
  • Benefits
  • Value points
  • Proof points.

Messaging is best thought of as a canvas, which allows marketers to build multi-dimensional and adaptable layers depending on their unique needs, situation, and audience.

What messaging is not

Messaging is not positioning, which is prerequisite strategy work that has to happen before outward-facing language can be developed. Positioning defines the product and space it plays in, your best-fit customers, your product’s unique attributes and value, and how you want to be perceived within the competitive landscape.

Messaging is not copy. Copywriting is still needed to bring the messaging to life, with channel-specific language that brings the broader messaging architecture to life.

Messaging is not your product’s features. Without the context of the customer understanding why these features are important, and what they help them accomplish, the features don’t mean anything.

Why is messaging important?

Every human has some need that your company can fill to make them a customer. Messaging allows you to connect the dots from this need to your product, appealing to core human needs in a way that prompts your audience to engage.

For example, B2B buyers need to be inspired to make transformational change at their organization. But they also have individual needs, business needs, and functional needs that all build on each other. Effective messaging can appeal to each of these need layers.

Messaging also allows you to advance customers through the customer journey by appealing to different needs at different stages of the journey. Messaging is the primary interface through which the customer experiences value, including who your brand is, what you stand for, and your value. Inconsistent or irrelevant messaging can damage the customer experience and halt their progress through the pipeline.

The timeline of effective messaging

Strategic messaging can’t happen until you have:

  • An understanding of why your company exists, or its strategic narrative–including its mission, vision, and company story.
  • Comprehensive positioning, including definitions of what you sell, in what market, to whom, and why.

This information informs messaging strategy, which in turn informs the customer-facing enablement as well as the communications and content strategy that follow it.

Steps

Examine your messaging’s goals, audience, relevance, and how your product delivers on its promise.

Develop a messaging relevancy map and supporting information.

Create a messaging canvas that include basic product information, outcome pillars, pain points, and proof.

Use messaging enablement to create and leverage internal and external evangelists.

Step format

This is very vague. What does unlock the layers mean as a step? If I am skimming, this just raises more questions than it answers. The description underneath is already a lot better.

Lets avoid this type of vague directive in steps. This applies to playbooks and hubs alike.

For example: Unlock, Enable, Propel, Boost etc are all flags for further specificity

Also verbs like Analyze, Learn, Understand tend to be too vague to action. In some cases the rest of the step is specific enough, but 9 times out of 10 they need more specificity


General format

  • Only the steps need to be in H2 and therefore in accordions
  • Playbooks should be linked by pasting the link directly and making them expandable.
  • All other titles are in H3

I will edit this as an example check the revision history.

Having made the initial edits you start seeing the issues more clearly.

Intro

The intro was huge and some parts are not entirely actionable. What messaging is, isnt etc i hid inside the detail tag to save space. Users can expand these if they need to re-learn the basics.

Timeline seemed pertinent to the playbooks and therefore kept it open under an H3

Steps and links

The expandable playbooks linked under the step in the accordion is the correct format. But the preview text needs to be consdered with the excerpt div tag. You should wrap the body text of the business benefits with this tag like so:

<div class="excerpt"> Business benefits body text </div>

The explanation in the hub therefore should not be a copy paste of the business benefits but a summary of the playbook in its entirety. Otherwise its just duplicated information.

Titles and hub step format

The steps in the hub need to also be specific and actionable. So do the playbook titles. They also don’t have to be exclusively the playbook title alone but can be in context.

This might be a particularly bad example, but

Unlock the layers of effective messaging.

Assess your messaging through layers including business needs, human needs, your company story, and your promise to customers.

Needs a better playbook title and could be something like:


Assess your messaging through layers including business needs, human needs, your company story, and your promise to customers.

Explanation text summarising the steps inside the playbook. This gives the user a bit more information about executing this step without expanding the rest of the playbook.

If they choose to do so. Then they click to expand the playbook or just visit it directly.

https://community.cxl.com/t/unlock-the-layers-of-effective-messaging/2576


Additional edits made based on edits to the playbooks within this hub