The Message Manifesto

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Learn why developing a great message requires:

• A clearly defined strategy
• Real research
• Development that includes experimentation
• Validation in the marketplace
• Enablement of the message among stakeholders
• Analytics to evaluate its impact

You need to manage your message with even more rigor and discipline than you bring to managing your brand.

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The Message Manifesto

  1. 1. THE MBP MODEL (M) MESSAGE (B) BRAND (P) PROMOTION
  2. 2. MESSAGE MANIFESTOMESSAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL MARKETING ELEMENTS. // Great messages change the destinies of companies and people. Without message, brandand promotion are crude instruments. Message is the essence of marketing; it personifiesyour business strategy, defines your market position and declares your differentiation. The bestmessages are bold, compelling and polarizing. Most messages are ships that pass in the night.THE BIG PICTURE / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) FORMULA / THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) OUTPUTS /THE STARR CONSPIRACY (M) METHOD
  3. 3. WHY MESSAGES FAIL They ... You ... are not driven by business strategy never believed it to begin with are created in a vacuum seek to appeal to 100% of the market are so neutral as to be invisible use words people don’t understand fail to connect on an emotional level
  4. 4. LAW OF MARKET SHARE 1ST 2ND 3RD
  5. 5. THE (M) FORMULA STRATEGY ANALYTICS RESEARCH MESSAGE ENABLEMENT DEVELOPMENT VALIDATION
  6. 6. STRATEGYMessage must flow from strategy. // If your strategy is not clearly defined, your message will confound employees, customersand prospects. If you ask us to create a message and you don’t have a strategy, we will startby forcing you to commit to a strategy.TARGET MARKET­__ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ REQUIRED CAPABILITIES AND MARKET REQUIREMENTS __ PRICING STRATEGYVALUE PROPOSITION __ COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ DISTRIBUTION
  7. 7. RESEARCHConfidence, deeply held beliefs, executive retreats andanecdotal validation are no substitutes for real research.// Don’t bet your company on a gut feeling. There is always time for research.INFORMAL PRIMARY __ FORMAL PRIMARY __ INFORMAL SECONDARY __ FORMAL SECONDARY __ QUANTITATIVE __QUALITATIVE __ VALIDATION
  8. 8. The majority of respondents believe that rewards andrecognition, and health and wellness programs areeffective in improving employee engagement.HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES AT IMPROVINGEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? Not Effective Extremely Effective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2.1% 3.5% 6.3% 15.6% 30.2% 28.8% 13.5%REWARDS & RECOGNITION INITIATIVES (6) (10) (18) (45) (87) (83) (39)HEALTH & WELLNESS INITIATIVES 1.4% 5.2% 11.5% 25.3% 27.8% 20.5% 8.3% (4) (15) (33) (73) (80) (59) (24) OVER 75% FOR BOTH
  9. 9. ROI is more important in choosing engagement programsthan doing it because “it’s the right thing to do.”(It’s still a head argument before a heart argument.) 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 55.9% 161 20 39.9% 4.2% 10 115 12 Employee engagement I’m not sure if employee I don’t believe that solutions can improve engagement solutions employee engagement productivity, revenue can produce any benefits solutions can produce any and profit, and can show to the business or show benefits to the business. measureable ROI. ROI, but I believe that The whole thing is a creating a culture of waste of time and budget. engagement is the right thing to do.
  10. 10. dEVELOPMENTGreat messages are like jazz. First we must isolate the essentialnotes. Then we must experiment with the notes to create anutterly unique composition that defines us.BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ TARGET MARKET __ SOLUTION CATEGORY __ VALUE __COMPETITION __ DIFFERENTIATION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __ KEY MESSAGES
  11. 11. VALIDATIONNever assume you got it right because it sounds good to you.Before you spend millions of dollars weaving your messagethrough multiple brand expressions and campaigns, takethe time to test your message with real people you would liketo sell to.SOCIAL MEDIA VALIDATION __ FORMAL OR INFORMAL FOCUS GROUPS __ ONLINE SURVEYS __ PHONE INTERVIEWS __ANALYST AND INFLUENCER BRIEFINGS
  12. 12. ENABLEMENTMost message initiatives fail because employees and otherstakeholders are not sold on the strategy and not given thetools they need to adopt and amplify the message.MESSAGE LAUNCH STRATEGY __ MESSAGE DELIVERY TRAINING __ FORMAL MESSAGE STANDARDS __MARKETING TOOLS __ SALES TOOLS __ TRAINING MATERIALS __ INTERNAL PROMOTION CAMPAIGNS
  13. 13. ANALYTICSIs your message working? There are multiple methods fortesting message comprehension, recall and performance — ­ ­ranging from split-cell campaign testing to primary quantitativeand qualitative research. If you’re not analyzing messageperformance, you have lost touch with your business strategyand market requirements.CAMPAIGN SPLIT-CELL TESTING __ MESSAGE RECOGNITION __ MESSAGE RECALL __ FUNCTIONAL ASSOCIATIONS __MESSAGE ATTRIBUTES __ BRAND ATTRIBUTES __ MESSAGE COMPREHENSION
  14. 14. THE (M) OUTPUTSMessage management requires even more rigor and disciplinethan brand management. A visual brand can change frequentlywithout losing the confidence of the buyer. But a message canonly change in extreme situations. Stray from your message andyou stray from your buyer.BRAND ARCHETYPE __ BRAND PROMISE __ UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION __ FEATURES AND BENEFITS __KEY MESSAGES __ (M) ENABLEMENT
  15. 15. BRAND ARCHETYPESThe notion behind brand archetypes is that brands are abasic human social concept and that the same patterns andideas tend to repeat themselves over time, such that what wenow consider “brands” are roughly equivalent to archetypalcharacters in literature, religion, folklore, mythology, etc.// They’re a way for us to understand ourselves and affiliate with others, and by associatingthem with those common themes and characters, we can better understand how buyersconnect with brands.INNOCENT __ HERO __ LOVER __ CAREGIVER __ EXPLORER __ THE EVERYMAN __ REBEL __ CREATOR __ RULER __MAGICIAN __ SAGE __ JESTER
  16. 16. the starr conspiracy ASTADIA Logo Development15 INNOCENT
  17. 17. MESSAGE FRAMEWORK Brand Promise Unique Value Proposition Features & Key Benefits Messages
  18. 18. BRANd PROMISEThe brand promise is a phrase that communicates the one thingthat your brand intends to own in the target market’s mindand can be delivered 100% of the time. It must align with yourarchetype and should possess three qualities: Be extremely important to the target audience Be able to be delivered by your organization Not be addressed by your competitors
  19. 19. uvpThe unique value proposition is 50% science and 50% art.It must communicate certain immutable variables. But itmust be delivered in a style and tone that brings your brandarchetype to life. TARGET MARKET SOLUTION CATEGORY VALUE PROPOSITION COMPETITION DIFFERENTIATION
  20. 20. FEATURES AND BENEFITSYour product or service has 1 million features and associatedbenefits. Your audience can only remember two or three.Pick the right ones and hammer on them.
  21. 21. KEY MESSAGESNow it’s time to apply your message framework to countlessformats and applications.WEB COPY __ BOILERPLATE __ CAMPAIGNS __ COLLATERAL __ BUSINESS PAPERS __ PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES __SOCIAL MEDIA __ ADVERTISING EVENTS __ EMPLOYER BRANDING
  22. 22. THE (M) METHODCONFIRM STRATEGY ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONSFORMAL DISCOVERY DEFINE BRAND ARCHETYPEFORMAL SECONDARY RESEARCH DEFINE MESSAGE VARIABLESMARKET RESEARCH STATEMENT DRAFT MESSAGE FRAMEWORKFORMAL PRIMARY QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH VALIDATE MESSAGE FRAMEWORK(ONLINE SURVEY) TRAINFORMAL PRIMARY QUALITATIVE FOLLOW-UP LISTEN (MEASURE, MONITOR AND MANAGE)(PHONE INTERVIEWS)
  23. 23. THANK YOU WE CARE ABOUT THIS STUFF. FOR YOUR TIME.

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