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Getting Messaging Right - Notes - Kathryn Roy at ProductCamp Boston, April 2011


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ProductCamp Boston, April 2011 *****
You crafted positioning and messaging for the new solution the right way - consulting sales, investigating competitors. Everyone said the new materials were fantastic. Now, 2 months later, sales is complaining that you missed the mark. This session will describe where marketers can get into trouble and how to avoid trouble.*****

Kathryn Roy helps B2B technology and service companies boost the effectiveness of their sales and marketing organizations

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Getting Messaging Right - Notes - Kathryn Roy at ProductCamp Boston, April 2011

  1. 1. Getting Messaging Right Crafting and Delivering Prospect Messaging More Effectively
  2. 2. Getting Messaging Right Workbook A. OBJECTIVES Most of us can drive cars, but few of us would escape with life and limbs intact if we were invited to drive in the next Indy 500. The consequences of a mistake in an Indy race deter many of us – unless we could sign up for some intensive training in advance. Most of us feel comfortable with our communication skills. But communicating to customers and prospects is to everyday communication like driving in the Indy 500 is to commuting. A big difference is that mistakes in customer communications don’t leave people bloodied (or worse). In fact, it is often challenging to determine if something we produce is effective or not. As a result, many companies unwittingly make mistakes that could easily be avoided. The purpose of this presentation is to provide you with Indy 500-level intensive training, but for customer messaging. We will share insights and frameworks for getting messaging right. After this webinar you should: • Comprehend why marketers unwittingly produce ineffective messaging and how to avoid those traps • Understand the terminology soup of positioning, value propositions, sales-ready messaging, etc. • Have tips for how to start improving your messaging immediately This presentation features Kathryn Roy, managing partner at Precision Thinking, a consulting firm that helps B2B technology companies boost their sales & marketing effectiveness. Kathryn has over 20 years of experience helping some of the most successful and fastest growing B2B companies including IBM, Avid, CA, Constant Contact, Lotus, AT&T, Kronos, Novell, Giga, Phase Forward and dozens of other technology companies. Kathryn has published in HBS Working Knowledge, Marketing Profs, Guidestar, and Mass High Technology. B. AGENDA • Why do so many go astray? • What is “good messaging”? i. Terminology ii. When to use which message • How do you get messaging right?© 2011 Precision Thinking Page 2
  3. 3. Getting Messaging Right Workbook C. TRAPS GREAT MARKETERS CAN FALL INTO • So busy / overloaded don’t set aside time for proper preparation and testing • “Our baby is beautiful” syndrome • Cognitive (Lake Wobegone) bias – 90% of surveyed individuals think they are better than average drivers – who is average at messaging? • Confirmation bias – paying more attention to data supporting your position than countering it • The “Curse of Knowledge” –Google and get excerpt at Made to Stick website – we assume prospects have the same context / lingo in their heads as we do • We copy other companies (especially big ones) thinking they must know what they are doing • HiPPOs – Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – use testing to overcome D. WHAT IS “GOOD MESSAGING”? • “Bump-into” messaging is for when a prospect walks past your booth or visits your website having heard something vague about your company. • “Rope-em in” messaging is for when prospects aren’t visiting your website or booth but you have to grab their attention. “Bump-into” messaging answers these questions Who Are you doing something for companies like us? What Could what you do solve the problem we have? Why How is this better than other options? Positioning a la Geoffrey Moore For (target customer) Who Who (statement of the need or opportunity) The (product name) is a (product category) What That (key benefit aka compelling reason-to-buy) Unlike (primary competitive alternative) Why Our product (primary differentiation)See Crossing the Chasm or other books by the Chasm Group for additionalinformation on positioning.© 2011 Precision Thinking Page 3
  4. 4. Getting Messaging Right Workbook “Rope-em in” messagingStage Main Message to Who What Why Unengaged ProspectLatent need What status quo is costing you   Pain We’re a great place to go to sort out what you need   Vision Why we’re worth including in your evaluation   Active search What you might lose by not talking to us    Terminology Soup Term Who What Why Value proposition x Compelling reason-to-buy Differentiation x Positioning x x x Sales-ready messaging x x E. HOW DO YOU GET MESSAGING RIGHT? • Learn / share messaging terminology • Write your positioning statement & TEST • Write a new “Home” and “About Us” page – using just headlines and bullets & TEST • Expand, then edit, & TEST • Don’t • Lead with new category names • Use product names early • Claim leadership without proof • Go nuts with SEO • Put key messages in video • Don’t Use © 2011 Precision Thinking Page 4
  5. 5. Getting Messaging Right Workbook • Jargon / buzzwords • Analyst-speak • Investor-speak • tag lines (3 – 6 words bad; 7 word descriptors more helpful) • Do • Limit what you say i. Say who you solve problems for ii. State what you do that helps solve the problem iii. Explain why you are better • Be concise but clear i. Use headings and bullets • Watch out for biases • Use testing to counter HiPPOsLearning More About Messaging and PositioningIf you are interested in messaging and positioning, there are additional articles andan eBook on under articles. I don’t tweet a lot, but willtweet when I publish a new article or blog post. Twitter: karoy1© 2011 Precision Thinking Page 5