Tell your story and quickly answer the most important question in business: “Why should I choose you?”
Messaging bridges the gap between your company and your audiences (e.g., customers, partners, investors, potential employees, etc.) by creating shared understanding.
Effective messaging grabs your targets’ attention, and quickly shows them the value of what you do, the meaningful differences in how you do it, and the importance of why you do it.
In short: your message matters.
The Messaging Guide
Cromulent works to understand your target audiences and your unique qualities, which allows us to craft high-impact, value-focused, memorable messaging which clearly answers the implicit question, “Why should I choose you?”
The output of this exercise, a comprehensive Messaging Guide, serves as a single source of truth for your organization’s most important messages. Typically, the Messaging Guide includes:
- Company (or Organization) Messaging: introduce yourself and tell your story
- Solution and Use Case Messaging: make sure people know what problems you solve (or what ‘jobs you do’)
- Product, Platform, and Technology Messaging: explain how your stuff works, and why that matters (applies to Services, too)
Implicit within the Messaging Guide is the concept of ‘marketecture’; that is, defining your features (including their names and descriptions) and technologies in terms of market problems.
To build a brand, your organization needs to provide a consistent, effective answer whenever anyone asks, “Who are you?” and “Why should I choose you?”
To that end, this section of the Messaging Guide typically includes taglines, a short description, a medium-length description (suitable for a boilerplate), additional contextual content, your company story, and a message map (that explains how best to position the message to different audiences or personas).
Solution and Use Case Messaging
Well-developed solution and use case messaging collectively speaks the customer’s language and appeals to their desired outcomes.
Customers have problems, and you have solutions; the trick is to define the problems in terms of results that customers are trying to achieve (i.e., use cases, jobs to be done) and to present your whole portfolio in an organized, digestible manner, via:
- Solution Names and Descriptions: Every solution needs a clear, distinct name and a description that explains the value proposition. Solutions should relate to specific, well-understood business problems that your target market feels acutely.
- Use Case Names and Descriptions: Every use case needs a clear, distinct name and a description that explains the outcome. The description doesn’t need to get into the details of how the outcome is achieved, because the primary goal here is simply to show the customer that you can deliver the outcome they need. That’s it!
- Use Case-to-Solution Mapping: How you structure the delivery of your messages is almost as important as the very content of your messages. By mapping use cases to particular solutions, you present your messages in an organized, digestible fashion that helps your audience explore your offerings.
It’s worth reiterating that use cases and success stories are closely related, but nevertheless distinct: use cases explain what you can do, in theory, whereas success stories showcase proof of what you have done, already, in the real world.
Product, Platform, and Technology Messaging
At some point in the sales process, customers are going to ask detailed questions about what you’re actually selling.
Product, platform, and technology messaging explains what your products are, what they do, how they fit together, and – to a reasonable extent – how they work (e.g., feature names and descriptions, important technologies, deployment models, scalability, etc.).
For solutions with multiple components or products, the Messaging Guide might also include a description of the overall portfolio and a simplified architecture model or diagram that illustrates how things fit together.