In a 2019 study by Lucid Press titled The State of Brand Consistency, surveyed organizations estimated that consistently presenting their brand led to a 33% increase in revenues. That’s a seriously big number. And a key component of any brand identity is a messaging platform.
So, what is a messaging platform?
It is the foundation on which you build your brand language. It defines in no uncertain terms the words that will be used in all marketing communications. It ensures that every communication that emanates from your company is consistent. And, it’s important to note that when it comes to messaging development, there is no more important perspective than that of the target audience itself.
What should a messaging platform include?
The simple answer: clear, concise language describing company’s and/or product’s differentiators, benefits, and key features. It should include the compelling reasons why the audience should choose to engage with your company and, hopefully, buy your product. Ultimately, your message platform has a singular goal: ensuring audience engagement.
We suggest you start developing your message platform by interviewing target customers and potential customers in each vertical industry you serve. Those conversations are your chance to really put yourself in their shoes. To listen and learn what they care about. To understand the language they use, how they consume information, and what engages them when evaluating companies and products.
Then go one step further—especially if you’re developing your overall company messaging—and include messages that specifically speak to other important stakeholders. That list may include channel partners, analysts, influencers, investors, and internal teams. And while customer and stakeholder messages may have much in common, the way the messages are positioned and the language used should be tailored to resonate with each audience.
It’s also important to prioritize the messages you develop.
List the differentiators and benefits in order, from most important to least important relative to the audience you’re addressing. Note that the focus is on differentiators and benefits. Relevant product features should be shared within the context of the benefits they promise to deliver. It’s a simple strategy: engage the reader with the benefits they can expect to gain, then describe how the product’s features deliver on that promise.
What’s the most effective approach to messaging development?
That almost always depends on time and budget. Launches come at us fast and furious, and there often isn’t time to execute a complete messaging development exercise. Certainly, email marketing can answer the question, “Which of my messages best drive response?” Email is great for testing the effectiveness of messages. But, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve got to create the messages first, before you can actually test them.
More often than not, marketing teams are forced to depend on their own intimate knowledge of the company and product to develop persuasive messages. But, because much of a marketer’s life is likely spent deep in the details of their company and products, they may be too close to the subject to objectively determine which messages will best resonate with their audiences.
That’s one reason why we highly recommend looking to outside communications resources to guide your messaging development project. Outside experts should bring proven processes, invaluable experience, and an objective point of view to the table, helping you hone your messages to a fine point.
At its most basic level, messaging development should include interviews with your executive and product teams, and any other internal stakeholders whose perspective may be valuable. As time and budget permit, we think it’s also important to include interviews with external sources, including investors and analysts.
The value of a persuasive messaging platform that engages your audiences is undeniable. And nothing will make your marketing team look better than boosting revenues by 33%. Make it happen.
By Michael Rosenberg, ETMG Writer
Michael loves creating content. It started with a fascination for science and technology, grew into a career in marketing for leading- and, at times, bleeding-edge technologies, and then morphed into a fervor for writing, editing, and devising content strategies. Today his passion is transforming the intricacies of technologies and scientific solutions into engaging stories. He is also a constant gardener, an avid traveler, and a lover of great food.