We often think of marketing messages as springing from serendipitous breakthroughs, big ideas that come in a flash of creative brilliance. And that may be true, sometimes. But like many aspects of B2B marketing, message strategy can be developed—and improved—by following a proven process.
B2B companies make three big mistakes in their messaging:
- They fail to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Their message sounds the same as the others. And worse, it’s filled with hackneyed buzzwords, like “transformation,” “innovative,” and “leverage.”
- The target audience doesn’t care about the seller’s main claim. Either the claim fails to express a benefit that solves a pressing target audience problem, or it merely says what they do (like, “we’re a cloud computing company”) and leaves out the benefit altogether.
- Their main claim isn’t used consistently. They use a shotgun approach. For example, their main claim may jump out on their home page but never appear again. They fail to use the power of repetition. It takes at least 10 impressions before your target audience will notice your message. Also, neuromarketing tells us that the decision-making portion of the brain notices the repetition of a few keywords, earmarks them as important, and thus remembers them.
Differentiation is essential if a company has any hope of claiming a position in its market. Your goal is to create a message that is both unique and important to the target audience. A message strategy consists of a positioning statement, three to four support points and as much detail as necessary to communicate a compelling, comprehensive story.