Once you have established the positioning and messaging of your product, it’s easy to close the task, share the findings with your team and look forward to the incoming flow of leads inspired by your brand and products.
Not so fast!
While the positioning will likely remain unchanged for a long time (as long as the business strategy remains the same), the messaging should be constantly evolving to reflect a dynamic market. Here are some factors to consider when reviewing and updating your product messaging.
The first step to tailoring your message to your audience is to create a buyer persona. This helps you identify useful insights about ideal customers, including how they communicate, which methods of marketing communication they prefer, and how they consume information. It gives you a clear picture of the customers’ communication preferences and behaviors, and, therefore, helps you to identify the most efficient and effective ways to reach them. Put simply, a message based on a buyer persona will reach potential customers faster and increase the chances of them making a purchase.
However, the persona is not sufficient for powerful and engaging storytelling. We must dig deeper. The customer journey drives more insights, revealing the customer’s real path within sales, marketing, and customer support. Mapping the customer journey will show you where and how your customers interact with your marketing channels, such as through a website or social media page. Moreover, it reveals points of difficulty or frustration that the customer may face throughout the whole communication process.
It is important to remember that your positioning and messaging will rely on your persona’s behavior stages and the touchpoints. Go through each of them regularly to see when and how often your customer interacts with your brand and products. Have they stumbled upon your website or social media after searching on Google for a solution to a query? Or have they found an article about your company on TechCrunch and are now browsing your website? The customer’s initial exposure to your brand during the searching stage is tremendously important to the rest of their journey, so make sure your messaging is clear and tailored to the customers’ needs.
Again, nothing lasts forever. Today, customers want a personalized approach to communication with the company. As the persona changes, the touchpoints should be revised. Keep track of changing trends and platforms; once a channel becomes obsolete and therefore removed, find out which other channels could be used to replace it. If, for example, the pandemic has caused problems with offline expos in B2B business, try online events instead – just don’t forget to adjust your messaging!
However, the persona may change with time. New generations, global or local events, new products, or substitutes in the market may alter the customers’ mindset and require you to alter your messaging accordingly. This may entail refreshing or completely redesigning your initial approaches.
Here is an example: Coronavirus has influenced our buying behaviors significantly. We’ve seen a shift to digital purchasing, essentials, and more conscious consumption. On top of that, there is still a significant variance in consumer sentiment and behaviors across countries. If the pandemic has affected your customers and forced them to change their purchasing habits, make sure you have adjusted your messaging accordingly. Keep an eye on any significant changes to ensure the messaging and values of your brand are up to date.
Platforms and Content
Having evaluated touchpoints with your audience, make sure your messaging styles are tailored to suit various digital platforms. Each channel is unique and requires different styles. Websites, Google Ads, blog posts, and newsletters all have different functions and their own communication styles. Plus, various social media platforms have content requirements. The easiest way to learn about different types of content is by looking at examples. Study their audience, check requirements, and rely on best practices.
Last but not least, global and local events influence messaging. Business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is affected by the current situation in social, economic, and political life. A product marketing manager should narrow their focus on changing events at least once a week to stay up to date. Other strategic elements, such as customers, touchpoints, and content, should be revised quarterly. Real-time marketing should oversee all relevant changes to the industry, business, and customers. Use real-time marketing to keep on top of current events and tailor a relevant marketing message to customers.
Showing empathy, consistency, and passion in a time of need is not just a smart move but a necessity to build a valuable relationship with your customers.
Consistency is your holy grail. We don’t trust businesses with an inconsistent image and voice.
Tone of voice is your best friend. Choose what to say and how to say it to create the right impression. And don’t forget — be consistent!
Test, test, and test again. You won’t know exactly what will work and what won’t until you start to speak to your customer. Keep testing to find the approaches and practices that yield the best results.
Digital platforms are changing rapidly, offering new functionalities and opportunities for businesses to connect with their audience. For example, Facebook added WhatsApp in-chat Shopping alongside Facebook Shop. It’s important to adjust your messaging as these platforms evolve. You should also be mindful of which platforms are suitable for your brand. If you feel that some platforms don’t share your brand’s values, don’t hesitate to remove it from your channel list.
And that's not all...
Sign up for our Messaging Certified: Masters course to gain the best possible knowledge on the strategy. The certification is taught by Bryony Pearce, Head of Education here at Product Marketing Alliance.
By the end of the Messaging Certified: Masters you’ll:
- Know how to build foundations for solid messaging and customer engagement,
- Be able to get maximum impact from your messaging frameworks,
- Be a pro at drafting, layering, and reviewing your messaging,
- Understand how to work more effectively with copywriters,
- Know how to validate your messaging with prospects and customers, and
- Understand message synching and why it matters.