Messaging & Positioning | Product Marketing | Guides

So, when we say “messaging”, we don’t directly mean SMS or text messaging (although this can play an important part in your strategy, depending on your target audience, your brand identity, and so on).

No. Product messaging is the message your product sends to potential customers. Sounds simple right? Well, its definition may be, but getting the right message out there in the right way can be difficult. Most people think the foundation of their message is listing a bunch of features and benefits, and while those things do need to be defined, they shouldn’t be where you start developing your product messaging.

How people perceive your product is a direct result of messaging. The right messaging effectively communicates your product’s value, giving prospects an understanding of how your product solves their specific problem.

Your messaging will also provide strategic guidance to PR teams, external marketing communications, and your sales team. And when you’re all speaking the same language, your messaging becomes more powerful and recognizable as it’s consistently applied across all media.

In this guide, we'll be answering key questions like:

What's inside this guide?

Whether you've got a messaging overhaul on the horizon or just want to brush up your knowledge and learn from the best for when the time does come, here's a selection of presentations, templates and guides to help you through your next messaging project.

Part 1: presentations

- Map your message for impact
- Don't NOT talk about features
- Product messaging: a taxonomy AKA the decoder ring
- Results of a COVID-19 messaging refresh
- SurveyMonkey's 7-step messaging process

Part 2: templates

- Messaging framework
- Storytelling framework [template]
- Storytelling framework [example]

Part 3: messaging guides

- How feedback leads to more effective, data-driven marketing messages
- TL;DR: simplifying your message for maximum impact
- Product messaging - the difference between good and great
- Establishing and developing product messaging
- How to make your product messaging pop
- Write your CMO ticket - remove the guesswork from messaging & positioning

There's plenty more where this came from. 👆

Unlock it all in here. 👇

Messaging toolkit | Product Marketing Alliance
Make a mark with your next round of messaging.


Messaging unpacked

You might know why your product is perfect for your prospective customers, but without effective positioning and messaging it’s unlikely they’ll know or bother to find out.

Clearly, developing your positioning and messaging is vital to your product’s success. It’s the reason why you immediately think of Coke when someone mentions cola, it’s the reason why you’d think of a Volvo if we asked you to picture a safe car, it’s your prospect’s initial perception of your product.

Positioning and messaging go hand in hand, you simply can’t have one without the other, but how do we define messaging? Let’s start at the beginning.

What is messaging?

Put simply, it’s the message your product is sending to your potential customers. Developing the right messaging requires a lot of research and while there isn't one, definitive format for doing so, we have a bunch of articles and resources that can guide you in the right direction.

You can communicate with your audience through a multitude of different messaging techniques:

  • Social media posts,
  • Website chatbots,
  • Advertising or marketing campaigns,
  • Podcasts and webinars,
  • Product design or layout,
  • In-app notifications,
  • CTAs (call-to-actions),
  • And plenty more.
Product messaging - the difference between good and great
As a product marketer it’s vital you take ownership of the message your product is sending to potential customers. If you fail to at the very least define your product, other people will define it for you, and you might not appreciate the outcome.
Messaging and positioning for 2020: the customer journey as a continuum
Messaging and positioning are at the core of reaching the right audience at the right time and in the right place. Storytelling reaches far and wide where features and functionality don’t.
Understanding the evolution of product marketing to portfolio messaging
Recently, I’ve even had conversations with product marketing leaders that have shifted to referring to the role as “portfolio marketing”, which encompasses product, industry, and solutions.
How to nail your product messaging
There’s a fine line between mediocrity and greatness, with product messaging continuing to play a pivotal role. Sarah Din, Director of Product Marketing at SurveyMonkey, treated us to the pearls of her wisdom and gave her advice on how to create content messaging that’s sure to resonate.
Tailoring product storytelling to your target audience
Elliott Rayner and Magda Saralegui discuss the importance of storytelling, and how to tailor your storytelling to your target audience.
How to avoid common messaging and positioning mistakes
In this article, we’ll explore how to optimize your messaging and positioning techniques, and common mistakes to avoid.
How long should you spend on messaging and positioning?
If you don’t have messaging and positioning clearly defined, selling your product to your target market will be challenging. This raises the question: how long should you spend creating messaging and positioning?


Why is messaging important?

How people perceive your product is a direct result of messaging. The right messaging effectively communicates your product’s value, giving prospects an understanding of how your product solves their specific problem.

Your messaging will provide strategic guidance to PR teams, external marketing communications, content marketing, and your sales team. And when you’re all speaking the same language, your messaging becomes more powerful and recognizable as it’s consistently applied across all media. Good messaging will prove vital when crafting a market nurturing campaign, and having a cohesive message you can apply throughout your content and communication will lay a solid foundation for lead conversion.

How to create effective product messaging

You know that old teaching method show and tell? Well, when it comes to product messaging you’re going to flip it on its head. Once you’ve settled on your product’s core value you’re going to back it up by becoming your own case study. Demonstrate your product, allow consumers to test it out themselves, ask for feedback, and if you can’t be your own case study get some beta testers involved and ask for honest feedback.

Research is a huge part of developing your messaging. As you learn more about the people who will be using your product, you’ll naturally learn more about the companies they work at, and be able to refine and target your messaging accordingly.

Once you figure out the value of your product and who your target audience is, you can use that information to craft your product messaging, starting with why the consumer should buy your product while demonstrating how your product’s features improve their lives and address their specific pain points.

How to get your messaging out there

Once you have your messaging down, you need to start communicating it to your audience. There are a variety of different ways that you can do this. But one thing you must always keep in mind is how your audience wants to be communicated with.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can do this...

One example, as we previously mentioned, is actually using SMS marketing or digital marketing. Of course, this is only going to work for those who actually use social media or their phone a lot. Many companies actually have an option on their websites where the customer can opt-in for SMS or email marketing. This is a great way to ensure that you’re certain of how a customer wants to be communicated.

Here, they have the choice of giving you their phone numbers or emails, which you can then input into an automation tool like MailChimp to mass send your product updates and messaging.

Staying on the digital marketing side of things, you may like to add a personal touch to your marketing strategy and follow up with your returning customers on social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook messenger to thank them for their purchase. Of course, this is only going to work if you’re a smaller business, as individual personalized messages wouldn’t work with a larger customer base.

Keep in mind that, as a product marketer, the customer always comes first. Choosing to communicate with your audience in a way that they prefer, and what also works for you is a great way of making them feel appreciated, ultimately increasing customer retention, brand reputation, and then overall sales.

Of course, texts and emails are more modern marketing channels. But, there are many other ways that you can communicate your product messaging to your audience. For example, in how you convey your product pricing, the design of your product, tv advertisement, and so on. You just need to find what works for you.

You’ll find everything you need in our messaging framework and templates to get you off and running.


Access this complete toolkit - and more - right here. 👇

Product marketing toolkits | Product Marketing Alliance
Everything you need to gear up for your next big project.

Get Messaging Certified 👇

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
  • Understand message synching and why it matters
Messaging Certified | Masters
Become a master of messaging and make sure your product’s value is communicated to customers.