You have brand standards (don’t you?). You have a marketing plan (right?). You think you’re ready to take the world by storm. But there’s one piece missing:
a messaging platform.
The messaging platform doesn’t always get the love it deserves because it’s often tucked into a branding guide or a marketing plan, so most people don’t recognize it for what it is. More likely, however, it’s overlooked altogether.
so what the heck is a messaging platform?
It’s not that complicated, really. Distilled to its simplest form, the messaging platform encompasses what you say about your organization, and how you say it. It includes your unique value proposition, your positioning statement, key messages (I like to keep it to three at most), multi-purpose copy blocks (a description of your organization in two or three different lengths for use in a variety of applications—aka the “elevator pitch”), and often a tagline.
OK, but why do we need one?
A messaging platform makes your marketing job easier AND more effective.
- Your message is more memorable because it is focused on a few key themes.
- Your message is more consistent because everyone who plays a role in marketing (and believe me, that is just about everyone in your organization) is saying the same things.
- Your advertising and marketing production process is streamlined, because you are not reinventing the wheel with every new piece of material you create.
- Your audience will begin to identify you as your message, and the word will spread.
how do we get one of these?
Just because I said messaging platforms aren’t that complicated doesn’t mean they’re easy. You aren’t likely to pull a few coworkers together over lunch, come up with some key messages out of thin air and run with them. There is a process.
- Identify what we THINK your key messages (3 to 5 of them) might be. Key messages are not your mission statement or vision statement. They are simple statements that speak to how we want your audience to think of you. For example:“(Client name) drives your revenue growth by bringing people, processes and ideas together to align technology solutions to your marketing goals.”This is best done as a facilitated session with a group of key people (7 to 9) who represent different areas of your organization (management, front desk, sales, support, marketing, etc.).
- Test your key messages with a group of stakeholders. I usually do this by conducting brief, one-on-one telephone interviews with approximately 20 people (these can be a mix of customers, employees, prospective customers, vendors, board members, etc.). This tells us whether or not our key messages are viable, and is also an opportunity to discover important messages that we may not have captured.
- Revisit and refine your key messages based on the feedback we receive from testing. Once finalized, we’ll document the messages in a brief guide and share the “how and why” with the rest of your team.
If your organization could benefit from stronger, more cohesive messaging that is more strategic and more effective, let’s talk. I’ve worked with companies for years to create branding guides, marketing plans and messaging platforms, and no two experiences are the same. I approach each engagement based on what your organization already has in place, and what you need in order to move forward.
A branding, messaging or marketing tune-up may be just what you need.