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Do you have a repeatable process you use to develop product messaging?

4 Answers
Malli Vangala
Malli Vangala
Circana Chief Strategy OfficerOctober 7

We do - however, important to bake in some flexibility/adaptibility as each product/capability/solution tends to have it's own nuances/objectives. Having said that, generally the process is as follows: 

  1. Collaborate with the Engineering team to thoroughly understand product/solution
  2. Develop and independent perspective of the market and competitive context
  3. Develop a 'v1' draft of proposed messaging
  4. Test messaging with potential customers, sales team, analysts, internal stakeholders
  5. Refine and finalize messaging.

I am simplifying the process here for the sake of brevity and each of these steps could take weeks/months depending on the complexity/significance of the planned messaging and will involve additional sub-steps, but at a high level, this covers it!

691 Views
David Esber
David Esber
Twilio Senior Director, Product MarketingOctober 26

A deep understanding of the product, target audience, job to be done, and the technical solution is essential for our team to be good PMMs. For any product, even those that are less technical, knowing what the job to be done is and how the product offering does that job is a strong starting point. Every product conversation starts with what I call 20ish questions that generally focus on the following categories:

  •  Job to be done (who, what, why)
  •  Product accessibility (how do they use it, what limitations exist)
  •  Market landscape (how does this address a need, what others solutions exist)
  •  Go-to-market (paid/unpaid, roadmap)

From there:

  • We partner with Product to develop a v1 of messaging
  • Test with internal stakeholders (account execs, solutions engineers, marketing colleagues)
  • Test with external stakeholders (analysts, friendly customers, painted-door webinars/3rd party events)
  • Refine positioning and gain signoff from Product and leadership
  • Activate through web updates, launches, and sales/internal enablement

The level of depth we go depends on the launch size/opportunity size (i.e., a feature may be nested within our broader messaging and positioning, whereas a rebrand of a platform would be more extensive). 

17153 Views
Kiran Khanna
Kiran Khanna
Cisco GTM Leader , Cloud and XaaS SolutionsDecember 20

I love all the answers provided and will love to add a layer. To formulate a repeatable product messaging process, I have used and fostered the Key Messaging Document (KMD). It is to be used as a template not as a formula. I strongly recommend that it cannot hamper creativity but merely focus attention on being customer focused, outlining the product/ solution features, its benefits and the customer problems it solves (use cases). As an example, it does not take away from creatively using everyday metaphors and an analogy of an effective padlock to prevent digital intrusion prevention.

The template brings focus to the key steps and collaboration needed to crystallize messaging, including:

  1. Target customer audience and target customer personas

  2. Problem definition (key use cases)

  3. Charting product features and benefits

  4. Define clear value proposition

  5. Craft top 3 core messages

  6. Highlight competitive differentiator

  7. Align with brand

  8. Test and iterate with stakeholders (PMO, Engg, Sales, Partners, Customer friendlies)

  9. A/B testing on channels and mediums (website, social media, email) - use as feed into field marketing, content marketing, marcom, sales enablement

  10. Training and seller enablement (used to create sales tools)

  11. Monitor and measure periodically

251 Views
Charles McMurray
Charles McMurray
Wi-Tronix Product Marketing ManagerAugust 22

I'll take a stab at this. Here is an 8-step general outline of a process that can be used to develop repeatable product messaging: (adapt to your style)

1. Identify your target audience: Understand who your product is meant for and what their needs and pain points are. Developing messaging that resonates with your audience requires deeply understanding of their demographics, goals, and challenges.

2. Define your value proposition: Identify your product's unique value and how it better solves your customers' problems than existing alternatives. Your value proposition should address key benefits, competitive advantages, and outcomes your product delivers.

3. Craft core messaging: Develop concise and compelling messaging communicating your value proposition. Focus on clear and concise language highlighting your product's main features, benefits, and problem-solving capability. Ensure your messaging is customer-centric, highlighting how your product enhances their lives or makes their job easier.

4. Tailor your messaging to different channels and mediums: Different channels (e.g., website, social media, email marketing) and mediums require different approaches to messaging. Customize your messaging to suit each platform while maintaining consistency in your core message.

5. Test and iterate: Gather feedback from your target audience and test different versions of Your messaging to see which resonates best. Use customer surveys, focus groups, or A/B testing techniques to validate and refine your messaging. Continuously iterate and optimize based on feedback and data-driven insights.

6. Align with your brand: Make sure your product messaging aligns with your overall brand identity and brand messaging. Consistency across all touchpoints helps to build trust, reinforce your brand image, and create a cohesive customer experience.

7. Train your team: Ensure your sales and marketing teams are well-versed in the product messaging. Please provide them with training materials and guidelines to effectively communicate the value proposition and key messages to customers.

8. Monitor and update: Regularly monitor the performance of your product messaging and stay updated with industry trends and customer feedback. Make necessary adjustments and updates to keep your messaging relevant and impactful.

Remember, developing effective product messaging is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and refinement.

~Chuck

237 Views
Chris Glanzman
Chris Glanzman
ESO Director of Product Marketing & Demand GenerationAugust 26

Messaging should never be formulaic, but you can still use a repeatable process to create it.

Before diving into messaging, it's worth highlighting where it sits in the broader commercialization process. I have the best results when message development follows the creation and internal validation of the Positioning Statement. That means you've already completed some level of market research and competitive intelligence gathering.

With that knowledge in-hand, you're ready to move into Messaging development. I build my messaging "bottom-up" meaning that I start from product capabilities. Start with a list of features, non-feature product requirements, and any capabilities that might not be product-specific but are still provided by your company (especially if they're true differentiators). Think of this list as the bottom layer of a pyramid with the product message living at the top of it. I use three steps (or layers) to get to the message:

  1. Benefit: These are the tactical benefits the features provide. They will generally look like the components of an ROI calculator or business case (time savings, cost savings, etc.). If you subscribe to the Jobs-To-Be-Done concept, these are the functional jobs your product enables. Some features will support the same benefit, so this layer will naturally be smaller than the features.
  2. Value: This is the most challenging step, but it's also the most important. Spend the time on it. Building from the benefits, you then want to identify what those benefits create for the people involved. These should be on a emotional and social level, and getting this right requires deep understanding of your target buyers as people not just companies. This group will almost certainly be smaller than the Benefit layer.
  3. Message: The Value layer will paint a picture of how your product should make people feel. In the message layer, you want to aggregate those values and create compelling statements that communicate those same emotions and feelings but don't require underlying knowledge about the product. It's perfectly fine to end up with a small handful of these; they'll just be variants for later testing.

Next is testing your messaging. Your Value and Message layers are the most likely to change after testing. This development process should be iterative, and the first time through this is the most time-consuming. It's also worth saving this "pyramid" or table so that you can revisit it as features and competitive landscapes change.

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