How do you measure the success of your messaging?
This really depends on your where you are as an organization, and what your overall goals are, but here are a few thoughts and ideas:
- If you are trying to move up-market as an org, you can try to measure brand perception with different segments over time. While brand perception is not entirely isolated to messaging, messaging plays a huge role in how your brand is perceived and this can be a great indicator of how customers are responding to the story you are telling about your org. Most orgs have a brand tracker that runs at a regular cadence, it can be as simple as adding an additional question to your brand tracker.
- If the goal is to educate sales and inspire confidence - Measure sales confidence before and after you train the team on new messaging (we work with sales enablement to run a survey quarterly to measure this) - this can help you show/prove impact internally
- You can potentially look at performance of campaigns over time (pre-messaging rollout and post-messaging rollout) and see if the new messaging is able to increase the performance of any paid or demand gen campaigns.
- Analyst briefings - if you have access to any analysts in the space, you can also test your messaging with them and use thier feedback to determine success.
Messaging impact so many functions across an organization, in my opinion, its hard to attribute a single KPI to messaging. If done well, messaging drives growth and revenue and makes a significant impact to your brand overall.
Measuring the success of messaging overall generally ties back to product launch goals — whether that’s a sales or revenue number, or more user/signup focused. That being said, if you’re working on positioning and messaging outside of a launch then I’d look at metrics like length of sales cycle, demo to close rate, % of deals closed-won vs, closed lost (and against specific competitors if that’s important to your product line/business), and raw volume of sales and MRR/ARR. You can switch some of those metrics to be more freemium focused if you are working on user acquisition instead of direct sales but the same overall concept applies. Lastly, there are a bunch of tools on the market that allow you to measure and see how enablement materials you are creating are being used. I’d start by establishing some baseline metrics on previous enablement materials — how many views, demos were resources a part of — and how is your new messaging (and the respective assets it’s a part of) doing compared to that baseline? If the internal metrics and external metrics are not headed in the right direction it could signal a problem with your messaging.
Lots of ways to do this, but there are 'tactical' and 'strategic' ways to measure success. Tactically, setting up metrics-based feedback loops in the go-to-market is key. We used Outreach in our SDR efforts that offers a great, low-risk way to quickly test messaging, we measured content performance in the field via analytics on our Box fileshare, and, obviously, demand gen performance reviews are important.
Win/loss reviews are also great. I like to get about 20-25 reps to provide feedback every quarter. And win/loss feedback is the quickest path to getting meaningful feedback on messaging (and go-to-market strategy).
Shout-out to the PulseQA folks as well. You can get feedback from 100 IT, security, or CTOs on your messaging, positioning, etc. Takes a couple weeks. If you do that, be sure to have a few open-ended questions. That's where all the gold nuggets come from. I did one on Zero Trust a couple months ago and asked 'what is the biggest concern you have on security in the public cloud'. Feedback was amazing!!
And, then there are 'strategic' ways to measure success. Performance in a Gartner MQ or Forrester Wave is certainly important as that's an annual report card on messaging at a high-level.
There's no perfect way to do this. People hate when I say this but when it comes to messaging, I'm much more into qualitative feedback vs. quantitative. If you similarly hate me, feel free to move on. If not, here are a few qualitative measures I use:
Can your sales team remember it and pitch it on calls? If you use call recording software with your team, take a listen. If your sales team is pitching it, it's working. If not, it's not.
Do a webinar or event and ask for feedback after. Incentivize response with free swag. Session scores call tell you a lot about how your messaging landed.
Is more work "falling out of it"? What I mean by this is whether other people are building on top of it. ARe they thinking about it could be used for their segment and iterating on it. The best messaging becomes an organic force at your company.
Anchor on the metrics that matter. You can track efficacy of messaging throughout the funnel - and at each stage, the KPI might be different. Decide/discuss with your team what objectives you're trying to accomplish and base your measurement plan off that.
For example: if your main business goal is to drive revenue:
Top of the funnel: work with your data team/marketing ops to ensure you're tracking important metrics
CTRs of ads
Middle of the funnel - talk to your sales team! Listen to Gong, or other services that gives you insight on sales conversations
Conversions => closed won deals