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How often do you refresh your messaging?

6 Answers
Anna Wiggins
Anna Wiggins
Bluevine Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Content, Customer ResearchMarch 23

This will depend on the maturity of the product. If your product and target audience don’t change very much, you can look at doing annual refreshes. However, if you are working on a growing product with evolving audiences or you’ve recently pivoted, you may need to tweak your messaging more frequently - even on a quarterly basis. You should set expectations with your stakeholders on your message refresh frequency as part of your annual product marketing plans. 

And of course, major changes in product functionality will typically kick off a messaging refresh, which should be incorporated in your overall GTM stakeholder alignment and execution plan. 

For approach, start evaluating if your positioning is still current. How has your product functionality evolved? What is the competitor landscape now? Are there any changes with your target audience? This will help you determine if you need to do a global messaging update or if you are more in the refresh territory. 

Next, check-in on your personas. Are there any recent customer insights that should be incorporated? For example, perhaps you learned that your personas really value benefit X over benefit Y, and this will kick off an update to your message hierarchy. 

Also, understand how your current messaging is performing. Take a look at your ads, prospect/customer engagement with your site, and any other touchpoints. If you haven’t done so already, test your messaging for comprehension and emotional response. This may help you uncover insights you can use for a refresh. 

Based on what you’ve learned, update your messaging, and I would recommend doing quick comprehension and emotional response tests along the way so you have an idea of how it will be received once you actually go to market. 

1266 Views
Natalie Louie
Natalie Louie
ICONIQ Capital Product & Content MarketingApril 13

We are in a constant state of updating various messaging All The Time. In fact, we never feel like we are done. 

Our CEO, Tien Tzuo, tells us that the magic to good messaging is in the iteration of it. We are constantly battle testing and iterating on all our messaging. Zuora spent 3 years iterating on "The Subscription Economy" before it stuck and became synonymous with our brand now. Now that this message has been battle tested, we haven't changed it. 

But for other messaging, the second we release it, we already know it’s old and we are working on the next update. For example, messaging for a product launch -- once it's out the door, that's old and we are looking at what's next in our product road map. Before I release new messaging to the field, I’ve been getting feedback and fine tuning it for weeks or months. If you are looking at your messaging from a few weeks ago and you aren’t cringing, you aren’t iterating enough. If you share your messaging with someone and they aren't nodding in full agreement, you aren't iterating enough.

Our PMM team has a Messaging Template to align everyone on the same page. This is used as a source document to send and amplify our messaging to all cross-functional partners to create decks, content, copy, marketing campaigns, sales enablement training, etc…Based on your needs it can include: a positioning statement, macro theme, key messages, top value props, competitive differentiation, elevator pitch, messaging map, target verticals, target personas, market trends, key signals, proof points, high valued assets, customer stories, 3rd party reports. The document emcompases all our research from talking to customers, prospects, analysts, consultants, partners, sales, internal/external experts, co-workers, etc… and whittled down to the most essential information. 

Sometimes these can become very long when we are doing our research and validation, then eventually we have to pair it down to the most important information because no one wants to read a novel to understand our messaging and create their content.

968 Views
Christopher C. Hines
Christopher C. Hines
Axis Security VP of Strategy & Global Marketing (Acquired by HPE)April 1

This is a GREAT question. Messaging is one of those things that everyone wants to influence too so that can be a challenge. We try not to update our messaging too often, or it can impact the Sales team's ability to accurately tell the story to customers. We tend to develop a foundational message for the platform about once a year, and throughout the year make enhancements based on feedback from key stakeholders like: Customers, Sales leads, PM, and analysts.

I can't stress enough the importance of getting the customers feedback when possible. It's proven to be very helpful for me.

If you sell a platform, consider your platform story you're telling first, vs. the individual product pieces of it. A single cohesive story always beats piecemeal. 

It will also allow your sales team to sell more easily, since they can sell the platform vs. products. Product discussions too early in the Sales process can sometimes up rattholing into conversations about what features are included, how does this compare to competitors only relevant to that specific product etc.

Your biggest value is the overall platform. FOCUS THERE!

One other important consideration - make sure you go through a target segmentation process. Not all segments are equally important to your business. Focus on the segments where there is relevant size, you are differentiated, your lifetime value to customers is high and whose problems you actually solve.

833 Views
William Davis
William Davis
Workato Vice President of Product MarketingSeptember 28

You can't change messaging every quarter...it won't stick and you'll lose credibility internally/externally. 

Generally, you'll want any strategic messaging you put out to last 18 months. I think updating once per year or in certain cases every 2 quarters can also work depending on the circumstances. There is a lot of heavy-lifting required to do it right both to come up with the messaging but also to roll it out effectively so limiting frequency is important or it will be a huge time/resource drain on the company. 

When updating, I would focus on the goals of updating the messaging and get cross-functional buy-in on the effort before going down the path. 

We've seen success with a process of:

  • Getting key goals/ideas on the table from a x-functional group of execs and key team members

  • Interacting with a representatitive range of different customers to get their input on how to position

  • Testing potential messaging with prospects or target personas that don't know your company or brand (this can be done through 3rd parties) 

This input will shape the messaging changes you're making and also provide proof points for the direction you end up recommending. 

I think tiny tweaks can happen more frequently or be executed through campaigns/content but any overhaul needs to be done infrequently and thoughtfully given what's required for success. 

725 Views
Jodi Innerfield
Jodi Innerfield
Salesforce Senior Director, Product Marketing Launch Strategy & Emerging ProductsNovember 29

There are two big "reasons" to refresh messaging: your product changes, or the market changes.

When your product changes or you add new features, that's a pretty clear time to make sure your messaging reflects the latest benefits and values for your customer.

Changes in the market will impact your customer's perspective and willingness/desire to purchase your product. For example, pretty much every B2B and B2C company changed its messaging during COVID as priorities shifted and lifestyles changed. Economic downturns often drive messaging shifts, emphasizing cost-savings and ROI. Your product may have seasonality that requires a different message at different times of the year: Holidays if you're B2C, tax season if you're an accounting software, for example.

Finally, there may be times in your own company's calendar that make for logical "refresh" points--sales kickoff, a big conference, basically opportunities where you'll be putting your message in front of a large group of people and you want to make sure it still resonates and is accurate--that's a great time to refresh your messaging.

2838 Views
Linda Su
Linda Su
Salesloft Solutions Product Marketing LeadMarch 6

Keeping your messaging up to date is so critical both to ensure you stay relevant in the market and so your internal stakeholders like sales, success, and marketing are using the latest and greatest.

Often times, there will be natural points for you to review messaging for example, if you're preparing any enablement/training, there's a big event or campaign launching, or you're doing message testing. If these don't naturally come up, a good benchmark to set is to review your messaging quarterly and then after any big milestone such as a product launch, business event, or market trend.

For example:

  • Product launch: Update messaging to reflect any new personas, features, and value.

  • Competitors: If you notice a new competitor that is affecting deals or your current competitors are taking a bigger chunk of your opportunities, it's a good time to look at your differentiation and messaging.

  • Company acquisition or merger: Update messaging to tell the "better together" story and expanded set of use cases, personas, features, and value.

  • Market trends: New technology such as AI or global shifts such as recession / COVID which may impact buyer priorities. Or the product category you're in shifts -- such as consolidation of vendors.

The best way to remind yourself is to put a block on your calendar to do this. And then make sure you communicate to all your stakeholders the updated messaging.

248 Views
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