How to validate your messaging and positioning once you've already finalized them?
Testing, iterating, and optimizing with your core audiences is the key to successful positioning:
- Talk to your customers and prospective customers to see how the messaging resonates with them and if it helps them understand the benefits of the product
- Mockup product flows, or marketing touchpoints with the new messaging and test this with customers
- Use websites like usertesting.com to see how people react and respond to the messaging
- Cross-reference your messaging with subject matter experts
- Cross-reference your messaging with the sales team to ensure it resonates with them and the feedback they hear from customers
- Test the messaging through experimentation live on your product or on the website to track how the new messaging helps with conversion, sales, lead generation
- Work with the performance marketing team to A/B test the new messaging in market to determine how it performs
Change is inevitable! So whenever possible, going to market with “final” messaging should include room for evolution over time based on various external and internal factors. Markets change and evolve, and customers’ needs or perspectives also change and evolve based on whatever is important to them in that moment--sometimes even driven by trends or current events that cannot be ignored (think, Covid!). If in a B2B org, you can quickly leverage feedback from the field to validate whether your messaging and/or positioning needs does not hit or needs refinement. And, if possible, leveraging your marketing arm to test and optimize along the way and on an ongoing basis will help ensure your messaging sticks and evolves as the market does. Internally, you may have business strategies shift, so having the agility to also ensure your messaging aligns will be helpful.
We try to validate our messaging and positioning prior to finalizing them. We try to obtain feedback from the sales team (ultimately they will use this messaging/positioning most internally), existing and potential customers, third-party analysts (e.g. from Gartner/IDC etc.), internal stakeholders. I have personally found it very helpful to validate with individuals who are not close to the product/solution. Individuals outside Marketing also can help with a quick sanity check to make sure 'markety' terms don't sneak in too much!
Here is how I validate before and after finalizing them:
- Form a guild or squad consisting of product manager, sales rep, CSM, an exec (if possible). Use them as a sounding board to get early feedback on messaging options - based on the positioning.
- Once drafted, I validate it internally via Slack through all sales and CSM teams for wider feedback and buy-in.
- Next, I design a landing page with the messaging copy and upload it on Wynter.com to validate it with external audience from the target audience industry. Or use Askable as well.
- And then as the last step, I participate in sales calls to listen to the questions raised when my messaging guidance in used in the pitch decks etc. Based on the questions raised, I can generally gauge whether the messaging is hitting the mark or do we need refinement.
The above helps me validate the messaging internally and externally. And refine it as we go.