All related (52)
Vidya Drego
VP of Product and Solutions Marketing, HubspotJuly 4

We use a messaging ladder (a slightly customized version of many i've seen online) but are increasingly using a broader framework to connect our messaging to the buyer journey. The framework we use to structure the messaging doesn't dictate how often we update the messaging. For this, we try to anchor our positioning on our product vision at least 1 year out and figure out evolutions to our messaging that help us realize that long-term positioning.

Liza Sperling
Head of Product Marketing, UpworkFebruary 15

There are a lot of frameworks and approaches to positioning and messaging, but I’ve found that a simple document including the following elements is most effective:

  • Tell the story: Starting with a narrative acts as a forcing function to ensure you’ve thought through the positioning and can tie it all together in straightforward, customer-facing language. Amazon’s internal press release is a good framework to get started.
  • What is it? A single sentence that describes the offering. No fluff. Keep it simple.
  • Who is it for? Define your target audience or personas. Be as specific as possible and focus on who cares most, not just anyone who may find value in the offering.
  • What problem does it solve? A short statement that frames the customer problem (the “from” state) aligned with the category POV. Include supporting statistics and data points whenever possible.
  • How else might a customer solve this problem? Include competitors as well as workarounds, apathy, or the status quo.
  • What are the key benefits? Focus on the top benefits that matter most to your target audience, not all of the benefits.
  • How is it different? How the offering solves the problem better, differently, and/or more effectively than the alternatives.
  • How can you prove this? Proof points or reasons to believe that support out your claims. These may be supporting features, data points, or customer quotes. 
  • Core messaging elements: These are the “greatest hits” or the pre-approved statements that internal stakeholders will use verbatim. They may include a tagline, elevator pitch, etc. All other messaging is developed and tailored to audiences and channels using the positioning and messaging as guidance.

To the second part of your question, I don’t think it matters if you are starting from scratch or updating existing positioning and messaging, as long as you include these core elements.

Kristen Ribero
Senior Director of Corporate Marketing, Handshake
This will depend on what your product/service/platform does and who the target audience is. For instance, in one of my previous roles, we had one product for one audience. Of course the platform was extensible, had different feature sets, but the value was easy to articulate to one audience. On the other hand, in my current role at Handshake, we have a three-sided talent marketplace with very different products and audiences. We tackle this by having one company value prop and then tailor specific messaging to each side of the business. Remember that messaging should not be a feature list....
Sarah Lambert
SVP, Marketing, Buckzy Payments
This really depends on the channel: For websites and demand gen, you can always use A/B testing to determine what works, but for messaging further down in the funnel, tracking interactivity with different content on your website is helpful and then even further down the funnel are customer presentations and demo scripts. Here it's helpful to have a good relationship with Sales to ask for constant feedback on what is resonating with customers and what isn't. Keeping track of win loss rates can also help track the effectiveness here. Lastly, for new features or products by current customer...
Diana Smith
Director of Brand and Product Marketing, Twilio.org, Twilio
These are all interrelated. Messaging: Includes value propositions, your story, and pitch. Also includes things like naming, alternatives, and taglines. Value Proposition: These are the top benefits you want to focus on for your product based on customer and competitive unput Pitch & Story: These should be the same. Your pitch about the world before your product, the current approach, why it’s bad, the business consequences, and the new world with your product should tell a story. This story should hit on your main messaging points and value propositions. Hope that helps!
Derek Frome
Vice President Marketing, Ouster.io
To me, a solution is a prescriptive collection of products and features that solve a well-defined problem for your customer. A product is anything you could conceivably sell on its own, but a product can also be a collection of other products. A feature is a component piece of a product that adds to its value but cannot be sold on its own.    Products, features, and solutions tend to get different levels of attention from PMMs. Products will naturally get the most, solutions are really just collections of products and are therefore more an exercise in packaging and pricing. Features get a...
Priya Gill
Vice President, Product Marketing, Momentive
As counterintuitive as this may sound, simple messaging isn’t always the way to go. It really comes down to your target buyer(s) and the set of messages that resonate with them, which may need to be simple for a line of business buyer like Marketing or HR or more complex/technical for an IT/Developer buyer. But it always comes back to understanding your target audience and their pain points, and ensuring you're tailoring your messaging for them. Also, depending on the channel/medium where your messaging is shared, it may necessitate varying altitudes. For example, Social Media is a clear c...
Matt Hodges
Head of Product Marketing Craft, Atlassian
Great question–tough to answer without getting too specific about Intercom and what works for us based on our own situation and approach in general. But, here goes. :)   For us, a product is a container for a set of mutually exclusive features that enable specific workflows to be completed. For example, our Engage product has a set of core features (available on Engage Lite) that make it possible to send targeted messages to leads and customers. Some of these features are audience targeting, auto messages (email, in-app, and push), and smart campaigns to name a few. There is an optional a...