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Nisha Goklaney
Director of Product Marketing at HubSpot | Formerly Intuit, American Express, SageNovember 9

Brilliant question. If developed correctly, your messaging pillars should be evergreen (i.e. should not change on a dime) from campaign to campaign. Ultimately, your messaging pillars bring to life the core value your product/service delivers to customers and hence should be foundational. As you release new product features, think about how they ladder up to your core messaging pillars (aka the value you deliver to customers) and map them as such. 

Here are some best practices to ensure you get maximum traction from your messaging and that there is consistency across how channel marketers, PR teams, sales etc. use them. 

1. Develop a 'How to guide' - In a how to guide, your role is to essentially breakdown and provide guidance to your key stakeholders on how they should be using your messaging - are there direct copy points they can leverage for the website, social, ad copy? Can your PR team directly leverage speaking points or use your messaging pillars? Can your sales team directly use your pitch with a talk track? Break it down for them with instructions, so it’s easy for your stakeholders to use and re-use your messaging. Good messaging is used on an ongoing and consistent basis across 360 channels - to promote customer recall. 

2. Roadshow - Showshow your messaging across your sales, customer success, marketing organization - and explain how each team can effectively utilize your messaging. 

3. Centralize where you store your messaging - so its easily findable and referencable by all stakeholders. Encourage folks to bookmark it 

Kevin Garcia
Head of Product Marketing at Retool April 17

First of all, I feel your pain! With the company moving fast, it can sometimes feel that your messaging is always playing catch up.

In cases where your product and business evolve quickly, I recommend anchoring your messaging on the elements that remain most constant:

  • The market trends around you
  • The top pain(s) your audience feels
  • The top use cases your company solves

If you work for a mobile attribution company, your product might change every day. But the growing number of digital touchpoints (trend), difficulty connecting all of the dots (pain), and the desire to effectively manage your marketing budget (use case) will stick around a long time. So anchor campaigns on what won’t change.

An example from Segment is our “What good is bad data?” campaign. Does it talk about our product directly? No. Does it address our differentiated features? Lightly. But it does speak to a pain that a lot of technical audiences experience, so it has worked as a multi-quarter campaign across both brand and demand generation.

Andrew Stinger
Head Of Marketing at Universe December 18

Above all, meet your company where it is. If you’re a small team just getting started, you’re likely going to have nail a brand identity and core message, and then be flexible as you evolve from there. If you’re part of a 500 person marketing team, you’re going to navigate some different challenges related to step-wise refinement of your messaging.

A few tried & true rules here:

  1. Define & Know your Core Nouns 
  2. Assign them value props and core messages of 25, 50, and 100 words
  3. Establish clear ownership for #1 & #2, and make a company ritual around reviewing and adopting nouns and messages

To faithfully complete #1 - #3 at Coda, a team across marketing and sales met to first propose what our list of nouns were, and which were most core to the product. We shared this framing with the company to get resounding buy-in.

From there, we met at regular intervals to propose definitions, sample usage, and revisions to build out company dictionary. We continue to meet to tweak language, propose new nouns, and/or retire old nouns that were driving confusion.

This makes sure we have the ingredients we need to spin up new messages quickly and consistently, since a shared vocabulary should help to articulate your product and company’s past, present, and future.

In terms of campaign lifespans and giving them time to breathe, grow and be iterated upon, it’s helpful to present campaigns or launches in phases before your go-live date. What tactics will you employ on Day 1? What are the intervals at which you’ll stop to evaluate and iterate? What drumbeats do you plan to hit in the weeks/months after the campaign initializes? What do those drumbeats do to sustain momentum or even cultivate additional momentum? Do you need any assets or resources beyond launch day to hit those drumbeats (tip: the answer is yes . . . or conversely, if you never ask for those resources, the answer is always ‘no’)

Documenting & proposing phases upfront helps secure internal trust and buy-in, and gives you an artifact to go back to should you feel you are being pressed to move on from a campaign too soon. If it’s not written down, it’s not a plan.