Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

Do You Need a Messaging Strategy? [Video]

Do You Need a Messaging Strategy? [Video] Blog Feature

January 2nd, 2015 min read

While inbound marketing can be an incredibly effective strategy to generate leads for your business, there are many reasons that it doesn't work for some businesses. One of these reasons is poor messaging. 

If you have been doing inbound marketing but aren't getting enough leads, or if you are getting the wrong kinds of leads, it may be because your messaging needs to be adjusted. 

Think about it. Messaging is the foundation of everything we do as marketers, from writing website copy, to developing marketing collateral, to creating email blasts and social media posts. It is also the basis for the conversations that your sales team has with prospects

When your messaging is wrong, its like having too much space between the first and second dominos in a long line. When you mess this up, the rest of the dominos don't fall (and your marketing and sales efforts won't get the results you had hoped for). 

In this week's video (about six minutes long), I explain why messaging is so important, and what goes into building a company's messaging strategy.

Why Your Messaging Strategy Might Be to Blame for Poor Marketing Results

We've worked with countless companies on building and executing inbound marketing strategies and many of the clients who come to us are ready to jump right in and begin creating content. I love the enthusiasm and it is always exciting to see them start to publish content such as blogs, case studies or whitepapers. But in many cases, they get a few months down the road and find that they either aren't generating enough leads or they are getting the wrong kinds of leads.

When this happens, its usually a sign that their messaging needs work. 

Consider the case of the company getting the wrong kinds of leads. We know that their message is resonating because people are converting on their content, but the message clearly isn't resonating with the right audience and therefore it needs to be adjusted.  

Find out how to take out the guesswork when building your next inbound marketing sales process.

Download for Free Now!

Developing a Messaging Strategy

If your marketing messaging needs work, you should start by determining your brand positioning. There are a couple of different positioning strategies you can use (hat tip to April Dunford, who came up with this taxonomy for brand positioning): 

  • Arm Wrestling: When you are playing in a clearly established market, the audience understands your product or service and there is a clear market leader, you can try to beat them at their own game. The advantage of this approach is that its easy to message because everyone already gets it, but you'll need a big budget to try and unseat the market leader and it may take some time.

  • Big Fish, Smaller Pond: If your product is designed to serve a sub-segment of an existing market whose needs are currently not being met, you won't have to contend with a market leader unless and until they decide to match your offering. 

  • Reframe the Market: This is a great strategy to use when you have a breakthrough innovation or there is a sudden change in the market that provides an opportunity to reframe how things are being positioned. When companies do this effectively, it highlights their strengths and makes the leader's strengths irrelevant.

  • Change the Game: Is what you're selling so amazing that there simple IS no category to describe it? If so, you might need to invent a new category. As the first mover, you'll be the leader, but its important to move fast or followers could quickly overtake you.

We use this positioning framework with our clients to determine whether and how they fit within the larger competitive landscape. 

Once positioning is determined, you'll need to identify your buyer personas. Most companies have several buyer personas for each product or service. These typically include buyers (both technical buyers and economic buyers) and influencers, and building a robust profile for each is a critical part of the underpinnings of your messaging strategy.

When you've developed your personas, the next step is to understand how they make decisions. Are they emotional? Are they analytical? Do they like to take their time or do they prefer to make a quick decision?

If you've ever taken a DISC assessment, you're probably familiar with the different types of decision making styles. DISC isn't the only framework for decision making and its not important which approach - DISC or otherwise - you use. The key is to understand - for each audience persona - how they make decisions because this will strongly influence how you message to them.

What Does a Messaging Strategy Include?

When your messaging strategy is complete, it should include the following:

  • A high-level value proposition for your company or brand;

  • Individual value propositions for each product or service that you sell; and

  • Key messages for each product/service broken down by audience persona AND by each person's stage in the buyer's journey.

The larger the company and the greater the number of products/services and target personas, the more complex this messaging framework will be. We like to build this out in a table so that it is very easy for your marketing and sales teams to use. 

What's beautiful about having a well-developed messaging framework is that it serves as the foundation for everything you do as a marketer or sales rep. But for that same reason, when your messaging is wrong, it can really hurt all of your marketing and sales efforts.

Last Piece of Advice

If you think you need to revise your messaging, don't try and do it yourself. This is one of the hardest things to do when you are stuck in the day-to-day of your company. I know - I own a marketing agency and have used outside help to frame my own messaging. 

Get help from an inbound marketing agency or a consultant who specializes in messaging. They will see things that you cannot and the result will be a stronger messaging framework that really resonates with your audience. 

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE