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B2B PRODUCT MESSAGING: IN 60 SECONDS OR LESS: WHAT DOES YOUR PRODUCT DO, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE? THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 6:15 P.M. Sadhana Joliet Director.

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Presentation on theme: "B2B PRODUCT MESSAGING: IN 60 SECONDS OR LESS: WHAT DOES YOUR PRODUCT DO, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE? THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 6:15 P.M. Sadhana Joliet Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 B2B PRODUCT MESSAGING: IN 60 SECONDS OR LESS: WHAT DOES YOUR PRODUCT DO, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE? THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 6:15 P.M. Sadhana Joliet Director of Marketing EarthLink Business Davida Dinerman Director Schwartz MSL Boston

2 WHAT EXACTLY IS A MESSAGE ANYWAY? Articulates: Who you are What you do For whom What the benefits are Why its unique Includes: Tagline (optional) Top line (1-2 sentences) Paragraphs on: Problem solved How you solve it Top 3-4 business benefits Top 3-4 features Typically summarized in a 1-2 page internal-use only document Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

3 MESSAGE MUST-HAVES The EXACT WORDS you want to use Complete sentences - not bullet points! Translates well into multiple formats Verbal & written (e.g. presentation, Web, press releases) Usable by anyone representing company/product Executives, BOD, product/engineering, sales, PR Appropriate for all key audiences Executives, investors, customers, analysts, media, mom Evolves over time Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

4 WHY DO YOU NEED A GOOD MESSAGE? Question: What do your investors, customers, BOD, senior executives, employees and media and analysts have in common? a.They are important to your business. b.They are very busy. c.They have many priorities. d.You are probably not their #1 priority. e.All of the above. Your message helps your audiences to *quickly* understand and remember what your product is and why they should care. Answer: e. All of the above Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

5 GOOD VERSUS BAD MESSAGING [PRODUCT ABC] is a converged system that combines standard physical data center resources, such as servers, switching, operating systems and network interfaces, with sophisticated management and control software. Before Why would I buy this? What are the benefits? And what exactly is a converged system? Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

6 GOOD VERSUS BAD MESSAGING [PRODUCT ABC] is a unified computing system that drives down the time and cost of managing IT infrastructure by enabling servers, networking, and storage to be controlled through a single software interface. After States what it is in common terms Describes what the benefits are, and for whom Explains how it delivers those benefits Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

7 GOOD VERSUS BAD MESSAGING [PRODUCT XYZ] provides a standardized assessment tool to measure Nonnutritive Suck (NNS) performance in premature infants. NNS is an essential neurological building block in an infants coordination of sucking, swallowing and breathing - a capability required for independent oral feeding. Our system also provides a clinically proven ororhythmic stimulation therapy to reinforce NNS. Ororhythmic stimulation has been demonstrated to accelerate and achieve full oral feeding 7 days sooner (1). Once healthy premature infants have achieved the ability to feed independently, they can be discharged from the neonatal ICU and sent home. Before What does this product do, and why should I care… in plain English? Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

8 GOOD VERSUS BAD MESSAGING [PRODUCT XYZ] is an FDA listed device that promotes early development of essential feeding skills in premature infants. The easy-to-use cribside system includes a pulsating pacifier that trains infants on the proper way to suck, building an important skill linked to faster transitions to oral feeding, more rapid weight gain and shorter hospital stays. After Is understandable States what it is in common terms Describes what the benefits are; for whom is implied Explains how it delivers those benefits Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

9 Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE A GOOD MESSAGE? A: About 40 hours over a 4 week period Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

10 WHY IT TAKES SO LONG Message development requires: 1) Research to answer some big questions: What is the product? Who is the primary target/user? What are the benefits to that target user? How does it deliver those benefits? How is it unique from competitive offerings? 2) Synthesis of research into key messages 3) Buy-in from key parties Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

11 Customer Who is the primary target? Who are the secondary targets? Why/how do they use your product? Competition How do they position themselves? Product name Target customer Top line positioning statement Top 3 features/benefits Market What industry challenges do you solve? What terminology is used? By customers, analysts/media, search? Product What are the top 3 benefits? How do you deliver them? What are the top 3 features? Why are they unique and important? RESEARCH – ESSENTIAL TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

12 SYNTHESIS – WRITING YOUR MESSAGE Spend 50% of your time and effort on the top line, in the format: [Company] is a provider of [category] that provides [benefits] to [target] by [unique approach] Then develop the detail paragraphs for: Problem solved How you solve it Top 3-4 business benefits Top 3-4 features Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

13 STEPS TO GETTING BUY-IN Step 1: Identify stakeholders that will deliver or receive the message (sales, executives, customers, analysts, media) Step 2: Interview them early in the process, during research Step 3: Get buy-in on the primary target and product category/terminology Step 4: Get feedback on initial draft messaging Step 5: Get approval on final messaging Note: Its far more efficient to get consensus through individual discussions versus big group sessions. Copyright © 2013 Venture Stage Marketing, LLC. All rights reserved.

14 WHY SHOULD I CARE? HOW TO MAKE THE MESSAGING STICK?

15 DRINKING THE KOOL-AID Good messaging is only as good as what you do with it. It isnt meant to be kept in a folder in a drawer. Use it internally and externally. It is the basis for excellent media and analyst relations. Media relations ensures the messaging is truthful, relevant and sticky.

16 DRINKING THE KOOL-AID Internally Employees Board of Directors HR/recruiting These people are important because they will be your spokespeople.

17 ANYONE OUT THERE? Externally: Partners Prospects Shareholders/investors Customers Advertising These people will be receiving the message. They can tell you if it is resonating or not. Get the message out through strategic communications Media relations – both professional and social media Analyst relations

18 TEST THE MESSAGE Live with it for two weeks before going into production Run it by the BOD, analysts and customers to validate Pitch to reporters. They are great benchmarks too, since they want pithy, exciting and relevant stories. Develop media training to help get the kinks out Develop the Q&A with media training If youre taping, a transcription will get you very, very far Lot of work, but you will use it for the life of the account

19 TEST THE MESSAGE You know the message is solid when.. People stop asking the basic questions about what the product is, what it does, differentiators and if it is right for them. You can move to higher level discussions about the applications and benefits to their business. It becomes easy to develop marketing materials, presentations, website content, media pitches, press releases, sales materials. It speaks to a clear market need and can be easily adapted to different audiences and communication channels.

20 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Train the people who will be speaking with target audiences for: Major product/service launch Acquisition Partnership Investor relations Industry analyst relations Create a good set of tools to use. All of this is wrapped around strategic communications.

21 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS An aside on strategic communications. Do you need an outside firm to: Support the marketing director of VP, who doesnt have the time or expertise to handle the public relations function Provide extra manpower to execute specific campaigns or long-term company programs Know what will resonate with the media and can help execute on the messaging Serve as an objective third-party Because you are busy enough as it is.

22 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS THE STORYSHEET

23 SPREAD THE WORD

24 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Key terms Hot trends Web site content SEO Press releases Speaking submissions Customer-facing.ppts Award submissions Product reviews Interview briefing materials This segues into the world of…

25 SOCIAL MEDIA Key considerations: Do not activate a social media channel just because its there Do not use a social media tactic just because it is there Social media tactics are not effective without a steady stream of optimized content Messaging enhances the content.

26 SOCIAL MEDIA

27 You are not going to regurgitate messaging onto Twitter, but the messaging will help guide you to what you should be posting. One simple example is posting a press release to Twitter. The release included messaging and key word links. You can also post links to a company blog, which could include some aspect of company messaging. Post articles on Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn, for which a company spokesperson talked with a reporter… and might have used company messaging.

28 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Article title: harmon.ie aims to close the mobile gap in Office 365 Tweet: harmon.ie 4.0 Means (Mobile) Business for Office 365 - CMSWire - CMSWire bit.ly/15LjHkQ | Newsbit.ly/15LjHkQ Tag: harmon.ie, the user experience company for the mobile enterprise, Press release header: harmon.ie brings Office 365 to the Mobile Enterprise

29 SPREAD THE WORD THROUGH STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Tag: PatientPoint®, the leader and innovator in care coordination solutions that drive engagement with patients and providersPatientPointcare coordination Press release headline: Leading Medical Homes, ACOs and Integrated Delivery Systems Select PatientPoint® Care Coordination Platform for Population Health Management Articles: 3 Simple Ways Hospitals Can Engage Patients in Their Care Accountable Health Care: Shifting the Focus to Prevention

30 A WORD ON MEASUREMENT Messaging>PR Reporters understand material in a press release or pitch & want to write about it. Spokespeople nail interviews. You see a spike in website traffic. Speaking presentations are accepted. You win awards. You see increased activity on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels Share of Voice increases. Prospects recognize your name. The ultimate goal is to make the phones ring.


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