Why Messaging Matters

Posted by Sven Hurty on Apr 9, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Whether you’re trying to drive inbound marketing, outbound campaigns, PPC, email blasts or just standing on a street corner yelling about what you do, a clear, effective message is essential to effective communication.


At it’s most basic, messaging answers three questions:

  • Who are we?

  • What do we want to say?

  • How do we say it?


Who are we?

This might seem like a silly question, but how many people at your office can tell you in one minute or less who your company is and where it’s going? And, let’s take it one step further - how many people can make it compelling?

Without a clear vision and a cohesive understanding of your current position, you, your co-workers and employees are like sled dogs pulling in different directions, getting no where.

What to Try:

Get your team together and do some brainstorming, start with key stakeholders, the leaders and influencers in the company. Ask everyone where they see the company in 5 years and build consensus. Then expand the group, present the vision and ensure that everyone understands and is on-board with the companies direction.

What do we want to say?

Every company knows itself. You know your proof points, your cost benefit analysis, strengths, weaknesses etc. But, typically, there is so much information it’s hard to prioritize. What information do you want to put on your Trifold? When you have 30 seconds to talk to someone do you lead with return on investment or features?

Other people don’t always care about the same things that we do. Sure, your widget is revolutionary in your niche because of a very specific, very technical advantage. But, does that get non-technical people excited about it? Chances are the CFO isn’t that interested unless it saves the company some money, and the CEO is probably looking for a business advantage. Given these differences, it’s essential to know what you want to say and if that matches up with your most effective messages.

What to Try:

Start by making a full list of features, benefits, and drawbacks. Next take yourself out of the equation. What would you care about if you didn’t work here? Next try to rank these items in terms of compelling interest? Which points will lead to questions? What questions do you want your prospect to ask? Again, get consensus and buy in from your whole team.

How do we say it?

Last but not least is the style you implement with your messaging and the emotion it evokes. How do people see you? How do you want them to see you? Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

How we choose to say something evokes an emotional response. Do you want prospects nervous, excited, comfortable, confident, etc.? Every emotion has some value for selling and using language that resonates with the desires and concerns of your prospects will help you connect and communicate effectively.

What to Try:

Corral the troops again and do some word associations. Think of your product or service and write down the first word that comes to mind. Consider why those words and what they mean. Do your homework. Talk to your customers and prospects, get a feel for how they talk. Listen to the words they say. Read and participate in their user groups, forums and other public spaces. And, one more time, get consensus and buy in, messaging only works when people use it.

Yes, this is difficult and can be very time consuming. Defining a company message is not for the faint of heart. But the value of effective communication is measured in increased sales.

At BayCreative, we’ve been helping companies develop more effective messaging for over 15 years. Through branding exercises, messaging workshops, and research services our team develops creative messaging that enables B2B and B2C companies to communicate more effectively. Contact us today to learn more about our messaging services or our full-service marketing support. 

Or, read about more about effective content marketing in this free e-book. 

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Topics: Messaging


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