The Ultimate Guide To Product Messaging
November 3, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
Effective messaging is the essence of every product marketing campaign, especially for B2B solution providers. The increase in the number of channels available to marketers today presents a great opportunity for businesses to reach larger audiences through effective product messaging.
Professionals discuss that effective product messaging should do more than engage audiences with your brand. In addition, it should create curiosity among them to connect with your business through online forms, phone calls, social media messaging, etc.
An ineffective brand message can do more harm than a lost sale, for instance, negative brand awareness and perceptions of a bad product. When brand messaging is developed through market and customer research with the right buyer personas in mind, businesses can significantly improve their conversion funnels and ROI.
So how do successful product marketers create the perfect brand message that resonates with their target buyer personas while converting audiences at the lowest customer acquisition cost?
Today, we take an in-depth look at product messaging its importance, how to create a self-evolving messaging framework, look at some excellent examples, and give you a free template to develop your very own B2B product marketing message.
What Is Product Messaging?
Product messaging is the process of effectively communicating the description, meaning, relevance, and value of your product to your target audiences.
Reaching your ideal customer profiles by communicating the features and benefits is great, yes. But reaching your audiences in a memorable way by personalizing the content messaging that allows them to understand how your product provides them value can build loyal customers.
Why Is Product Messaging So Important?
Developing a creative message is one of the core aspects of every product marketer’s 30-60-90-day plan. It is the marketing team that develops a consistent, memorable, and impactful message that potential customers understand.
Professional marketers discuss that “… core messaging should be treated with the utmost care…”, therefore it is essential to not only create a perfect product message but also change it over time.
Here are some important benefits of having an effective product messaging framework:
Compelling messages personalized to target audiences’ values and preferences create curiosity among customers to engage with your brand.
Creative messaging connects your brand with customers, investors, potential employees, the press, and other stakeholders to create a relevant perception among all of them.
Effective product messages communicate clearly to potential audiences how a product will solve their problem.
Authentic messaging creates effective and efficient marketing campaigns allowing businesses to communicate clearly who they are, what they do, their unique value proposition, and why customers should invest in their product compared to competitors.
Product Messaging Vs. Positioning: Key Differences
Product messaging is often confused with a similar historical concept, that of product positioning. While both seek to communicate your core values to your potential customers, they are quite different.
Product positioning is a traditional marketing concept that enables businesses to determine the unique selling proposition (USP) of their brands and the value they deliver to customers compared to their direct competitors. Yes, product positioning differentiates a brand from its closest competitors.
On the other hand, product messaging seeks to creatively, concisely, and consistently communicate the USPs and value of a product to its target audiences.
The product message differentiates the actual product from competing solutions, by creating an ideal perception within the audience’s minds.
Here are some important differences that distinguish product messaging from product positioning:
Positioning is a strategic process to determine critical factors including the competition, buyer personas, market segments, and product-market fit. It seeks to understand how to best communicate the value of your product to your ideal customer profiles.
- Product messaging is developed after product positioning to communicate your benefits, value proposition, and features to potential customers.
- A positioning strategy is formulated to give marketing, and sales, a guide that outlines ideal customer profiles, competitors, USPs, pricing, and other important aspects of product marketing.
- A positioning statement seeks to answer critical questions about your business including
- Who are our target customers?
- What is their pain point?
- What are the benefits of our product?
- What are the USPs of our product?
- What is our differentiation strategy?
- Which markets will our solution sell in?
- A messaging statement crafts the story of your product using the answers from your positioning statement.
Product Messaging Framework
Product messaging frameworks are developed to determine the unique value and differentiation points that your products will deliver. This crucial guide facilitates the development of marketing collateral, and sales pitches to attract ideal customer profiles.
Marketing professionals discuss that a sound messaging framework is critical for competitive advantage as it allows:
- Marketing teams with the essential knowledge to create memorable content and product messages.
- Developing a foundation for blogging, webinars, podcasts, and video marketing.
- Sales teams to have clarity about USPs, differentiating points, and unique benefits of products.
- Customers immediately differentiate your products from other competing solutions.
Creating a product messaging framework usually involves answering some important questions, that are usually answered during the positioning strategy execution. Professional marketers employ strategic roadmaps that determine the ideal message that resonates with their target audiences.
Here is how they do it:
What is our product?
- Its benefits
- Unique value
- Describe the product in one sentence
- Identify the unique value drivers of the product – aka – the benefits of using it
Who is this product for?
This is where we identify our target customers or buyer personas whose pain points your product will solve. Product marketers must also identify the influencers who will promote the product message in the B2B decision-making hierarchy.
Customer Pain Point
This is where we identify the pain point or customer challenge that we are trying to resolve through our product. The answer to this question must be centered around your different buyer personas since you can be solving multiple pain points through your product.
By listing how we resolve customer pain points, businesses try to develop a statement that lists the benefits of their product. In addition, this is where marketers determine the unique value of their product and why should customers choose it over the competition.
Product Messaging Pillars
Product message pillars can be explained as the value drivers that provide the essential benefits to customers from using a product. The core product message emanates from these pillars as you explain the benefits of your product through rational content.
Your messaging pillars or value drivers should preferably be a high-quality statement that showcases the unique value the product offers its users. Value drivers must be free of marketing jargon or dressed-up appealing content, it should be a statement reflecting your ‘brand values.’
Social Proof & Credibility
Social proof and demonstrating credibility are essential to show the success of your product. One of the best ways to highlight the success and value of your product is through the testimonials of your existing customers.
Case studies are another popular way B2B providers demonstrate product excellence, highlighting the value they provided to a particular customer.
Marketing teams can capitalize on case studies and product success stories, embedding them in different content (eBooks, infographics, videos, newsletters, etc.) and social feeds.
Product Messaging Examples
There are some excellent examples of creative and engaging product messaging across the internet with the success of the SaaS business model.
With an 11% market share, more than 1.7 million active web stores, and over $1 billion in revenue, Shopify is one of the most popular website development tools used in the world today.
Shopify was based on the premise of delivering ease to ordinary people without development skills to create their personal eCommerce websites. The brand’s go-to-market strategy consistently focuses on the same product messaging and the core value that you can easily notice on their website homepage above.
As we scroll down, you immediately notice the core benefits of using the Shopify service: easy customization, catalog creation, and instant website activation. The messaging is further strengthened through social proof and testimonials from some of Shopify’s leading customers.
Another example of stellar product messaging comes from Webflow. We are all aware of the importance of testimonials and reviews. Webflow leverages just that. The testimonial supports the page’s positive product messaging by stating that Webflow is “easy, efficient, and scalable.”
Also, a testimonial from Zendesk (very famous for its customer services) appears on Webflow’s homepage, demonstrating real-world success.
How Do You Write a Product Message?
Now that we know how to draw up a product message framework, it’s time to understand exactly how to write one. Depending on the audience and market, messaging can change based on the target audience’s values and preferences.
Depending on who you follow and read, there are generally three to seven steps to writing a clear, concise, and credible product message.
These steps are as follows:
Demonstrate Your Product’s Value
Identifying the core value of a product means determining the collective benefit it provides to customers. Your product’s core value is not just a solution, but a strategic solution to the pain points of your target customers that allows you to accomplish business goals.
B2B product core values should be easily understandable, concise, free from jargon, and easy to associate with target audiences. Marketers establish that the core product value is the reason a product chooses to exist in a certain market.
Defining and understanding the core value of a product builds a stronger connection with potential customers. When defining the core value businesses think beyond revenue, and focus on the customer and why they should invest in your solutions. An important aspect to consider when determining core value is to keep in mind the competitive landscape of your industry.
Develop Buyer Personas
It is simply critical to conduct in-depth research on your potential customers or buyer personas. These are the people who will find your product beneficial to use and will be potentially interested in purchasing from your brand.
Your product message resonates in the same tone, language, and creative style that your buyer personas aspire to. Simply having a great product is not enough especially if your business is still in the startup growth stage. Your marketing teams must be able to communicate what the product is, what it does to help users, and why they should choose it over other competitors.
Buyer personas research highlights the various use cases of your potential audiences, allowing you to develop different use cases of the product. You can then leverage this knowledge to create customer-focused messaging that buyers will instantly associate with.
Combine All Together
Once marketing teams understand the core value drivers of their products and the buyer personas they are targeting, it’s time to create the ideal product message. The message should begin by communicating to customers that they have a problem that can be solved through a product like yours.
Your core value driver is then established to explain why they should buy from your brand, demonstrating unique features & benefits that resolve customer pain points. When crafting the product messages you can use different benefits to attract different buyer personas, however, the core value remains the same.
Best Practices to Follow When Creating A Product Message
Professional product marketers recommend some important best practices that must be followed to ensure your messaging is ideal for different buyer personas.
Taxonomy is the science of classifying or categorizing, and applying it to the product marketing message brings out creative approaches to communicating with your audiences. Messaging taxonomy is the process of categorizing multiple product messages in a hierarchy.
Products can have multiple benefits and several unique features that you can build the message taxonomy around. Do remember that the real essence of messages comes from their relevant buyer personas.
For example, B2B content platform providers “Contentful” learned to categorize their messages by studying customer cases over time. By understanding the value different buyer personas received from Contentful products, the product marketing team was able to identify the right KPIs to measure both business and platform success.
Eliminate the Ambiguity
Product marketing teams work diligently to craft highly personalized messages, creating a taxonomy that resonates with different buyer personas. The preferred step to eliminate ambiguity is through a product message plan that classifies different messages by customer use case, the benefit gained or value derived.
The product message must be clear, concise, and consistent across all your marketing campaigns. Eliminating ambiguity within the message requires consistently learning from your customers’ stories and feedback.
Break Your Message Into Small Chunks
Yes, your product may have several features, benefits, and use cases. A long and complex message will never be appealing enough to be memorable for customers, and even your sales teams.
Breaking your message into smaller sentences and then into words is a great way to increase the number of options available for use. Professional product marketers recommend creating a library of messages for your product to use across different B2B market opportunities.
Since your messaging will be used across different channels for varying audiences it is an ideal tip to use different product messages for CTAs, landing pages, blogs, social profiles, and the website home page. Do remember that it is very crucial to manage the KPIs of different micro-messages to gauge their success and update them when required.
Curate Your Message
The product message must be curated differently for customers and for your partners. The message must be personalized to your audience’s tone and behavioral preferences. Marketing and sales teams must also have all the necessary knowledge to approach customers with the ideal messaging templates.
Expanding your product message to partners, affiliates, and influencers requires facilitation from your product marketing team. Your external promoters should always have simplified messaging available for their campaigns for successful marketing initiatives.
Partners don’t necessarily need the entire messaging collateral and can find great opportunities in creating campaigns around smaller messages as we discussed above.
How To Promote Your Product’s Message?
As you create your product message, it’s time to promote it to your audiences next. The most ideal modern channel to magnify the impact of your messaging is digital marketing. There is however a series of channels including TV, radio, affiliate marketing, influencers, and print ads that larger businesses can pursue.
Reaching out to B2B audiences through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. is a popular way SaaS businesses engage new buyer personas. LinkedIn is the most popular B2B social platform contributing 80% of business leads.
Email marketing is also a very popular channel for B2B providers to connect and display their message to customers in a very personalized way. By placing email subscription popups and newsletter signup boxes, you can build loyal subscriber lists that will consistently engage with your messages. Email newsletters were the most popular content marketing tool used by B2B marketers in 2021.
Video marketing is a very popular way for B2B brands are promoting their messages through micro-content over TikTok, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. 94% of B2B marketers identified that video marketing helps customers understand the product messaging better, while 87% identified that it has a positive impact on ROI.
Infographics are another popular way product marketers educate audiences while exposing them to their message. This content tool is used by over 65% of B2B marketers, while it has also proven to have the highest share frequency in addition to delivering up to a 12% increase in website traffic.
Influencer marketing is a great way to disseminate your message to a larger audience already nurtured and educated by a leading influential professional. Leveraging the influencer’s audiences can provide you with a completely new market and new buyer personas.
B2B marketers identified that influencer marketing not only improved brand reputation by 72%, but it also improved brand awareness, generated new leads, and become a direct revenue generator.
Product Messaging Template
A product messaging template is used to organize all of your messages for a product or suite of products so that others can effectively communicate with the market about your solution.
Here’s a product messaging template that we use at Chasm to help our clients:
How Can Chasm Assist In Crafting your Product Messaging Strategy?
At Chasm, we streamline your entire product marketing process through the latest data insights, unique strategies, and continual learning. Our consultants assist your team to analyze target customers and market dynamics to create more resonating messages for your B2B audiences.
Chasm seeks to optimize your go-to-market strategy offering your B2B startup a hurdle-free roadmap for consistent growth. Our data-driven positioning, segmentation, and messaging consultancy assist you with:
- Creating more appealing product messaging that emotionally engages audiences
- Improving demand generation by identifying new lead channels and process inefficiencies
- Discovering new B2B market opportunities
- Identifying new market segments that your organization hasn’t reached yet
- Establishing sales enablement programs that improve retention, conversions, and the sales funnel
We hope our guide to B2B product messaging offered you a holistic roadmap to develop your very own brand and product messages. A truly resonating brand is one that combines its product value, customer need, and features into a concise message.
Do remember that your message should primarily emanate from your customers’ values and ideologies. It is crucial to understand your target buyer personas to learn their purchase behaviors to create a message that immediately gives them the value they demand.