Sending the Right Message About Your Products

The Importance of Product Messaging and Positioning: Are your Customers Receiving the Right Message?

When it comes to fully conveying the power and value of your product offerings, communication really is key.  It may seem a bit cliché to reference that childhood telephone game, but that’s precisely what poor communication can really be like – a message that winds up meaning nothing close to what you initially set out for it to deliver to your target recipient.

The bad news?  This is is a critical mistake if made with the messaging and positioning of your business’s products. 

The good news?  Using a few important, proven steps, you can ensure the value of your product is presented to the appropriate audience in a way that the customer will understand, and see the need for the product. 

This all begins with effective solid product messaging and positioning.  So what’s at the root of this process?

 The initial step is to develop your messaging and positioning document, as this will serve as a critical component of the overall product lifecycle.  Many of the marketing materials that will be created, particularly those that will be outbound-focused, will be generated from this document, and it will constantly evolve throughout the lifecycle of the product.  As a living, changing document, it needs to have an owner that is in constant communication with every department that touches the product, from engineering and sales, to support.

One note: if you’ve had a messaging document around that you’re hoping to dust off for use now, you may want to reconsider how you are approaching everything.

With that said, the important components you need to include:

  • In the beginning of the messaging document, the product, the target customer (market segment, vertical, etc.), and the product’s main benefit statement will be clearly identified.  This is important, as it sets the tone for both to whom the product is being offered, and why it is important.  The main benefit statement is not a product feature, but is the primary benefit that it provides to the end user.
  • Next, it is important to individually list out all of the unique value propositions for the product.  The first section dealt with the single biggest benefit to the customer, but in this part, you should list out every value that the customer will receive in a comprehensive listing.  This includes any specific features that have a significant customer benefit.  If there are benefits to a specific subset of customers, for example a new product may be attractive to an existing install base, then those benefits should be called out in a separate subsection.
  • The next step is to highlight the key benefits of the product.  These are the advantages that the product will bring to the end user, and are the reasons why someone would buy the product in the first place.  First the main two or three customer benefits should be called out, then a detailed list of the rest.
  • Conclude with product descriptions in 25, 50, 100, and 250 word formats.  These will all be similar, and should be a result of the product positioning, features, and benefits outlined previously.

So, completing the messaging and positioning document is the first step of the process to ensure that you’ll be sending the right message to the right customers.  This will definitely start you out on a clear path, but there’s so much more that you can do to guarantee this critical communication will work for your business, and that childhood telephone will remain just as it is – a distant memory.  For additional insight, and to learn more about the rest of the steps, read Exact Market’s article, Sending the Right Message about your Products, Click Here.

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