Marketing Messaging Strategy
The next step in building your B2B marketing strategy is to develop the messaging that will be used throughout your initiatives. Messaging is the way you speak to your prospects and customers, and the goal is to find the messaging that resonates best with your buyers along different stages of the sales funnel.
The persona research and market analysis you performed in the previous steps are both active ingredients for creating effective messaging. Think of it like a math formula:
Figuring out what messaging resonates well with your customers isn’t only useful for marketing. Sales teams can also use the messaging that you develop to navigate conversations when nurturing opportunities.
With the right messaging, interactions with buyers become more natural, your brand becomes more trustworthy, and you prove to your prospective buyers that you understand their world. Messaging encompasses all of the following:
Addressing the most pressing pain points in your buyers’ field
Mirroring the appropriate tone and temperament
Using terminology and phrases that are common or trending in the target industries
Addressing the right pain points
Now it’s time to sift through and narrow down the pain points determined during your market analysis, prioritizing them by relevance based on your customer data. Especially when starting out, you shouldn’t focus on too many pain points or else your messaging might be too hard to follow.
Keep in mind that each individual buyer will have different priorities, so start with a value proposition that is general enough to grab the attention of most of your personas. (Later on in this guide, we’ll provide tactics for further personalizing your marketing to buyers’ various priorities.)
Let’s go back to our CRM platform for SMBs example. The customer pain points we focused on in the market analysis were:
Too much time spent on data entry
Can’t afford a CRM
Don’t know how to use a CRM
No time to transfer data to a new CRM
Which of the pain points are most prevalent amongst your buyers? Before making any assumptions, remember: every marketing decision should be driven by hard data about your customers.
Let’s say your data reflects that buyers are most concerned about wasting too much time on data entry but not being able to afford a high-quality CRM solution.
This makes sense, considering that the other two pain points and your solutions for them (intuitive user interface and integration capabilities) are more feature-focused and narrow in scope. They’re less likely to apply to every customer.
So now we’ll focus the messaging of our main value proposition on the remaining pain points:
Using the right tone
Matching the tone your buyers use to communicate helps them feel connected to your brand and adds credibility to your marketing. Depending on aspects of your buyer persona, such as their industry or seniority in their role, they might use a more formal or casual tone in their business communications.
Don’t approach buyers in an overly serious or technical tone if your data shows that your buyers prefer a more laid-back temperament. And vice versa, you don’t want to appear too bubbly if they prefer to speak in a more formal manner.
Bear in mind that professionalism is important in B2B messaging either way. Don’t get hung up on choosing between these two options for your messaging:
Finding the right phrasing
Using the right words and phrasing in your messaging is equally important for creating a credible perception of your brand and for developing messaging that resonates with your ideal customers.
Your marketing should show prospective customers that you speak their lingo, that you know all about their industry and environment, that you are the solution to their organizational problems.
Not only should you reflect your customers’ typical vocabulary, you should also express your value statements in a way that conveys the benefits gained from using your solution instead of just describing what your product can do.
Take the value propositions you came up with in the first few steps, translate them into the language of your ideal customers, and focus on how it benefits the customer:
Now, we can combine our conclusions about which pain points, tone, and wording to use to create one succinct value proposition:
“Save time with a functional yet affordable CRM that auto-populates your data and keeps it all in one place, built especially for small business.”
When it comes to picking the exact right words and phrases to base your marketing efforts on, a new kind of research is required: keyword research. Choosing which keywords to focus on will determine the success of your entire marketing plan. We’ll devote the entire next section of this guide to keywords, so buckle in.
Messaging summed up
Impactful messaging helps you prevent shouting into the void with your marketing. The right messaging gets the right buyers to listen and recognize that you have something valuable for them.
In order to engage with your ideal customers, you first have to get their attention. This means not only getting them to look at your company but getting them to read further. Good messaging accomplishes just that.
Chapter 4: Keyword Research Process
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