Crafting the perfect messaging for your product is no easy feat. It takes a lot of time—understanding the features of your product, translating technical language into customer-centric language, and often, a lot of trial and error.
With all of the effort that goes into developing it, it’s essential that the messaging makes it from your desk to the market. The last thing you want is the value of your product becoming lost or miscommunicated.
When different teams across your organization create product-focused content, it’s vital that the core messaging remains standard. Of course, the format will change, and phrasing will shift slightly, but all messaging should be cohesive at the core.
Your teammates need context. Communicating your messaging is so much more than sending it out in an email to your whole team. Your team needs to know the why, who, and how behind the what. Your organization can’t effectively communicate the value of your product if they don’t fully understand the product.
This article will go over tactics to ensure that your product messaging is being utilized in content across your broader organization, and will focus on:
Formats for communicating your messaging
While every team has different needs, a collection of deliverables will help you share your product messaging and positioning across the organization.
When communicating messaging across your org, there are many formats in which you can share key and supporting information to your stakeholders. Some of these formats are written but don’t forget to add a live training element when you share your messaging with your colleagues.
A messaging playbook is the holy grail of product messaging deliverables. Sometimes these are called product playbooks, messaging guides, or go-to-market guides. These playbooks include everything your organization needs to know about your product including messaging, positioning, and more.
Your messaging playbook is a document that should be developed before the launch of a product, but it isn’t a one-and-done asset. Instead, the messaging playbook is a living, breathing document that continues to provide your organization with everything they need to know to effectively communicate your product messaging.
Helpful information to include within your product playbook are:
- Messaging map(s)
- Key-value props
- Competitive landscape
- Pricing and packaging
The product playbook serves marketing, sales enablement, sales, and even executives. Positioning, alongside your core messaging, helps your team gain a holistic understanding of your product. With that information, they can effectively communicate the value of your product into their deliverables—enablement materials, blog posts, emails, and beyond.
A messaging map is an asset that is often used within these more extensive deliverables but can also be used on its own if you just want to communicate the core pillars of your product. A messaging map can be used as a foundation for building one-pagers, datasheets, blog posts, website copy, and more.
A classic format for a messaging map, and a personal favorite, is a nine-block grid.
This messaging map includes three key-value props and three capabilities for each. The secret here is that you don’t want to simply list features; you want to list the valuable solutions to your customer’s pain points. Strong messaging needs to be value-centric, not just feature-centric.
If done well enough, your messaging map should directly transfer into the many deliverables being produced by your organization. In addition, these messaging maps effectively build strong one-pagers and website copy because the messaging is short, sweet, and loaded with value.
A messaging brief is an asset that incorporates your messaging tree but doesn’t dive as deep into positioning as a complete product or messaging playbook.
The main areas that I always ensure are included in my messaging briefs are:
- Key objectives: Why are we launching this product? What problem is this product (or feature) solving? What are the goals?
- Messaging: What are the three key-value props? What are the supporting capabilities?
- Timeline: What’s the timeline for this launch? What are we offering at launch? What items are fast follows? What does the roadmap beyond look like?
- FAQ: A handful of FAQ questions that will help your stakeholder understand the project or feature.
The information included in the brief provides your organization with key messaging and additional information to successfully market your product.
Live messaging updates
Having documents that outline product messaging and positioning are critical, but it’s important to speak about messaging with your teammates as well. Your team should see the product or feature in real-time.
Hosting a meeting with your key stakeholders on a regular cadence will help you effectively communicate core messaging updates and allow you to teach your teammates about how your product works. Plus, your team can hear first-hand how you talk about the product and integrate that talk track into their own deliverables.
How to build messaging processes that work
Product marketers are responsible for a lot, but realistically, they can’t do everything themselves.
Here are three tips for working cross collaboratively to ensure messaging cohesiveness when bringing your product to market.
1) Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
Product marketers work hard, but they can’t create all of their work in a silo. Collaborating across your organization is the best way to ensure your messaging is used within the produced content.
If you work hard to provide your colleagues with key messaging, positioning, and training, you’ll see great success in product content.
2) Set realistic expectations
When you’re launching a new product or feature, you need to provide your stakeholders with the information they need to effectively create content that supports your messaging—set expectations for how these interactions will play out.
Some key variables to consider are:
- Timelines: How far in advance will you provide messaging to your teammates?
- Deliverables: What deliverables do you need to create for your teammates?
- Reviews: What does the review process look like? At what stage do you want to review the content that’s being shared with the market?
3) Keep an open flow of communication
Messaging is dynamic. When new features, capabilities, or enhancements are added to your product, you’re likely approaching a messaging refresh. When messaging changes, you need to keep your organization in the loop so that they continue to share the most up-to-date and accurate information within their content.
If you build strong messaging assets, keep communication open, and collaborate with your teammates, you can ensure your messaging will be utilized within content, and you’ll be able to go to market successfully.