A selection from the new book: Different Rules – the B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation
What is a B2B Marketing Message and what should go into it?
By Chris Wirthwein
A Marketing Message is a summary of your product’s difference, value, and reason to believe. It is a marketing communications resume for your product. (Resume: a brief written account of professional qualifications and experience.) And the most important thing a marketing message can and should do is communicate your difference! Why? Because you cannot sell anything when people ignore you. Standing out, being different, makes it extremely hard for people to ignore you.
There’s more to the Marketing Message than simply gaining attention. But gaining attention is the most important and first task it must accomplish.
Let’s clear something up. A Marketing Message is about strategy. It distills and articulates key points you will use to differentiate and make your product relevant in the marketplace. Yet, it’s not an ad, website copy, slogan, or anything else placed in front of a customer.
So why do we need a Marketing Message? To provide guidance to those who do communicate about the product in sales and marketing encounters. Think of it as a gyroscope. Its job is to keep marketing communications on course. A Marketing Message instructs those responsible for the product’s success how it will be portrayed—internally and externally.
The Marketing Message – a resume – briefly lists what type of work the product can do. It goes through the promises it makes and includes references to back up those claims. It puts into words the strategic intent of what to say about the product. It should also guide development of the creative marketing communication work that will follow.
What goes into the Marketing Message? Answers to three questions about the product:
1. What’s different?
- Purpose: to capture attention
2. What’s worthwhile and valuable?
- Purpose: to express relevance and utility
3. Why believe?
- Purpose: to establish credibility
An effective Marketing Message possesses three qualities: brevity, clarity and impact. In developing Marketing Messages for clients, 5MetaCom uses a 3-30-3-30 approach. You can learn more about it at in the book DIFFERENT RULES.
Chris Wirthwein is Senior Director for 5MetaCom, a marketing agency that develops strategies and campaigns to differentiate B2B technical and scientific products. He has authored three marketing books, including his latest, Different Rules: The B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation. You can reach Chris on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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