Archives for posts with tag: Messaging

Deck or doc, which are you? Slide deck or word document?

How do you prefer to get your information? Sometimes it depends on the type of information you’re getting. I’m a fairly visual person, and I like to be able to short-cut the information acquisition process and zero in on what I want. This is hard to do with a doc(ument), unless it’s well laid out and sign-posted. If I’m clicking on a web page link to learn more, I prefer a web page to a 2-minute or 3-minute video. I can scan the headings of a web page in a few seconds, rather than sit through something for a few minutes, or jump ahead and risk missing the nuggets.

I’m therefore a deck guy. By this I mean a slide deck. I find this kind of ironic since I’m better myself at creating words than pictures. I generally delegate the pictures to someone who’s good at pictures.

Some people are doc people. They prefer to absorb the information in a word-processed document to a slide or picture presenting document. They like the detail. They want to pour over it, or at least have the option to at a later stage if they need to.

Ask yourself this: when was the last time you said to your customer or your audience, ‘how would you like this information, by deck or doc?’ Even though some types of information are better presented in one format over another, your customer’s or audience’s preferences are important.

Congratulations. You’ve climbed this far, up 6 steps of the 15-step B2B marketing process. You’ve reached seventh heaven, you’re nearly half way there.

The seventh step is positioning. This revolves around how you position your company, products and services to your chosen segment or segments. This positioning is verbal, requiring the careful crafting of the right message to resonate most strongly with your prospects, strong enough to cause them to take action.

There are probably a bunch of messages you want to cram into your positioning, and it’s sometimes really hard to discount any of them. It’s natural to want to cover all the bases.

It’s not about you, however. It’s about your prospect audience, and how they view what you say. You have to put yourself in their shoes and figure out what is most important to them. A useful structure to follow is this:

[Your product or service] helps companies solve the challenge of [whatever business challenge you’re helping them fix] by [how your solution does it], which, unlike other solutions, delivers [whatever key benefits your product or service delivers] because it [say why the prospect should see your product or service as different].

The great thing about a positioning statement is that you get to de-position the competition as well, thereby promoting the fact that you can uniquely help your prospect solve their problem or capitalise on their opportunity.

When you have to come up with a short, pithy tagline to go alongside your company, product or service then you have to extend this approach and distil your positioning into only one message of a few words. In the beginning of a relationship, companies will only remember the scantest detail on what you do, so they might as well remember the most important thing, the think that will make a difference, right?

When you’re raising your awareness, or trying to get someone’s attention, you have a very small window within which to hit home.

You have to distil your communication into one eye-catching line and / or image. Don’t be tempted to cram too much in, as message complexity is disproportional to message efficacy. Put another way, simple wins.

Let the Comms Rule of One be your master. Then, when you’ve earned their interest, you can start to build out your messages and arguments.

When you’re communicating with people, it’s tempting to cram in as many messages as possible, because they’re all pretty important. It’s really hard to fit in everything that you want to say about your brand, your logo, your advert and so on.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years is just that, namely one thing. Your audience has nowhere near as much interest in your stuff as you do, and perhaps none at all. So you really only have one chance to get a simple message across.

Try to distil everything you’re trying to do into the single most important thing you want your audience to take away. If you’ve rank ordered the benefits of your product or service, and you still feel you want to talk about the second and third benefits, you need to work harder on the first benefit, until it’s the standout benefit, the thing that makes you genuinely different.

‘What’t the one thing we want them to be aware of, to think, to do?’ You want bank for your buck, not a whimper from your 3 bucks.