Messaging – why it truly is ongoing work

Have you ever done one of those $50,000 engagements where an outside consultant comes into your company to figure out positioning and messaging? 

Here’s how that typically goes: 

  • Leadership team getting together for multiple sessions
  • Everybody and their mom providing all kinds of input ?
  • CEO and consultant splitting most of the control around it
  • Marketing over-facilitating to make sure “everyone is heard”
  • Lots of excitement and a belief that major progress was made

And progress does actually get made. 

The only problem is that you’re still left needing to take what gets presented as “near-final messaging” and bring it to life. And the effort associated with that is massively underrated. 

Whipping up a sales deck and getting some of your top AEs to take it for a spin with buyers is only a part of it. 

How do you know you’re nailing all the critical nuances that make all the difference? 

We don’t want to admit it, but many of us have gotten to a point with messaging work where we basically run out of steam and need to go tackle some other big fires before we’ve really nailed down the messaging. 

Sorry, just speaking from experience here. 

It takes way longer than we want it to. Even after a consultant has come in and “figured it all out” for us. Because it’s (1) nuanced and (2) evolving. 

We’ve experienced it with our business over the last couple of years too. 

Everything is moving faster, including how our buyers look at their world and what it takes for them to be successful. So we have to keep evolving our story to keep resonating and to stay ahead of competition. 

Five years ago, how often did we have to update our messaging? 

Less often than today, right? 

This is the big change: 

Messaging work is now truly a continuous effort.

It really is like painting the Golden Gate bridge - the work never ends.

By the way, when we say messaging, we mean everything from key messages based on your product positioning to the brand narrative that tells the bigger story for your buyers. 

Here’s one thing we’ve learned from working with dozens of B2B companies:

Speed and efficiency in constantly validating, fine-tuning and also expanding your messaging is a significant competitive advantage. 

There’s a 1-2 punch we often use for this: 

  1. Paid media to quickly get in front of the ICP with messaging
  2. A “start here” page that delivers the full narrative (like this one)

If this is executed based on a well-defined hypothesis and with a process set up to effectively capture the learnings, you’re on your way to ongoing improvements with messaging.

That’s what it’s about. 

Back to those $50,000 engagements for a second though…

Isn’t it funny how the Leadership team tends to think those engagements get you a house? When in reality it’s more like a foundation with some studs and a bit of drywall. ?

Also, we can only do those big ones so often. They take a ton of time - not to mention the political capital. 

It’s heavy. 

For you to win as a marketing leader, your best bet is to take control of the messaging work and figure out how you can keep iterating and improving. 

- Your partners in growth at Elevate Demand

PS: We’re doing our first of five live Q&A sessions today at 1 pm ET around the intersection of Performance Marketing and Strategic Messaging. You’re of course welcome to sign up here.