We often think of marketing messages as springing from serendipitous breakthroughs, big ideas that come in a flash of creative brilliance. And that may be true, sometimes. But like many aspects of B2B marketing, message strategy can be developed—and improved—by following a proven process. Lawson Abinanti, the co-founder of Messages That Matter, is a master of message development for B2B companies. I asked him to explain his process to us.
Lawson, you help B2B companies develop more powerful messaging in their marketing communications. Let me open with this: What are the biggest mistakes companies are making in their messages today?
B2B companies make three big mistakes in their messaging:
- They fail to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Their message sounds the same as the others. And worse, it’s filled with hackneyed buzzwords, like “transformation,” “innovative,” and “leverage.”
- The target audience doesn’t care about the seller’s main claim. Either the claim fails to express a benefit that solves a pressing target audience problem, or it merely says what they do (like, “we’re a cloud computing company”) and leaves out the benefit altogether.
- Their main claim isn’t used consistently. They use a shotgun approach. For example, their main claim may jump out on their home page but never appear again. They fail to use the power of repetition. It takes at least 10 impressions before your target audience will notice…