Messaging Consultant with a Pragmatic Approach
I learned early in my career that there is not a one-size-fits-all messaging process or document. I’ve seen more than one expensive messaging consultant create messaging presentations that can be used by sales, but don’t give marketing what it needs to write the website or a press release. I’ve seen large messaging documents that cost $30K-$100K and read like a company prospectus but don’t give marketing any content that can be used in marketing materials—let alone help with search engine optimization.
As a messaging consultant, I take a more pragmatic—and cost-effective—approach.
Messaging that Creates SEO-ready Copy
Depending on the project and its scope, my messaging platforms take many forms. A one-page outline, a two-page laminated card that is handed out to customer-facing employees to use in their conversations, or a multiple-page document with key messaging with supporting boilerplate copy starting with corporate messaging down to each individual product feature.
The key is that the document needs to be useable and make people’s jobs easier. And in today’s digital world, search engine keywords need to be baked-in, so that they don’t have to be retrofitted after the fact, which dilutes a primary value of messaging: standardization and consistent communications across channels.
There are many kinds of messaging platforms—and as a messaging consultant or employee, I’ve created them all
- Single page of sentences and bullets that drive press releases or product PDFs
- Two pages of every day language for customer-facing employees to use
- Outlines of key messages to carry throughout a marketing campaign or thought leadership initiative
- Dozen or more pages of key messages, boilerplate paragraphs, and supporting bullets to be repurposed in every piece of marketing content
A Collaborative Process that Delivers Cross-Functional Buy-in
I develop messaging organically, leveraging the knowledge and experience of key stakeholders in the client company. Many of the components of strong messaging already exist within a company, but they are hiding in the minds of a diverse set of individuals.
Depending on the project, I like to get input from founders, marketing, sales, product management, and engineering. On the surface the perspectives of these people may sound contradictory, but when brought together in a collaborative fashion, they can meld into a compelling and defensible positioning platform.
As your messaging consultant, I ask about competitors, product differentiators, business value, and the keywords target buyers might input into search engines. If possible, I like to talk to a customer or two and find out what they think they bought.
Sometimes I do one-on-one-interviews—virtually or in person—or I lead a workshop with the group. This inclusive process fosters ownership of the final messaging and builds cross-functional buy-in. It can be a quick process to create a product launch platform, or a bigger project for more strategic messaging.
Then if necessary, I do additional SEO keyword research or reverse-engineer competitor messaging from their marketing materials to inform the final platform.
Strategic Messaging that Works at Every Level
When I get hired as a messaging consultant to create a strategic messaging platform, I will deliver a set of boilerplate value statements, headings, paragraphs, sentences, and bullets that can be used and reused at every level of content and communications—public relations, website home pages, website product pages, marketing product PDFs, whitepapers, presentations, sales tools, thought leadership initiatives and lead generation programs.
The messages in my multi-level messaging platforms can be cut and paste into various content and then wordsmithed to fit the context and tell the story needed for that channel, audience, or level of communication.
This approach assures consistency of messages throughout all communication channels which contributes significantly to building the brand.
Messaging Use Cases
Messaging Platform Layers
Strong Messaging Has Multiple Layers
In my messaging consultant engagements, I deliver a comprehensive messaging platform that serves a multitude of purposes. It will work at the 30,000-foot level defining the brand, why someone does business with you, and offering a value proposition that differentiates you and can be communicated in an elevator ride.
But it also has layers that go much deeper. Layers that describe the product, its features, and the business benefits of those features. Layers that expose technological differentiators and set the conversation against the competition in your favor.
And every layer needs to work together—connecting the dots between the technology differentiators under the covers and the top level business benefits.
The messaging platform provides content for content marketing, digital marketing, website copy, and sales enablement. That is the job of a good messaging consultant.