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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Develop a Messaging Document to Keep Your Printing Company “On Message”


Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot how to use multimedia to create compelling case studies. This week, Marka tells Zoot and FEI tribe leader Org how creating a messaging document can help keep FEI on message. Remember, fire = print.

One afternoon in Org’s office, Org and Zoot were discussing a problem they’d noticed with some of FEI’s customer-facing employees.

“Frankly, some of our customer-service staff can’t even properly articulate what we do—and why customers should care,” Zoot said. “Yesterday I overheard a CSR trying to explain FEI to a prospective customer. The best she could come up with: FEI is an ‘awesome fire-lighting company.’”

“This is a real problem,” Org said. “Every FEI customer touch point—from our salespeople to our business cards to our outbound marketing communications—potentially influences how our brand is perceived in the marketplace. Everyone at FEI must be singing the same song—a Greek chorus, if you will—about who we are, what we do, and how customers benefit from using us. And that song must be clear and articulate. How do we make this happen?”

At this point Marka happened to stroll by Org’s office. “I have an idea,” she said. “Let’s create a document that everyone at FEI can use to stay on message. This guide will help our salespeople and other customer-facing employees ensure they’re saying the right things that advance our company’s core beliefs, commitments, and value proposition. For the marketing department, a messaging document will guide us toward creating content —outbound communications, ads, press releases, even blogs and social media posts—that’s in line with the way FEI works and thinks.”

“It certainly sounds like a good idea,” Org said. “What will this messaging guide contain?”

 “Good question.” Marka sneaked behind Org and began writing on the whiteboard behind him. “An effective messaging document should include the following...”

  1. Unique Selling Proposition
  2. Key Benefits
  3. Buyer Personas, Pains and the FEI Solution
  4. Competitive Positioning

“Today let’s discuss the Unique Selling Proposition,” Marka said. “We’ve covered this topic in detail before, so I’ll be brief.”

Marka scribbled on the whiteboard.

1. Unique Selling Proposition
“The foundation of our promotional plan involves knowing exactly what FEI brings to the table business-wise and being able to communicate this in thirty seconds or less,” Marka said. “When anyone hears FEI’s pitch, they should immediately know why we deserve their business. An effective USP should be compelling, unique, memorable and repeatable.”

“Next week, we’ll discuss the other components of an effective messaging document,” Marka said.

“Great!” Zoot said. “We’ll just wait right here until then.”

Next week: Marka discusses developing a list of key benefits for FEI’s messaging document.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Create a messaging document to help sales, marketing, and customer service stay on the same page.

FIRE! In Action: Pitney Bowes Uses Improved Messaging to Improve Marketplace Perception
The document management systems and services company rejiggered their messaging to focus on the benefits their solutions provide to customers. The result: a 130 percent increase in perception among Fortune 1000 C-suite executives and a 390 percent increase in its recognition as a brand that delivers ROI.

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