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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.
 

How to Develop A Killer Messaging Document for Your Business

 
Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot and FEI tribe leader Org how creating a messaging document can help keep FEI on message. This week, Marka goes over two crucial components of an effective messaging document. Remember, fire = print.

Marka, Zoot, and Org sat in Org’s office, discussing the document Marka was creating to keep FEI staff “on message” when communicating with customers and prospects.

“We’ve already been over FEI’s Unique Selling Proposition, which is obviously an important element of our messaging document,” Zoot said. “What’s next?”

“Glad you asked.” Marka stood up and scribbled on the whiteboard in Org’s office.

Key Benefits

“Next, we build out a Key Benefits section that expands on our USP,” Marka said. “This section will list the main benefits of working with FEI and devote a couple of sentences to each. Let me give you an example.”

Marka scribbled more on the whiteboard.

FEI Helps Customers Save Money—Our fire solutions have been proven to reduce heating, lighting and cooking costs for businesses and huts alike.

“Our Key Benefits section will proceed like this, offering a short statement or paragraph for every benefit that an FEI product or service provides,” Marka explained.

“Once our employees become familiar with these benefits statements, they’ll start thinking—and talking—about FEI from a customer’s perspective,” Org said.

“That’s right,” Marka said. “And Marketing can keep this guide handy to ensure they don’t drift off message when crafting communications.”

Marka returned to the whiteboard.

Buyer Personas, Pains and Your Solution
“Here’s where things start to get complicated,” Marka said. “We want to sketch out the buyer identities of ‘typical’ key business influencers at ‘typical’ FEI prospect and customer companies. Then we want to identify their business challenges and how FEI helps solve them. This will give every FEI staff member a rough-and-ready guide to having intelligent, benefit-focused conversations with all types of customers. Here’s a sample chart for two key buyers in the Restaurant industry, one of our biggest markets.”
 

Role

Title

Buyer Goals/Objectives

Cooks, prepares food

Head Chef

To get tasty, fully-cooked food to diners reliably and efficiently

Determines lighting arrangement on restaurant or facility floor

Facilities Manager

To ensure diners have ambient yet well-lit environment in which to eat.

 

Buyer Potential Pains

How Pains Impact Goals

How FEI Helps Meet Goals and Alleviate Pain

Fires that cook food slow or go out at inopportune times.

Food is undercooked, or late. Diners get mad and don’t come back. Chef gets fired.

Cookfire cooks food 20 percent faster than competing cooking systems. Cookfire is more reliable than competing fire—goes out 20 percent less often. FEI offers free Cookfire replacement within two hours if it does go out.

Torches that go out frequently or are at risk for burning diners.

Bad lighting and torch accidents create unwelcoming environment. Sales drop.

Torchos have been extensively safety-tested and are virtually accident-proof. Free 24/7 emergency service is offered in case of accident. Torchos proven to last 15 percent longer than competing torches.


“We also want to develop case studies and other support materials that demonstrate exactly how our solutions have delivered what we promise here,” Marka said.

“This thing is a ‘Zeus-send,’” Zoot said. “Heck, I could benefit from something like this.”

“You sure could, Zoot,” Org said jovially.

“Hey now!” Zoot said. “Only I’m allowed to make fun of myself.”

Next week: Marka discusses developing a competitive positioning grid for a messaging document.

Today’s FIRE! Point
In your messaging document, be sure to include a list of key benefits and to map out buyer personas, pains, and your solution. This will help your customer-facing staff have more focused conversations and your marketing team craft more compelling communications.

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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