Start with messaging

If you want customers and investors to believe in your product as you do, start with a messaging framework. This post is a walkthrough of how to create a messaging framework and use it to sharpen your story for your target audience. And, how first finding the right message that customers believe in can be a powerful guide for product development.A messaging framework captures what your buyers expect to see, hear, and learn about your product and in what context before they decide to buy.

The goal is to uncover what questions your buyers have and the answers they need so you can deliver a message that goes much deeper than me-too benefit statements. Buyers will love you if you can help them make a decision and make it feel effortless. That’s what a messaging framework is designed to achieve.

Specifically, a messaging framework is your buyer’s response to the following questions:

(Notice one thing: we haven’t even started talking about your product yet! Okay, here it comes..)

You might be thinking that you already have answers to all these questions and filling out your messaging framework will be a breeze. You’re absolutely right: simple answers can easily be attached to each question above. However, if you want a truly differentiated approach to marketing then you’ll base the answers on 1:1 buyer interviews with direct quotes to support each finding. And I promise you, you’ll be surprised with what you discover.

Why does messaging matter?

Customers will experience what you say about your product before they experience what you’ve built. When we know what messaging will drive customers to buy then product requirements and marketing strategy can naturally develop.

A messaging framework forces you to start with what your customers want and work backward from that. It acts like an insurance policy against building the wrong thing or getting turned down by investors for unclear market justification. Plus, strong messaging and help you and your team in three more impactful ways:

Clear picture: Once you know what messaging will get customers to respond, making a pitch to investors or B2B buyers becomes easy. After all, investors and B2B buyers can’t picture success unless you have a clear story for delivering customer value first.

Testable: A messaging framework allows you to rapidly test and tweak your assumptions as you learn new things about your product/market. It’s a lot faster and less expensive to test your messaging framework than testing a prototype or MVP.

High ROI: After validation and final tweaks, your framework can be used repeatedly for product development, investor pitch decks, sales pitch decks, branding, copywriting, website design, marketing strategy, demand gen, PR, and even creating a well-aligned company culture.

How can you apply a messaging framework?

You need a clear messaging framework so others can help you. Otherwise, your promising idea that we’ve worked so hard for will never become a reality. A messaging framework is like a building blueprint. You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, would you? Just like a blueprint, everyone who works on your business can use your messaging framework for guidance, staying aligned, and ultimately bring your vision to life.

And just like the essentialism of a blueprint, your messaging framework must be written in plain words. No ad copy, no puffery, no vagueness. Here’s how a messaging framework can help each functional team: