5 Tips for Creating Compelling Messaging that Differentiates in a Crowded Market

Product marketers create the foundation for how your company talks about its solutions in sales and marketing collateral and campaigns. In other words the core story that is the basis for your solution’s USP and UVP. And unless you are in a new market that you’ve created, competitors are vying for the attention of the same customers and prospects. The market is crowded with content and competing messages. The challenge is creating a message that will cut through the clutter by being both compelling and differentiating.

Use these  5 guidelines to evaluate current and future messaging platforms and to make them more compelling and differentiating.

1. Relevancy

How does your solution connect to your customer’s priorities? Their jobs to be done? Does your message show that you understand the customer’s world and needs, or does it focus on your solution? B2B vendors and the product teams within them sometimes focus too much on the features and functionality of their solutions and how they compare to competitors. These dimensions are not always directly relevant to buyers. For example, many SaaS providers are currently messaging about their AI capabilities. But if the buyer does not see how AI relates to or improves, their objectives and outcomes, or if every vendor has it, it will have little relevancy and thus limited value in messaging. It is also important not to message to threshold conditions. These are the things that are critical buying criteria but are binary – you either have it or you don’t. Data security is an example. On-time delivery is another.

A useful approach to ensuring that your story is relevant is to work backward from the customer by asking, “What are their priorities and objectives,” and then demonstrating the link to your solution in your messaging.

2. Emotional Engagement

While it is true that B2B purchases tend to be more rational than consumer purchases, B2B buyers are people, and people are motivated by emotion. The practical sides of business pain points are rational, but emotions give them urgency. There are negative implications for the business and B2B buyers of the challenges they face. There is the fear of losing ground to competitors. The buyer’s chances for promotion or even job security may be on the line. The buyer has been brought in to solve the problem and wants to be the hero. Does your messaging and story show that you understand these emotional dimensions? Does it connect with your buyers? Do they see how your story is a part of theirs?

As with Relevancy, a useful approach is to identify your customer’s emotional desires and pain points and work backward to build connections to the solution’s capabilities.

3. Unique

Breaking through the clutter requires saying something different than competitors. If you replaced your brand in your USP or UVP with your competitors and it still remains true, your message isn’t unique. One path to being unique is having a solution that can provide a business outcome that no other direct or indirect competitor can provide. This is rare.

A more realistic way to be stand out is to demonstrate that you understand your customer’s needs. Buyers tend to see vendors as similar but they view their own businesses and needs as unique. When they engage with your story through sales and marketing campaigns and materials, do customers say, “This provider really understands me and my business”?

4. Credibility

When messaging and claims lack credibility, prospects dismiss the solution from serious consideration. Examples of claims that set off credibility alarms for B2B buyers include: We are the only solution that… Our solution is easy to implement… We can integrate with all your data… Even ROI calculators are viewed skeptically. B2B buyers believe that achieving an ROI involves a wide range of tangible and intangible activities, making it a stretch to tie it to a single solution. Product marketers need to identify the sweet spot that conveys a meaningful improvement or benefit, yet still seems realistic to the buyer.

Is your message believable? Are there parts of your story and messaging where you may be setting off alarm bells? If buyers may see your claims as a stretch, what proof points can you offer?

5. Authentic

If you are an established brand, your messaging and claims need to match the market’s perception of your brand equity. While in point of fact, a global brand may be nimble and innovative; chances are B2B buyers will see a disconnect. The inverse is true when a small provider talks about providing enterprise-scale solutions.

Does the story you use in sales and marketing campaigns align with how the market perceives your brand equity? Do you know how the market views you?

Foundation under the Foundation

Underlying your story’s foundation is an informed understanding of your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona. Your brand and solution cannot be everything to everyone. The key is understanding the needs, frustrations with current solutions, priorities, and jobs to be done of the companies and buyers most likely to buy your solution and to use those as the foundation of a compelling and differentiated messaging strategy.

Isurus routinely helps clients create their ICP, buyer personas, and refine their value propositions and messaging strategies. If you would like to learn more, contact us here.