Elevating your product messaging to resonate with the right buyers will allow you to reap the rewards of better-qualified leads and higher revenues. This right messaging strategy outlines how, when, where, and to whom you'll communicate this differentiator.
Without proper messaging, the marketing tactics or technology you may apply to get the word out, generate leads, and nurture them into paying customers will fall flat. Here's how to get B2B product messaging right.
Chances are you're not the only one offering a valuable product like yours in your area. Other SaaS and manufacturing companies have similar products and pricing. They also provide good customer service. So, at the end of the day, why should someone choose your products over others?
It all comes down to your brand differentiation and the B2B messaging you build around your SaaS or manufacturing products.
Key Elements of B2B Product Messaging
To start, think about your messaging using these terms.
- Relevance. Your product messaging aligns with the goals your target audience has. It solves their specific problems. The message is not trying to create problems they don't really have to become the solution, like an obnoxious infomercial. However, you should certainly be open to how your customers use your product. By listening, you may discover you're solving problems you didn't know your customers had.
- Emotional Engagement. It reflects the actual emotions people feel about their problems. It doesn't try to exaggerate for effect.
- Credibility. It generates trust that your claims are genuine and you can deliver on them.
- Uniqueness. You have something to say about why your product differs from competitor products. Without this, you won't stand out. Your prospects will not see you, remember you, or choose you.
These elements will become your UVP (unique value proposition).
Unique Value Proposition (UVP) Definition
A UVP is an unambiguous message about what you offer, how it benefits your target customers, what problems it solves, and why it's different. Ultimately, your UVP gives your ideal customers a reason to choose your company.
Your UVP is consistent and should be at the forefront of your most critical communications with customers, like your home page, landing pages, consideration phase content, and decision-making content.
In B2B marketing, in particular, your messaging expands on this concise UVP with storytelling (case studies, first-party data, etc.), visuals (hero images, infographics, videos), and other helpful content (blog posts, white papers, videos, webinars).
These communicate the same UVP in different ways, at other times, and in various places to reinforce the UVP and align it with where the contact is on the buyer's journey. Similarly, sales and service communicate this UVP, reinforcing it throughout what content marketing and inbound marketing companies like LAIRE call "the buyer's journey."
Product Messaging Framework Definition
Your messaging framework is the well-laid-out document of your unique value promise to your B2B customers. This vital team resource outlines your:
- B2B product messaging
- How specifically you'll use and communicate that messaging across the spectrum of customer interactions (what, when, where, how, to whom)
Similar to a brand or style guide, this document keeps messaging consistent across your brand, so, ultimately, customers are always getting the same message.
Here's a look at how this product messaging framework aligns messaging across departments. This one document outlines:
- Points a salesperson needs to hit
- Benefits marketing needs to communicate in B2B content
- Key points made during PR and events
- How your company responds to negative publicity, comments, and reviews
- How customer support resolves issues related to the brand's state UVP.
- How quality assurance ensures the company is keeping its UVP promises
- How R&D improves the actual product
Product/Product Family Name
Most Important Features
Relevant search terms (SEO)
Relevant hashtags (Social Media)
Building an Effective Product Messaging Framework
1. Accept You Must Have a UVP
Your company is more than a product. The message you build is what matters.
The message creates customer expectations by which they then judge their experience. And it directly influences how they feel about their decision—independent of the product.
Great messaging makes people "FEEL" good about their decision-making abilities. And make no mistake, feelings matter in B2B marketing.
With that said, you may think “we've been in business for a while. We've never really had a UVP or strong messaging. And we've done okay.”
Many find themselves in this place.
But without a doubt, you've also noticed something is changing, particularly if you're in B2B manufacturing marketing. There's more competition and not just in your local area. If you've been in SaaS marketing for 5-10 years, you'll see something similar.
You're no longer nurturing leads in a vacuum, one-on-one. You're no longer only competing with someone in your area as a manufacturing company. As a SaaS provider, you're no longer the only company with a product like yours.
While your marketing and sales teams are trying to get a prospect one step closer to a deal, that prospect is hearing from your competitors. They're even entertaining other offers. These decision-makers have no sense of loyalty to you… yet.
A sale is not a given like it once was. We have to adapt to this new reality because we're not going back.
Marketing, sales, and support need to work together to keep this contact engaged and actively moving through the buyer's journey with you. Together, they reinforce your messaging with customers and influence decision-makers at all stages of their buying decision.
What's at stake with failing to build a messaging strategy?
- Lost market share. What once worked doesn't work in a more Internet-connected, competitive age.
- Limited growth. As your Boomer and older Gen X customers retire, you'll have to appeal to more tech-integrated Millennials and Gen Z decision-makers to grow.
- Limited reach. You can only reach so many prospects if you're not communicating your message where the decision-makers are learning about their problems and solutions (Hint: Online)
2. Communicate the Message in the Right Places
Your company must communicate this message where your target customers are. Today that means having a robust online presence.
Today's contacts get information from Internet sources before they even think about talking to a sales rep.
- 75% of B2B decision-makers and 84% of C-suite execs now check a brand out on social media before buying.
- 92% of B2B buyers are only willing to speak with sales if a company has established itself as a thought leader online. This, of course, goes back to trust. It suggests that customers ask themselves: Are you selling me something because you're an expert or just to meet sales quotas?
- 41% of B2B buyers consume 3 or more pieces of online content from your company before being willing to speak with sales.
If your B2B messaging strategy doesn't make your message visible in these places, these interactions don't happen.
3. Communicate to the Right People
Define who your ideal customers are. That is the only way to create B2B product messaging that is highly relevant and connects on an emotional level. Knowing who you target is guides your trust-building strategies because you understand what trust signals look like to them.
This requires market research. Study how your existing customers are using your product and benefiting from it. Speak with them about why they chose you and stick with you.
From this, you can extrapolate valuable information that will become the buyer's persona you'll speak within your marketing message. It answers crucial questions about your target and what motivates them.
- Who are they, and what do they do?
- What are their goals and challenges?
- How do they feel about their problems?
- How do they make decisions? And with whom?
- Who or what do they trust?
- What matters most to them?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- What marketing messages resonate with them?
4. Right Message; Right Time
So the essence of the message doesn't change. You have a UVP, and you communicate it.
But how you present it differently based on where your prospects are in the buyer's journey or sales funnel. However, you want to look at it.
Your prospect goes through distinct stages:
- Awareness. They realize they have a problem and learn about it...online.
- Consideration. They start looking for solutions online and narrow them down.
- Conversion / Decision-making. They consider who can best provide this solution and which of your products is best for their company.
- Delight. Because messaging sets clear expectations, they're delighted when those expectations meet reality.
- Retention. The customer continues to see value in your product as you continue to communicate the value through your message.
- Advocacy. The customer wants to share their experience with others. These become social media posts, reviews, positive comments, and other engagement that generates more awareness, attracting and convincing new customers like them.
And so the journey becomes a cycle, which grows exponentially as you move more people through the journey stages. It's easy to see how the way you communicate your message may change depending on stage timing.
A person who has just become aware they have a problem will not respond to the same messaging strategy as someone with whom you've already built trust later in the journey.
5. Lead with Value
Avoid leading with features. Instead, lead with the value your product provides to the consumers. Focus on how the product impacts their specific needs or experience rather than its particular function.
Features can get too technical. "Latest technology", state-of-the-art, AI-powered—they're all great buzzwords. Sounds impressive on paper and probably around your C-suite conference table.
However, the more technical you get, the harder it is for your prospects to understand how this helps them. Most of the time, a B2B buyer will never actually use the product they buy. Their employees will.
So, if you're not selling the value your product offers to the person actually making the decision, you're not selling anything. What's more, you'll never differentiate on features. All a competitor has to do is say they have one more than you or give a mundane feature an impressive name, and they're now better than you.
Communicate the short- and long-term value of choosing your product in your messaging.
6. Align Content to the Buyer's Journey
You'll communicate your message through content within your broader content marketing strategy. Leverage content to support every stage. Amplify your B2B marketing to grow your message's reach and influence.
Everything you've done in steps 1-5 will guide how you'll leverage your B2B messaging within each stage and type of content.Awareness
- Blog posts
- Paid ads
- Social media posts
- Whitepapers with first-party research and data
- Email marketing
- Sales enablement content
- Effective CTAs
- Landing pages
- Free trials
- Case studies
- Customized pricing strategies
- Welcome packet
- Product feature details
- How-to's & Troubleshooting
- Multi-channel customer support / A combination of chatbots and real people
- Special offers
- Exclusive educational opportunities to support your customers as they support theirs
- Encouraging online engagement among existing customers
- User-generated content
- Referral programs that offer a discount to both the referrer and the referee.
This may seem like an overwhelming amount of content. But know that as you get more precise about your B2B product messaging, it gets easier to streamline the content creation and optimization process.
7. Continually Review
Messaging is iterative. It will continually evolve through many iterations, and your brand, positioning, and even customers change. Brand messaging should regularly be reviewed, tested, and optimized.
You must put the technology in place to collect data and analyze it, so you can use it to update, refine, and even replace your messaging as needed.
Want to learn more about building a winning B2B product messaging? Download LAIRE's SaaS Marketing Checklist: