Key marketing messages are a powerful tool. They are the core of your business. Investing time in developing them creates focus, strengthens your brand, and makes communication clear and effective.
What are key messages in marketing?
A key message document is the hymn sheet for your business – by everyone singing from the same one, you get a stronger, clearer voice that communicates much more effectively.
Used internally, brand messages are a great way for staff in different teams to quickly understand the most important topics to promote in a business, keeping the whole organisation’s messages unified and stronger as a result.
The more key messages are instilled throughout your company, the clearer the message will be communicated to the external world of prospective and current clients.
Do you need some help creating marketing messaging that cuts through? We can help. Call us on 0115 9061315 or send us a message.
Why are key messages important?
Developing powerful key messages is crucial in any business and involves crafting customer-centric messages for marketing and communication purposes. They are the marketing messages that you want your target audience to hear and remember.
Also known as brand messages, well-defined key messages make communication easier to manage and more successful, conveying the essence that your brand provides. They portray the core of your business – what you are about, your values, and the benefits your target audience will receive.
One size doesn’t fit all though. A target audience should be broken down into several different buyer personas, and each one needs its own set of key messages, which are designed to speak to their needs and desires directly, creating more effective communication that gets results.
5 steps to define your key marketing messages
Threerooms offers a key messaging service as part of any branding project. Having devised a motivating and unveiling process, we take you and your team through a set of defined steps to gather information, and from that we produce a set of highly engaging marketing messages that can be rolled out within your company.
- Identify your audience personas – The likelihood is that you will have several different groups of people who you want to target with your products and services. Each one will have different needs and desires, and by drilling down into these and looking specifically at their frustrations and needs, we will shape the key messages and make them more targeted and effective.
- Research competitors’ messages – Integral to the process, looking at what your competitors are doing will help to form your brand messages in many ways. It can provide inspiration or show you what you really don’t want to do. Either way, it shouldn’t be rushed. Websites, marketing materials, PPC ads – you need to look at all aspects of how the competition is putting itself across – and how it’s resonating with the target audience.
- Goals, values, and benefits – Before starting to actually write your brand messages, you need to establish a few key elements about your business first:
- What are your goals? What do you want your key messages to achieve? If you’re just starting out, you need to think long term and plan for the future. If you’re launching a new product or branching out into another area of the market, then communicating already established credibility and expertise is paramount.
- What value does your company provide? Why should customers come to you instead of your competition? There has to be something different here – something that makes you stand out. Are you faster, smarter, or cheaper? Do you have special expertise, accolades, or the latest technology?
- What keywords describe you? The best way to do this is get your team together and have a brainstorming session. Ask your customers too. Once you’ve got a long list, analyse it and see whether there are any missing words – is there something about your business that people aren’t picking up on? There may be some surprises that you can build on and integrate into your messaging.
- Clear, simple, and concise language – So often, messages are interpreted in a way that is different than intended. Think of Chinese whispers. The most sure-fire way of making sure a message is received in the right way is to use clear, simple, and concise language. A succinct message that says no more than it has to is much more effective and carries less risk of being misunderstood. Use the words you need to – and no more. Also consider tone of voice. Who are you talking to? How do you want to be perceived? Do you need to be formal and corporate, or can you be fun and cheeky? Personifying this can help – if your business was a celebrity, who would it be? Now take the way that person speaks and apply it to your key messages.
- Test, review, and refresh – How you test your messaging will depend on a few factors, such as the size of your company. You could choose a specific department or a few select employees. Testing is invaluable to make sure the key messages you’re trying to convey are being received accurately and effectively. Look at the reactions they elicit. Do they work better verbally or on paper? Review your findings and refresh your messages until you’re 100% happy with them. Then they can be officially rolled out. Do remember though – as your business evolves and grows, your messages may need to change too, so repeat this step at regular intervals.
By following these five steps, you will be sure to create key messages that identify you as the expert in your field and offer an added edge over your competition. The results should be an increase in interest, engagement, retention, and ultimately – profits.
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What is your core message?
Your core message is your central promise to the world. It is the aspect you offer to all customers that solves their problems and enriches their lives. The vast majority of people don’t want to know the intricate ins and outs of what you provide. They want to know why they should buy it and why it should be from you. This needs to be communicated in a clear core message.
Your ‘whole brand’ proposition – bringing it all together
Key messages cannot stand alone though. They are just one element of your whole brand proposition, and for a brand to be an overall success, each element has to link together and stack up. Here are some factors to consider:
Your vision statement sets out your stall. It defines what you want to offer and where you want to be in the marketplace.
This breaks down your vision into more targeted points. Essentially, it explains how you are going to solve the different problems faced by your target audience. Think of it as your elevator pitch.
Define three or four values that are at the centre of your business. These could be innovative, reliable, quality, respect, responsive. Whatever they are, they are at the heart of what you do.
Our brand is…and is not
Choose a few words that describe what your brand is – and is not. These can be linked to your values, but they should make it very clear what you stand for.
Your tagline is all about catching your customers’ attention. Your need to choose just a few words that will be the phrase people remember your company by. It’s not easy, so it’ll take time and work.
Each and every one of these aspects are connected and all have to be carefully crafted if you want to get the ultimate effect from your branding and key messages. If one doesn’t align, then the rest lose strength. It’s a time-consuming process, but the investment is worth it to create a strong business that knows where it’s going, what it offers, and what’s more – can communicate that effectively.
Need help getting it right?
Do you need help with creating your key marketing messages? We can help by running a half-day workshop with you. You’ll be guided by an expert, learn for yourself how to do it, and see the value it can add. Book your session today by calling 0115 9061320 or dropping us a message.
An award-winning branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 14 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands, crafting campaigns or building next-gen websites, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service. Want to work together? Get in touch today.