Every company has a story to tell. That story is why you get up in the morning and go to work. It’s why your company exists, what problems your company solves, and why your company is different from your competitors. Without a clear understanding of your story, it’s easy to forget why customers would want to do business with you. In marketing terms, we call that story your messaging platform. Not only is a messaging platform central to your brand, but it is also the basis for all of your content, collateral, and communications. A messaging platform should always be one of the first things you create when you start a business, and something you continue to update as your business grows.
What is a Messaging Platform?
A messaging platform is a guide to how you talk about your company. It isn’t necessarily the exact copy you will use for your marketing materials, but it is an outline that you should refer to when creating future copy for any and all marketing campaigns. A messaging platform has a number of different components, with the goal of defining what value your company has, how you’re different from your competitors, and what your elevator pitch sounds like.
Components of a Messaging Platform
Define the Problem You Solve
The first part of your messaging platform should focus on the problem you solve, or as we like to call it, the one thing that makes you get out of bed in the morning to go to work. This can sometimes be the hardest part of your messaging platform as your first answer is typically not the real answer. As Simon Sinek states, you need to figure out the why behind your why.
For example, why do the folks at Pizzaphant get up in the morning?
To help businesses elevate their brand through marketing.
Because good marketing creates a better understanding of what a business does and how a business can help its customers.
Because when a customer has a good understanding of a business, they will want to work with that business. This creates value for the customer and success for the business.
So, why do we get up in the morning?
To create value for customers and success for the businesses we help.
Looking at why we get up in the morning helps us figure out the problem we solve. If Pizzaphant exists to create value for our customers’ potential customers, then the problem is that your potential customers have to slog through hundreds of business that aren’t valuable to them and don’t communicate what they do. This leaves your potential customers overwhelmed and often creates decision paralysis—where they make no choices, rather than choosing to work with you. Pizzaphant works with businesses like yours to help you clearly define your value so that it’s easier for potential customers to understand why they should do business with you.
What Sets You Apart?
Now that you understand what problem you solve, how do you solve it and what makes you different from the competition?
Back to Pizzaphant. If we are helping businesses define their value to reduce customer decision paralysis, our next step is to determine how we do that better than other marketing consulting firms. This is the “what you do.”
For Pizzaphant, our “what” is: we help you define who you are and what makes you different and then we teach you how to invest your marketing dollars in a way that will give you the best return on investment. Pizzaphant is more than just a marketing firm, we are educators that empower you to make strategic decisions about your brand from a marketing standpoint so that you can reach your company goals.
So, what sets us apart? We help you define who you are and why you’re different and then we teach you how to best invest your marketing dollars to receive the most value.
This section of your messaging platform should build upon the problem you’re solving. In fact, it should be in response to that problem. Our problem is that your customers are having decision paralysis and what we do about it is help you define who you are and why you’re different. What sets us apart is that then we teach you how to best invest money into marketing.
You defined the problem at hand previously and this section is your chance to discuss what you’re going to do about it.
How Do You Solve This Problem?
The next section in your messaging platform is the “how” or your unique selling proposition. There are three parts to a selling proposition: the primary selling point (the one thing that makes you different from everyone else), the point of parity (the thing that all companies in your industry must have to even exist), and the supporting selling point (this point supports your primary selling point).
Your primary selling point is the one thing you do better, or faster, or more than your competitors. You could have the most experience, the fastest turnaround time, or be the most comprehensive. Whatever you say needs to be something that you actually do better/faster/etc. than your competition. There are some places within the marketing world where it’s OK to be aspirational as it gives you a goal to shoot for. Your selling proposition is not one of those places.
For Pizzaphant, our primarily selling point is that we are the most candid marketing consulting firm. We have a philosophy of being open and direct, so that you always know where you stand with us.
In the marketing industry, you have to have expertise in digital marketing. Without it, you simply won’t survive as a marketing firm. As such, our point of parity is our digital marketing expertise. We are certified in Google AdWords and HubSpot and have won national awards for our digital marketing efforts.
Our supporting selling point is that we have a transparent process and pricing model. We create our pricing on a per project basis and list items out as a menu, so you can pick and choose what makes the most sense for you. From a process standpoint, you approve the timeline and determine how much or little involvement you would like during the project.
Your selling proposition should give you a good idea of what makes you stand out from your competition and why companies should do business with you.
Once you have defined your problem, what you do about it, and how you solve it, it’s time write your elevator pitch. This is the 30-60 second speech you give people about your business. Your elevator pitch should include the previous components of your messaging platform. Spend some time developing an elevator pitch that showcases your value.
Pizzaphant’s elevator pitch could be something like this:
Pizzaphant is a marketing consulting firm that believes that when a potential customer easily knows and understands your value, you are well-positioned to turn that potential customer into a real customer. We not only develop and execute marketing strategies, but we also teach you how to best invest your marketing dollars to receive the most value. Our company philosophy is based on being candid so that you know exactly what you’re getting when you work with us. We have developed a transparent process and pricing structure to give you a better understanding of how we work and how we can help you. With over 15 years’ experience in marketing and with multiple digital marketing awards and certifications, we have the expertise you need to help you truly stand out. We are Pizzaphant and we want to help you elevate your business through marketing.
A messaging platform takes time and effort to develop, but it is essential to your marketing strategy. It gives you a clear understanding of what you do, how you do it, and why your business exists. This makes it easier for you to communicate with potential customers and define your value. Start by figuring out why you get up in the morning and end with a 30-60 second pitch that helps you explain what you do. Messaging platforms can change as your business grows, so make sure you revisit your messaging platform regularly. Finally, make sure your marketing materials and content are based off of your messaging platform and the value you provide. After all, that’s the entire point of a messaging platform.
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