Emma Stratton for Product Marketing Community

July 11, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Emma Stratton, Founder, Punchy

Please introduce yourself.

Emma Stratton: Hey there, I'm Emma Stratton messaging strategist and founder of punchy. I work with B2B tech companies on developing clear and compelling messaging strategies. And I also train marketing teams at software companies all around the world on the art and science of how to write punchy messaging.

How do you find a message that works for multiple personas and audiences?

Emma Stratton: This is hands down the most popular question I get from marketers, Emma, how do we find one message that will work for all of our different audiences? Let me tell you my friend, there is no one message that will rule them all. It's a myth. It does not exist and yet we feel like there should be one. And so we can spend so much time trying to find one message that won't offend anyone but will somehow appeal to everyone. And we end up with generic value propositions like accelerate digital transformation or minimize risk or some other totally vanilla vague and unhelpful headline. So the first thing I want you to know is that there is not some unicorn message that you're missing, that will tell a bunch of different people exactly what they want to hear. And that is why we have targeted messaging opportunities. But when it comes to high level messaging for a product that's got a speak to a lot of people. My rule is you wanna angle your messaging towards your best customer or the champion in the group. So you know that there are different people that are likely reading your messaging, but you want to angle it towards the person who matters most. Now, that's often the champion. So the person who is Googling and trying to get that short list of solutions, who's getting things ready, who's really, you know, motivated to push this through their organization, they're likely the person you want to speak to now. That depends, it could be the user, it could be the administrator, it could be a team lead, but you want to speak to the person who is most motivated to really get a new solution through. Now, sometimes people say, well, shouldn't we kind of skew towards the CEO or some other C suite because they're gonna have final sign off and they're the most influential in this deal. And I would caution that because I doubt the CEO or the CIO is the one doing that leg work looking for all the different solutions. They're likely relying on other folks in their organization to make recommendations and they're likely not gonna be the ones using it. So don't just automatically think it's the C suite person that you need to speak to. You want to think who is the person in this group who it's most important to talk to? That's what you really want to think about and then angle your messaging towards that person. However, you also need to keep in mind that there are lots of other folks that are gonna be reading this messaging too So you wanna make sure you strike the right balance between the business buyer and the technical buyer so that it's under accountable to all. So in summary, one, you want to focus on the champion or your best customer in the group, the one who is really doing the legwork of finding a new solution. And two, you want to make sure that your tone and your language strikes the right balance of business value versus the technical user so that everyone understands as a rule, the more simple and human you can be the more accessible your messaging is gonna be to everyone.

How specific or general should my benefits be?

Emma Stratton: If you want to know how specific or general you should be in your benefits, you just need to look to your customer and understand their overall awareness of the problem they have and the solution that you offer. So I think about it like a sliding scale. On the one end, you, you've got the specifics, the nitty gritty, which is really close to the technical side, the features and on way on the other side, you've got general value where it can get really high level around the things that your product can do. Now it's a sliding scale between the two. Here's how I think about it. You want to be more on this side. On the general value side, if you are writing for a customer that is not super tech savvy or a sophisticated software buyer. So say, uh you're selling to lawyers, for example, another time you want to stick to the more general value focus is when you're writing about a new, new or very emerging software technology that people don't fully understand what it is and why it matters. If that is the case, you typically want to be more on this general level where you're talking very strongly to the value of your technology. So people can really understand why they should care. Now, on the other side, when we talk about getting into the specifics being closer to the capabilities and the things you can actually do, this is really great when you are in a category that is super, super flooded and mature and well known. So for example, you're ac RM, you don't want to be talking about the high level benefits of customer relationship management. You want to be getting into the nitty gritty of how you do it differently from the cai and other cr MS out there. You also want to stick to this side when you have a super technical buyer who understands why they would want this type of solution and they just want to get straight to why they should choose your yours versus the other. So that is my role. You want to be more specific and talk about value if you're in a new and emerging category or you're talking to a less tech savvy audience and you want to consider being more to the specific side of things if you're in a very well known mature category and you're talking to very technical folks, I hope this helps.

How do I make my messaging sound more human?

Emma Stratton: And my company punchy, we are all about human messaging. I believe it is the way that you can truly connect the dots between a technology and a buyer. But how do you do it? Well, I've got two really simple techniques that you can put into action right away. The first is to scan your messaging. And whenever you have one of those big fancy business words that could be replaced by a much shorter, simpler alternative, do it. So for example, rather than implement, you could switch that with, do it means the same thing, there are all kinds of words out there that we could, you know, chop in this way. So rather than minimize, you could just put cut. So going through your writing and looking for those long serious business words that could be easily um swapped with a shorter plain speaking alternative is the way to go. Oh Another one utilize use, it should just be used. There's really no need for utilize. Now, the reason why this helps is when we use lots of like big words. After another, you kind of get this robotic feel and it's very hard to get through and it's really not how we talk, it makes you sound a bit like a robot. So switching out those big words for the little ones is a great way to go. The second technique that I really love is about using casual phrasing and language. So writing things like you'd say it, I think in products marketing, we try to come up with really fancy phrases to explain things in a couple words, like orchestrate your processes. What does that mean? Right. What does orchestrate your processes mean? So it's taking some of those abstract kind of, you know, odd phrases and just saying it, like you would explain it to someone at a barbecue on the weekend. So one example would be instead of saying, oh, this platform helps you streamline communications, you might say this platform helps you get all the constant emails and texts and calls under control. So using that natural phrasing is asking yourself, you know, how would someone actually talk about this to another person? And that will help guide your writing to just sound more human, more simple and easier to understand.

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