TriComB2B Blogger - Chuck Bertinni

Message Mapping Gets You to Where You Want to Be in B2B

Chuck Bertini

Do you remember AAA TripTiks? If you are older than 30 or maybe even 40, you may remember these comb-bound, trip-planning tools that provided directions from Points A to B. They conveniently mapped the shortest route for you, or a more scenic one if you had extra time. They even noted ongoing construction or other potential delays.

Believe it or not, you can still get a paper version of TripTiks. Thankfully, an online version is available —along with dozens of other GPS mapping technologies (it is 2018, after all). All of these tools are designed with one purpose: to get you to your destination with confidence.

Where am I going with this? (See what I did there?)

When it comes to B2B marketing strategy, without a direction or a map of where you want to go, you may not arrive where you want to be. Companies, campaigns and marketing initiatives need direction.

That’s Where a Marketing Messaging Map Comes In

A marketing message mapping exercise identifies the market position and key supporting messages that will guide all the sales and marketing tactics for a campaign. It is the marketing road map to use when developing content to ensure continuity and consistency among the customer touchpoints. Unlike a spontaneous road trip, developing this map requires some planning.

Here’s What a Message Mapping Strategy Session Consists Of

Definitions/Discovery

  • Ensuring a clear understanding of your organization, its brand platform and current customer touchpoint

Situation

  • Market overview — define the target market(s) and environment
  • Your company’s and offering’s role — how do they fit into the market’s needs?
  • Target customers and titles: primary decision makers in your environment, ideally narrowed down to one primary audience for a campaign
  • Challenges — what are the key challenges or pain points for your target customers?

Market and Competitive Position

  • What are your advantages over competitors?
  • What obstacles/perceptions must you overcome in your industry space?

Marketing Messaging

  • How can you help address the challenges/pain points?
  • Market positioning and key supporting messages — why you?
  • How will these messages evolve throughout a customer’s journey?

The easiest way to work through this process is to use a guide or worksheet that steers you toward your marketing destination. There are numerous ways to create this map; the intensity of the exercise usually depends upon the magnitude and complexity of the initiative or campaign. If you’re looking for something simple for your next campaign, try starting with this:

  1. Purpose
    1. Define what you want your messaging to accomplish.
  2. Target Audience
    1. Narrow down your target audience and understand how you can benefit them.
  3. Industry Brief
    1. Understand what’s happening in the industry and affecting your audience.
  4. Overall Position
    1. Create a message that encompasses the purpose of your message.
  5. Messaging Pillars
    1. Once you have an understanding of who your target audience is, create several key messages you want them to convey.
  6. Supporting Points
    1. Directly connect industry/customer pains with how your company can help.

If you need assistance in planning and/or facilitating a message mapping session, give us a call. We’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

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