How to Create The Product Marketing Messaging Document (Template & Guide)

Read the 3rd Pillar for a background on Messaging vs Content

  • You are creating messaging elements, or core essences. These are not intended to be copy-pasted into content. Your content creators will use these as starting points to ensure that the assets they create carry these messages through.
  • Your messaging, and consequently your content, should be highly targeted at the persona and where they are in their buying stage. The more targeted, the more success you will have.
  • Your goal should be this: 10 different people could write 10 different blogs, targeting the same persona at a buying stage of their choice, and when laid out on a table, it tells a single cohesive narrative… all without your review.

Downloading/Copying the Template

S tart by clicking the link to get access to the template on Google Drive’s Docs (View and Save the Template Here)

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  1. Make a copy to your Google Drive (Note: This requires you to login to a Google account to see this option)

Target Persona

The first part of your messaging document should be who this messaging document is for, the target persona. If this is also for a specific part of your company, like a distinct business unit or product, add that in parentheses here.

How many different pieces of messaging do I need for how many personas?

Well… the answer is: as many as you can manage, keep constantly up to date, and the rest of the business will use. It’s better for you to have 1 highly targeted messaging document than 1 generic messaging document. You’re better off having none than a generic document. Now, say you are targeting a CISO. Do you create one CISO messaging document? Or do you create one for CISOs in North America and one for CISOs in EMEA? Again, depends on if you can keep them up to date and if they’ll be used. You’re better off creating only one, if two won’t actually be used.

Common Titles

This one is for your marketing friends across the aisle. They will ask for this because it helps them with their ad targeting. Often you may target a certain persona, that may have different titles at different companies. Take product marketing for example. Some companies have slightly different titles for our position (solution marketing, industry marketing, segment marketing, portfolio marketing), and granted slightly different functional purpose, they’re close enough that targeting us as a larger group would be effective.

Buying Center

This is where you put all the information you want to put that helps give context to the persona this is. Put in a comma-delimited list, all the information people need to know such as the segment (enterprise vs mid-market), region (North America vs EMEA), department (security vs IT), and any other information that will help marketing target this persona in the right companies.

Current Needs & Challenges

Here you will list at least 3 (1 for each) items for the target persona that align to their organizational, departmental, and individual needs.

  • Departmental: Needs & Challenges they face as they relate to their own department and the people in it
  • Individual: Needs & Challenges they face in their own job and career

Artifacts

These are links to external sites, not written by your company, that provide background information on the topic you are messaging against. For example, if you are a company that solves for ransomware in a new way, you can put links here to educational articles on what ransomware is and why it’s such a big problem. That way, your content creators can educate themselves and pull additional background information from those sources. Your messaging should be focused on the unique pieces that solves your buyer’s needs and pull through your solutions differentiators, not what the market already knows about. If there is something that is already “ accepted knowledge” in the target market, put a link to an article explaining it in this section.

Value Prop

The value prop is something every product marketer is expected to craft, and something every person will look for. It’s one connective tissue across every piece of content for the target persona. This is the statement that describes how your product, uniquely solves a distinct need for the target persona in a way that provides a clear outcome.

  • Messaging Elements: These are the core messaging pieces you will write that answer the targeted personas inflection points at that part of the buying stage. Honestly, this is often the easiest part of the entire process if you’ve done everything leading up to this part properly.

Offering Highlights

It’s been my experience that your content writers want specific highlights of the offering, which speak to the target persona, that they can weave into the content. You do not want to put everything your product does here, instead only focus on the few things that sets your product apart from the rest of the market. These may also be things that are already covered in the messaging narratives and aren’t specifically “benefits” of your solutions. These are features, so encourage your content writers to go light when including them in the content. They should be lightly sprinkled in, less than 5% of the overall asset.

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