Your Company Messaging Isn’t Working: 5 Guesses Why

by Andy Raskin

1. You‘re Not Showing What’s at Stake

The top message on your website, in your sales decks, and on your billboard ads is something to the effect of “Revolutionizing X” or “Disrupting Y” or “Industry-Leading, Next-Generation Z.” In other words, you are not laying out what’s at stake for your customer. You are not clearly explaining why your customer’s future will be better if he or she buys. You might as well be saying, “You should buy, but we can’t exactly say why. Maybe you can figure it out!”

2. Your Team Couldn’t Decide Between Three Versions of Your Story, So You’re Displaying All of Them in a Rotating Carousel

Your thinking was that each visitor would watch all the screens in your carousel and get hooked by the most relevant version of your story. What’s actually happening, though, is that your visitors have patience only for the first slide, and even that one disappears before they’ve digested it. You’ve played it safe, but at the expense of anyone having a clear idea about your offering.

3. You’re Not Presenting Evidence

Messaging is just words and pictures: It won’t convince anyone of anything. But the more you support the messaging with evidence, the more credible your story becomes, and the more people spread it. Evidence can come in many forms: testimonials, logos, the smiling faces of happy customers, case studies, etc. Speaking of case studies…

4. Your Results Aren’t Credible

You’re boasting that your customers quadrupled sales, profit, or deal flow, all thanks to you. Even if that’s true — and it’s probably not, except if you look at the numbers in a certain way — people won’t believe you. In your customer case studies, you posit a “problem,” a “solution” and “results,” but it’s too clean. You’re failing to acknowledge that there were big challenges along the way. The funny thing is, admitting and sharing those challenges — being publicly vulnerable — is the best way to gain credibility.

5. You Haven’t Prioritized the Audiences You’re Talking To

Lots of companies have to talk to multiple audiences, but to be successful you have to prioritize one group above the others. For example, Uber has to speak to passengers and drivers, but the company clearly prioritizes its message to passengers (drivers get that small button at the top):

Hopefully…

…these guesses were close.

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About Andy Raskin:
Andy is a strategic messaging and positioning coach who helps CEOs, marketers, and sales teams tell clearer, more effective stories. Andy’s clients include technology companies funded by Andreesen Horowitz, True Ventures, First Round Capital and other top venture investors. He also trains teams on strategic storytelling. To learn more and get in touch, visit http://andyraskin.com.