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Key messaging brings out the best in you 18 October, 2007

Posted by varoom in Marketing Plans.
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Key messaging is a technique that can be used to extract the main points of your proposition and enable you to deliver them in a presentation, speech, sales pitch, elevator pitch or marketing tool.

Often when people make speech or presentation they often forget to make all of the important points and even waste time on aspects which are of little importance.

Key messaging is the process by which you define your major benefits or features in your product pitch and invest time in making sure they are succinctly worded. The ordering of these points is also important. They must flow in a storyboard (see Storyboarding a novel approach – Aug 2007) retaining the listeners interest, connect together in a logical order bringing the listener to the right conclusion. Out of order points, repetition or poor definition only serve to weaken your case.

The first step in the key messaging process is to form a brainstorm team. This team will be set a simple question, to define the benefits of your product to a customer. The brainstorming approach will generate a large volume of data which will have a certain amount of repetition. This is normal. The make up of this team is critical, you need a selection of people that work at varying distances from the product. Too many participants that are close to the product will generate a narrow spectrum of probably well known inputs. A team of too many remote members will be difficult to summarize the broad range of inputs. A mix is more interesting.

The next step is to group all of the ideas generated into sections which have a common theme. This causes unique ideas to stand out and commonly repeated ideas to be summarized. What you end up with is a set of distinct and possibly cloudy subject areas. Each of these needs to be worked on in turn to draw out the best definition of the key message. Experiment with the wording, cross check with the brainstorm team to ensure the meaning is not lost or redefined. Weed out the weak messages and concentrate on forming a list of the best, high quality, strong messages.

With a new short list of the key messages that you have defined now you have to decide on the flow of the story around the key messages. To make good use of these messages you need to have a beginning, middle and end. They story you tell has to suit the audience, they have to follow and understand it, they must end up agreeing with your unique selling proposition and hopefully buying your product.

With this list of key messages you can use this skeleton to structure speeches, presentations and marketing tools to ensure you get the main points across.

Greville Commins